Are Your Pokmon Cards Centered
Usually, the artwork of the Pokémon on your card is centered right inside the borders of the card.
Pokémon cards pulled straight from a booster pack will look like they have their artwork perfectly centered, but its actually not that uncommon for the art of a Pokémon card to be slightly misaligned.
Sometimes these cards are classified as Misprints and there are Pokémon card collectors that are willing to pay for cards with printing errors from the factory.
However, if you are looking to get your Pokémon cards professionally graded and valued, then artwork being off-centered will deduct points from the final evaluation score of your cards decreasing its general market value.
Off-centered printings can also occur on the back art of a card as well as the front. The Poke Ball art and logo that are present on the back of the card can also sometimes sit too far left or right of the cards center.
So its best to double-check these factors if you do happen to find a card that you might think is worth some cash!
Pokemon Card Set Symbols
Use this handy guide to look up Pokemon card set symbols, set names, and set years.
The most common way to organize Pokemon cards is by set. To identify the set, look for a little symbol at the bottom of the card, next to the card number. There are a bunch of these set symbols 5-6 sets are released every year, each with a different set symbol, and theyve been printing cards since 1999!
The following table is a complete list of Pokemon card sets, sorted by date the newest sets are at the top the oldest are at the bottom. If I missed something, let me know if the comments! I want this to be THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR POKEMON CARD SETS!
First Edition Holographic Machamp
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,000
The final form of Machop that evolves from Machoke, Machop is an intimidating fighting-type Pokémon who looks like the last thing you’d want to fight.
Known for its brute force and strength, Machamp is nothing but solid muscle and its four arms allow it to strike opponents from multiple angles at once.
And not only is Machamp overpowering, it also possesses incredible speed making it capable of throwing as many as 500 punches in one second.
Wearing a championship belt around its waste, the aptly named Machamp is frequently on the victorious side of the fight.
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Pokmon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only a dozen ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020
Only 12 Tropical Wind cards were produced as promo cards for the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle, a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships, making it one of the most valuable Pokémon sets around.
The Tropical Mega Battle saw 50 players from around the globe take part in a tournament for the trading card game in Honolulu, Hawaii. The only way to participate was to win a battle in your local region and earn an invite, making it an exclusive event for the best Pokémon trainers in the world – and the cards offered as prizes some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card, the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind, has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent record-breaking sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482, making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever made.
Poliwrath No Rarity Base Set
- Release Date: 1996
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $25,015
Rounding out the top 21 of the most expensive Pokemon cards list is Poliwrath from the Japanese version of the Base Set. While the Water-type mon has traditionally been one of the weaker valued cards from the 1996 and 1999 releases, this item is actually special.
Similar to the English version having a 1st Edition run, the very first print of the Japanese set featured no markings at all. Due to there being extremely limited amounts even printed, barely any of them survived three decades later.
Consider this THE earliest version of the iconic card, and you can see why its value has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, one appeared in a PWCC auction selling for $25,015. If you think that is a lot, we are only getting started!
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Pokemon First Edition Mewtwo
Sold in November, 2020 for $22,655
A member of the exclusive and powerful Legendary Pokémon group, the psychic-type Mewtwo is considered one of the top Pokémon of all time.
The vicious and savage Mewtwo originated when a scientist altered its original DNA via gene-splicing techniques.
Its signature move, Psystrike, can deal out massive punishment to opposing Pokemon and has long been a favorite of many Pokemon fans.
Do not be fooled by Ken Sugimori’s tame depiction of Mewtwo on this card, as this creature packs devastating ferocity and power.
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#10 Stormfront Charizard, $489.46
Prepare to see a lot of Charizard on this list. As the series’ most popular Pokémon, it appears on almost all of the cards here in some form or another.
Stormfront was released in 2008 under the Diamond & Pearl umbrella. While not one of the set’s many rare Lv.X Pokémon, Charizard was still a highly coveted Secret Rare, putting him as the most valuable card from the entire set.
The Pokémon Company/Wizards of the Coast
#9 Aquapolis Lugia, $490
Aquapolis came from that weird e-Card era of the Pokémon Trading Card game, where cards could be scanned into the e-Reader peripheral for the Gameboy Advance. While the whole thing was a total failure , some of the cards from that time are still pretty valuable. Lugia is the most expensive card from Aquapolis, coming in at around $490-$500.
