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How To Tell If You Have A Rare Pokemon Card

Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set

How to Tell if Your Pokémon Cards Are Rare or Expensive!
  • Release Date: 1999
  • Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100

Not only is Blastoise one of the most beloved characters in the Game Freak RPG, but the Water-type starter has also become one of the most valuable Pokemon cards currently on the market.

Those who grew up with the 1999 Base Set easily equated the turtle on the same level as the highly sought-after Charizard, so it makes sense that decades later, many are willing to bust out their wallets for the iconic mon.

While its 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon card from 1999 has always brought in good money, the popular item has seen a massive jump in value recently. In a PWCC auction held in November 2020, the rare Base Set Blastoise sold for $45,100.

Fake Pokmon Cards: How To Tell If A Pokmon Card Is Fake

With nearly 900 types of Pokémon, and the TCG booming, spotting fake Pokémon cards is a serious business – heres how to do it


Pokémon TCG players of old all share versions of the same, tragic memory, and it goes something like this. Youve scored the perfect trade. Someone at school was willing to hand over the shiny Alakazam youve wanted for what seems like forever, in exchange for your duplicate Growlithe. A win-win. You make the swap, and spend the rest of the day mooning over the splendid new gem in your collection, until your friend leans over and says oh wow, thats definitely a fake.

Tears. Devastation. The end of all things. But, worse than that, how do you know if theyre right? It looks real. Youve heard if you peel the card open a bit, theres a layer inside that proves its real, but youre not about to bisect your new Alakazam in a hurry. And so youre forever in limbo not knowing. Fast forward to 2021, and Pokémon TCG is larger than ever, collected and played by tens of thousands around the world, over 25 years after they first made the trip from Japan to the west. The market for rare Pokémon cards is so developed that there are vast lists of rare cards and misprints that fetch hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars at auction.

So, to business. For starters, well list the main methods, then well dig into the detail below.

Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Ex Deoxys

  • Release Date: 2005
  • Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100

An early favorite of Ruby & Sapphire, Rayquaza has seen an uptick in popularity over the last decade. So it makes sense then that its cards would also start to climb up in value over time. In 2005, The Pokemon Company released the Ex Deoxys TCG expansion featuring the Flying / Dragon-type.

As a gimmick to get Pokemon card collectors interested in the set, the Japanese company introduced Gold Star Pokemon cards into the hobby. As mentioned earlier, the incredibly rare Pokemon cards featured a special symbol next to the name of the mon. Of course, the king of these marked collectibles is the Hoenn Legendary itself.


In December 2020, a perfectly graded Gold Star Rayquaza sold at auction for $45,100. Given the Legendarys continued popularity in the franchise, and just how little of the gold Pokemon cards were actually produced, we expect this item to increase in value as time goes on.

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Card Condition Is Important

The condition of your Pokémon cards is a vital part of whether they have any value. Collectors arent interested in ripped, stained, or otherwise defaced cards, and such wear can severely tank a cards value even if it is a rare one.

Youve probably heard of mint condition cards before. If youre wondering whether or not a card qualifies as mint, youll need to get it graded by a PSA representative. Your card could be worth more if you have its condition officially graded. However, it costs money to get your card graded by a professional, so you should only do so if you are sure that your card is worth at least the money it will take to be professionally graded.

Holo Gold Star Rayquaza: $4500

How to Tell If a Pokemon Card Is Rare

Rather than many cards on this list, this Shiny Rayquaza from the EX Deoxys set is a rare Pokemon card thats mostly just mythical pull from a standard set. During this expansion, Pokemon with a Gold Star in your deck, making them just as powerful as they are gorgeous with unique colors and art exiting the frame.


Costs can vary massively, but spaces like Troll and Toad price the card at just under $4500. It simply combines all the great aspects of a standard card in the perfect combination, and the rarity of it in packs of this small expansion set make it one of the most valuable original Gen 3 cards, and one of the first major shiny cards to hit record prices before other shinies would catch up.

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Look For The Black Line

The plastic layer we mentioned earlier -on which the two faces of a Pokemon card are pressed- has a distinct black color.

When youre trying to spot fake pokemon cards, this is something that you should ALWAYS look for.

If turn a genuine Pokemon card sideways, you can spot this black line in the middle of the material. In case of a fake Pokemon card, this layer isnt and as a result, the side of the card will be completely white.


When Did Secret Rare Pokemon Cards Start

Back when the Team Rocket expansion was about to be launched, Wizards of the Coast decided that they want to do something a little bit different from what the Japanese side of the Pokemon Trading Card game was doing. This means that they went outside of the instructions of the Pokemon Company and designed the Dark Raichu card.