FireRed & LeafGreen’s Charizard ex
The Pokémon Company
#8 FireRed & LeafGreen Charizard ex, $500
The return to Kanta in the GameBoy Advance era also saw the TCG follow suit, with a set entirely featuring Pokémon from the original 151. To give it that Advance generation flair, a number of Pokémon also received an ex form, a new feature that was first introduced in EX Ruby & Sapphire. Of course, the #1 card was Charizard ex.
Charizard VMAX from Shining Fates
The Pokémon Company
#7 Shining Fates Charizard VMAX, $510
Base Set Charizard. Note the drop-shadow on the right side of the art frame.
The Pokémon Company/Wizards of the Coast
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What Condition Is Your Pokemon Card
At first, take a look at the condition of the card youre considering selling.
Even when it comes to the rarest of Pokémons cards, the condition is everything.
Collectors are much less willing to spend money on a card that has creases, stains, or even rips. While a card in Gem Mint is always the sought-after ideal, lightly played cards still have value and can be sold for a respectable amount of money.
This means that if you were a tidy child that took diligent care of their collection, you may be in luck!
If your cards do show traces of gameplay and handling, you may not have to despair immediately.
Generally speaking, the rarer the card your selling, the more obliging potential buyers will be with regards to its condition, but dont expect life-changing offers of cash for cards in poor condition.
Tamamushi University Magikarp: $50000
The Tamamushi University Magikarp card is so rare that despite the fact that it depicts a frankly awful Pokemon, it’s worth ridiculous sums of money. Why the high price? Well, the University Magikarp was a promotional card that saw very limited distribution at a Japanese tournament in the late 1990s.
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In total, 1000 of the cards were produced but far fewer were actually awarded and many were just stowed away forever. Barely any of these rare Magikarp cards are still in circulation today, and its incredibly rare to see new ones show up. At the moment, PSA Cards Price Guide chart lists perfectly-preserved cards to have sold for around $50,000, while copies with NM-MT 8 ratings still sell for amazing heights of $12,000.
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St Edition Shadowless Chansey
The popularity of the base set is one of the driving forces behind the skyrocketing prices of Pokemon cards. It may be Charizard leading the charge, but plenty of other holographic cards from the west’s very first set have sold for staggeringly high prices over the last year or so including this GEM-MT 10 Shadowless Chansey.
It was auctioned off by PWCC towards the end of 2020 and sold for more than $35,ooo. This makes it the most expensive Chansey sold to date and is great news for anybody else currently sitting on a mint condition copy of the card. According to the PSA webpage, there are at least 47 of them out there.
Find The Year Your Pokemon Card Was Made
Look at the bottom of the card and find the year it was printed. Thats the first key indicator when identifying your card.
For example, the Base Set Pokémon Cards have 4 different print runs while looking almost identical each time. Of those sets, the UK 4th Print Base Set identifies as 1999-2000, which is the key indicator to separate those cards from the rest.
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Master Key Prize Card: Approx $8800
Brace yourself for what were about to tell you. The Master Key card fetches a hefty sum because there are only 34 in existence. But what makes this card even more special is the fact that if you somehow manage to find another limited-edition one-off card to turn it into a set with, you could net up to wait for it a whopping $80,000.
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Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Trainer Card
Sold in October, 2020 for $65,100
Just a bit ago, we saw how expensive the number two trainer card from the 1999 Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle could be even without a numerical PSA grade assigned to it.
And now we get a look at how expensive the trainer card given to all players who participated at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1999 can be if it’s graded to be in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition.
This card, featuring Psyduck and Jigglypuff laying sleepily in a hammock in a tropical setting, has become a hobby icon and one of the most sought-after trainer cards.
The “TRAINER” text across the top denotes the card type while the text below reads:
“Flip a coin. If heads, remove 2 damage counters from each active Pokemon . If tails, each active Pokemon is now asleep.”
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Should I Get My Pokemon Cards Graded
Getting your Pokemon cards graded can take a while, and it can cost you about $20 per card. With that in mind, you should consider getting your card graded so long as its value exceeds about $20.
Some exceptions apply. For example, if you own an entire base set that youre looking to sell , getting each card graded may be worth it even if an individual card is worth less than $20 as having the entire set graded would enhance its overall value.
First Edition Holographic Charizard
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $24,000
The #4 Charizard is by far the most desirable of all the first edition Pokémon cards.
Charizard made its first appearance in the Pokémon Red and Blue video games released for the Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Color back in the mid-90s and trainers have been relying on the character’s overpowering fire and flying abilities to win battles ever since.
Just how powerful are its fire abilities?
Well, simply refer to the bottom of the card’s front and you can see that Charizard is capable of melting boulders and starting forest fires with ease.
Charizard’s appeal as a dragon and one of the more rare cards certainly adds to its popularity but I think where this card gets an extra boost in value comes from the fact that Charizard appeared on the cover art of the Pokémon Red video game:
That additional exposure greatly increased the character’s notoriety and has driven up the value of this card similar to the effect we see with the Garbage Pail Kids card, Adam Bomb, and its status as the original cover art for that series.
Regardless of why this card is so popular, its value will continue to soar just like the lovable flying dragon creature itself.
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No 1 Trainer Super Secret Battle
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $90,000
In 1999, The Pokemon Company hosted regional contests in Japan. Winners received a No. 1 Trainer Pokemon card which granted them access to the final that took place in a secret location.
Named Super Secret Battle, the special TCG tournament had a lot of mystique surrounding it. The rare Pokemon card features a silhouette of Mewtwo which has made it all the more desirable to fans.
In July 2020, the Japanese promo sold for an astonishing $90,000 making it one of the most valuable Pokemon cards to ever exist.
St Edition Neo Genesis Lugia
It’s rare for a card released in the West to sell for crazy money unless they happen to be part of the base set. For that reason, the original owner of this 1st edition Lugia card was probably a little surprised when it was sold by PWCC Auctions for nearly $130,000 in November of 2020. Six months later, and the price rose higher still when a copy of the card sold for $144,300.
There are 41 copies of the card to have received the PSA’s GEM-MT 10 rating, although the current record holder was actually graded by Beckett and received a 10 Pristine rating. Whether or not this sale will lead to other Neo Genesis cards skyrocketing in value remains to be seen, but – prior to the recent movement – the average sale price of a 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia had been just $70,000.
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Pokemon Japanese Base Set Holo No Rarity Symbol Holo Charizard
Sold in November, 2020 for $57,877
The 1996 Japanese “No Rarity” Charizard card is a true piece of hobby history as it marked one of the first appearances of the iconic character.
Most Japanese base set cards will contain a “rarity symbol” in the lower-right corner of the card that varies based on the card type.
Holographic cards in the set feature a star symbol, so if you find one without the rarity symbol, then you know you’re looking at the more rare, first-print “no rarity” Charizards.
The “no rarity” Charizards are much more difficult to find as PSA has graded 3,634 regular base set Charizards compared with only 273 “no rarity” Charizards.
Furthermore, roughly 14% of the regular base Charizards have achieved a PSA 10 grade compared to less than 2% of the “no rarity” Charizards.
Pokemon Neo Destiny 1st Edition Shining Charizard
Sold in January, 2021 for $20,250
The fourth main expansion of the Neo Series, Neo Destiny, is notable for featuring both “light” and “dark” Pokémon whose characteristics and “destiny” are reflective of how a Trainer trains them.
Light Pokémon are caring and bright-spirited, while dark Pokémon are the exact opposite.
Dark Pokémon have appeared in several different series, but the Neo Destiny set is the only one in which you will find the light Pokémon.
Charizard appears as neither light nor dark in Neo Destiny but instead as a special Shining Charizard that gets its name from the unique foil design that glimmers and shines in the light.
The Shining Pokémon in this series also feature a unique rarity symbol in the lower right in the form of three stars.
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World Championship Master’s Key
A copy of the Master’s Key sold for more than $20,000 in November 2019. Unlike most cards sold at auction, this one wasn’t graded by PSA and was instead sold in the trophy case in which it was presented. Whether or not a graded copy of the card would have fetched more remains to be seen, but, given the value, it’s perhaps understandable why the seller wasn’t too keen to crack open the trophy case to find out.
Master’s Key was originally handed out to contestants at the 2010 Pokemon World Championships. The event took place in Hawaii and was contested by just 36 players. As a result, the card is incredibly rare, with only nine GEM-MT 10 copies – the highest grade that can be handed out by the PSA – in existence.
Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon
Well, this card is arguably identical to the Shiny Umbreon I had mentioned earlier, but trust me, theyre not the same. This Shiny Espeon is more conspicuous in color, and its price varies greatly.
It has its fair share of popularity among game lovers that are keen on Shiny Pokemon cards. Although its rare and quite expensive, its available on Troll and Toad for just $2,000, and this is due to its creativity and beauty.
You can also do well to conduct your little research and buy them on reliable sites but always settle for the utmost quality.
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