If you were around for the launch of Team Rocket, then you may have noticed that the set was heavily delayed. This is because Wizards of the Coast were struggling to gain the approval of the Pokemon Company for Dark Raichu. However, they eventually managed to gain the approval and the Pokemon Card Game had its very first secret rare.

Since then, the English version of the card game has had several different secret rare cards available in each set. It is only recently that the Japanese version of the game has introduced secret rares, however, there are actually more secret rares available in the Japanese set than the English version of the game.

Since we anticipate that the bulk of the people reading this page are going to be most interested in the English cards, these are the ones that we are going to focus on.

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How To Identify What Set Your Pokemon Cards Are From

Every set of Pokemon cards has a unique identifier on it. This is called the expansion symbol.

Each symbol corresponds with a particular set, which is how you can determine which set your card belongs to.

The only set that doesnt have an expansion symbol, is Pokemons very first which is of course Base Set.

For a complete list Pokemon card set symbols, see here.

Whether The Pokemon Card Has Been Professionally Graded

How to Tell the Rarity of a Pokémon Card – Fastest Method

You dont need to have your Pokemon cards professionally graded in order to sell them. Often, its not worth the cost of getting them graded, unless you have an extremely rare card in perfect condition.


However, if a card is graded by a company called PSA and gets a good score, it may be worth a lot more than if the card wasnt graded.

The amount a PSA grade will improve the value of the card depends mostly on the score. If PSA gave the card a 9 or a 10, then this can increase the value by 3-4x or even more, depending on the rarity of the card.

On the other hand, if they only gave the card a 6, 7, or 8, then it might be worth only a bit more than an ungraded card.

If a card is PSA graded, it will be encased in plastic with a red PSA sticker at the top specifying the grade.

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Pokmon World Championships No 1 Trainer

Every copy of this rare and valuable promo card is one-of-a-kind

Sold for $31,200 in April 2021

The first of two rare and valuable Pokémon cards called No. 1 Trainer on this list, this particular card was awarded to winners of the regional Battle Road Spring tournaments held in Japan during early 2002.

The regional tournaments were held as qualifiers for the Pokémon World Championships, with the small number of No. 1 Trainer cards produced for the few winners making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.

Adding to the card’s rarity is the fact that each No. 1 Trainer card was customised with the name of the tournament winner printed onto the card, making each card one-of-a-kind. According to auction house Heritage Auctions, the personalised aspect of the cards also mean that they rarely appear at auction, making them an even rarer sight in the world of Pokémon cards.


The 2002 No. 1 Trainer card was illustrated by Ken Sugimori, best known as being one of the original artists and designers for Pokémon’s first generation of 151 Pokémon. The text on it reads: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament Battle Road Spring 2002 champion is recognised here, and his honour is praised.” Sugimori’s No. 1 Trainer artwork – featuring fan-favourite Pokémon such as Pikachu, Chansey and Marrill – is exclusive to the card, making it especially unique.

Here Are Some Of My Favorite Tcg Accessories

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful on your TCG journey. After 20 years of being in the Trading Card Game community, I commonly get asked what my recommendations are on X products. To help save everyone a bit of time, Ive listed below my top picks as a TCG collector that I hope youll also find helpful.

These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use them, Ill earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact accessories that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own friends and family.

Sleeves: If you want the best for Magic and Pokemon cards, I really like Dragon Shield Matte Art sleeves. They have an excellent shuffling feel to them and have great durability, so you dont have to worry about them breaking on you. If you want my full thoughts on these sleeves, check out my .

Binders: For competitive Magic and Pokemon players, go with the Vault X 12 Pocket Binder. Im a big fan of 12 pocket binders for keeping playsets of 4 together and this binder is good quality without premium prices. For the pure TCG collectors, I would recommend Dragon Sheild 9 Pocket binders.


If you are looking for a solid deck box, then you cant go wrong with Ultra Pro Towers. Fantastic protection at affordable prices, everything you need. If you want to get a bit fancy like me, go with the Gamegenic Watchtower.

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Pricing Or Selling Your Collection

  • 1Look up card prices using online card-selling websites. There are thousands of unique Pokémon trading cards, and prices change over time as people sell, buy, and speculate. Recently printed cards may drop in price once they are no longer legal in tournaments. Because of these factors, looking up a card actually for sale is more likely to give you an accurate number than a price guide, which may not be up to date.
  • Try a Pokémon card-selling site or eBay, or search online for + “selling”. Remember to include any special features, using the terms described in the identification section.
  • Most online listings show how much a company is selling cards for. Look for a “buylist” to see how much the company will pay to buy your cards. If selling to another player, the price you’ll get will typically fall between these two numbers.
  • 2Ask Pokémon players or collectors. It’s often difficult to find a price online, especially for extra-rare cards that do not trade hands often. Search for a Pokémon trading card game forum online, and post a picture or description of your card for advice. You could also look for a hobby or gaming store in your area.
  • Be wary of scams. Get a second opinion on your cards’ value before selling them to a stranger.
  • What Makes A Pokmon Card Valuable

    Rare Pokémon card already has $170K bid ahead of auction  Monkey Viral

    Pokémon cards are a lot more complex than they appear. Plenty of small details that might seem insignificant could be the difference between a card being worth a few bucks or the down payment on a new house.

    While there are a lot of factors that go into how collectors value a Pokémon card, you dont need to be as clever as Professor Oak to understand them.

    Heres a basic breakdown for newbies.

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    How To Tell If Pokmon Cards Are Worth Money

    Identifying if your Pokemon cards are worth money is quite important. It will help you determine the value when trading or selling to others to get the most out of it.

    The more rare the card is, the higher value it holds. In general, if the year in which the Pokémon cards was made is between 1999 and 2000, as indicated at the bottom of the card, then chances are the card has significantly increased value.

    To find out if the Pokemon cards are worth money or not is by simply looking at the bottom right corner of the card, the rarity symbol is next to the card number.

    A black circle represents the card is common, while a diamond shape means the card is uncommon, and a black star symbol indicates that the card is rare.

    As time passes by, the first edition of Pokemon cards are still extremely valuable in the present day. These cards will be marked with the same stamp that you will see near the bottom left corner of the card.

    If there is no stamp there, double check the copyright dates because it may be rarer than you think.

    How Do You Know You Have A Secret Rare Pokemon Card

    It is actually surprisingly easy to tell whether you have a secret rare card.

    As you may well know, on the bottom right of every Pokemon card will be a number. The first number is the number of the card in the set. The second number is the number of cards in the set. So, if you see 3/104 in the bottom right hand corner, then you know that you are looking at card number 3 in a set of 104.

    To tell that you have a secret rare, the first number must be larger than the second i.e. it is a card outside the normal numbering of the set. So, in this example, if you saw a card labeled 105/104, then you know that you have a secret rare.

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    How To Know If Pokmon Cards Are Fake

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 131 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 1,043,873 times.Learn more…

    Many people enjoy collecting Pokémon cards. Unfortunately, there are some scam artists who will try to sell fake cards to enthusiastic collectors. However, their fakes are not as close to the real thing as they want you to think. An example of a legitimate card is one that is real. To authenticate legit cards, keep reading.

    How Many Cards Do I Get In A Pokemon Booster Pack

    How to find out if your Pokemon card is rare!

    Each Pokemon Booster Pack contains ten cards. The spread of what you can expect is as follows:

    • 3 Uncommon Rarity Cards
    • 1 Rare Rarity Card

    Each pack is also guaranteed to have one Reverse Holo card, though there are no limits to it always being a rare card or whether you might get a Reverse Holo common card. With the wide variety of Rare Pokemon cards, ranging from a regular Rare card all the way up to the Secret Rare cards there’s no guarantee that you’ll get one of these more sought-after Pokemon.

    In a standard Booster Box that contains 36 packs of cards you can expect to come away with the following number of cards

    • 216 Common Rarity Cards

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    Upgrade Your Collection With Rare Cards Now

    Getting started with a new game is always exciting when you start learning the rules, playing with friends, and discovering rare Pokémon cards. But, you can never have enough as a true collector.

    You’re always searching for the next unique card to add to your deck and place in your collection folder. Therefore, investing in booster packs, or booster boxes from Breaking Bangers is a good place to start!

    Treat yourself to some new cards today, and who knows, maybe you’ll find that secret rare you’ve been dreaming of…

    Take a look, and if you need to know anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Rarity Symbols On Pokmon Cards

    All Pokémon cards have a symbol that indicates how uncommon they actually are. You can find it in the bottom right corner of the card. The three main rarity symbols are:

    • Circles: This symbol means the card is ordinary.
    • Diamonds: This symbol means the card is pretty uncommon.
    • Stars: This symbol means the card is rare and more valuable.

    If your cards collector number is higher than the actual number of cards in the deck, its probably a secret card, which means it will sell for more money.

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