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How To Tell What Pokemon Cards Are Worth Money

How To Tell If Pokmon Cards Are Rare


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Are you are Pokemon card collector and wonder if your card is rare and valuable? From Colorless to Foil and Dragons, there are different types of Pokemon cards to perform special abilities that are helpful when building a custom deck.

All these collector cards are either commercial or printed in small amounts, which create rarity and increase value in the marketplace.

How do you tell if Pokemon cards are rare? In order to tell if Pokemon cards are rare or not, a player should learn specific details to look for. The symbol located at the bottom right corner of any card represents the rarity of the card.

Common cards are always marked with a black circle, uncommon cards have black diamonds, and rare cards are marked with a black star. Generally, this forms the basis of distinguishing rare cards.

When buying Pokemon cards, it is worth understanding how rare each card is in case you would like to sell or trade them in the future. Owning a valuable cards to trade is vital and identifying the fake Pokemon cards is a priority so you can get fair deal.

If you would like to know the rarity of your Pokemon cards, you will be learning how to tell specific details about Pokemon cards. Answered below are frequently asked questions to help you determine whether or not your Pokemon cards are rare, including the symbol chart to help understand your deck.

German Bild Lilli Hauser Barbie $3999 1950s

Bild Lilli was a German doll that was manufactured from 1955 until 1964 when Mattel acquired the rights to it. According to a German brochure, there were approximately 130,000 Bild Lilli dolls in circulation at the time, but that number would have been significantly reduced by now.

When Mattel took over, the Bild Lilli dolls were altered to fit the Barbie image. Instead of the sexy, scantily-clad secretary who dated older men for money, Barbie emerged as a fun, girly teen image.

This version of the Bild Hauser Doll is hard to find in the United States and was recently sold on eBay in near-mint condition for $3,999. This doll was sold without her original packaging, though she wore her original clothes. Another version was sold for $2,600.

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 $35,000. 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.

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How To Get A Pokemon Card Appraisal

If you would like a Pokemon card appraisal to determine the true valuation of your Pokemon cards, feel free to get in touch with us by email or by our contact form.

Please provide more details about the Pokemon cards you would like to appraise, what country you are located, and any questions you might have about selling your Pokemon cards.


Is It Worth Grading Japanese Pokmon Cards

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Japanese Pokemon cards can be worth more money than their English counterparts. This is because Pokemon trading cards from Japan are of higher quality and still come with first edition markings. In addition, since Japanese Pokemon cards were launched earlier, some were full of controversy, making them even more valuable and sought after by collectors.

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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.

Pokemon Japanese Hr Contest Winner Full Art Charizard

Sold in June, 2021 for $20,100

Despite the global health situation in 2020, Pokemon tournaments still took place at home and in shops throughout Japan.

From July to September 2020, contestants in the Charizard VMAX HR competition could participate in 16-player tournaments for a chance at winning two unique Charizard cards.

Winners of the first rounds consisting of four players each won the Full Art Charizard V shown here.

Those four players would then advance to the championship round for a shot at winning the Full Art Charizard VMAX HR competition card as the top prize.

The extreme difficulty of receiving the BGS 10 Pristine grade gives this card a significant boost in value.

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Important Questions To Ask Yourself To Determine How Much Your Pokemon Cards Are Worth

  • How many cards do you have?
  • How old are your cards?
  • What set/s are they from?
  • Do you have a completed set/s?
  • Are any of your cards 1st edition?
  • How many holographic cards do you have?
  • What condition are your cards in?
  • Are they all English or do you have cards from other languages?
  • Could you add value by getting them graded?
  • Do you have any products that are sealed, such as booster boxes or packs?
  • Does their sentimental value outweigh any money you could get for them?

Now lets get into some more specifics

Are Your Pokmon Cards Holo

The Little-Known Method to Determine if Your Pokémon Cards Are Worth Money

Holographic cards do not only look more special than regular cards, they are also usually worth more money!

The number of cards that come out of a set holographic are far fewer in supply, and what looked special to you as a child due to its simple shiny surface, now potentially has a lot of value.

You only have to look at cards like the infamous holographic Charizard.

Often a lot of attention gets drawn to this rare card and sometimes it acts as the poster child for Pokémon cards in general.

This is especially true when you see celebrities threw out wild amounts of money for it.

Example: Rapper Logic spent $183,000 USD on a mint condition first-edition shadowless holographic Charizard.That may sound like a lot of money, but a Gem Mint1st Edition Charizard has now sold for twice that amount!

The one risk that comes with holographic Pokémon cards is they may suffer from some curling.

Curling is when the side of the Pokémon card doesnt lay flat when placed on a surface. Something to do with the manufacturing process of holographic cards makes it more likely that curling will occur compared to normal cards.

This can impact the monetary value of your card, so it is a good idea to keep your holographic cards in sleeves that can help to keep your cards straight and stop them from curling.

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Barbie In Midnight Red $17000 1965

The 1965 Barbie in Midnight Red sold for a whopping $17,091 at a Christies auction in 2006. It was part of a private collection of 4,000 Barbie Family dolls and was the most expensive item sold that day.

The auction price in 2006 was more than three times its selling price in 1999 at another Christies auction.

The same anonymous buyer also purchased Barbie in midnight pink for $9,550. Together with Barbie in Midnight Red, they are the rarest color Barbies. The most common color is Barbie in Midnight Blue.

Shadowless First Edition Charizard

Charizard has been a fan-favorite Pokemon since it appeared on the box of the very first games back in 1996. It’s no wonder that this holographic Charizard card is one of the most valuable Pokemon cards of all time.

The normal First Edition holographic Charizard is often a top-seller, but what makes this card special is that it’s missing the shadows around the borders of the art. Shadowless means the card was in the first print run – the second print run is where you see the shadows.

Iconic Auctions, which auctioned off one of these grade 10 mint-condition cards in 2020, described it as “the most coveted” of all cards. The lot sold for $220,575.40 to the retired rapper Logic.

This auction was the first in a long string of high-price Charizard sales. The card sold in November 2020 for $350,100 and again in December 2020 for $369,000. Another grade 10 Charizard sold in January 2021 for $300,000.

However, a grade 10 shadowless First Edition Charizard smashed these records in March 2022, selling for $420,000. This remains the highest this particular card has sold, and it is the third highest price point ever paid for a Pokemon trading card.

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Barbie In Midnight Pink $9550 1965

Two Dutch women with a massive collection of Barbie dolls put them up for auction at Christies in 2006. This rare Barbie was among those that sold for a high price that night.

It was sold for GBP 5,040 to an anonymous collector who also paid a fortune for the Gala Abeng Barbie and the Barbie in Midnight Red.

Year Of Manufacture: 1950s Or 1960s

Japanese Pokemon Cards

The most collectible Barbie dolls are from the period between her debut in 1959 and the late 1960s. Barbie dolls from this era are popular due to their beauty, style, and nostalgic values.

They can fetch over $20,000 if they are in mint condition, which means the box and toy are both intact and undamaged.

Early versions of Barbie have a more contoured face than later versions, which have a rounder face shape. They also have divided fingers , unlike the newer Barbies, whose fingers are permanently joined.

Specifically, pre-1972 Barbie dolls are stamped Made in Japan under one foot. You can also check the hips of your barbie to see if you would find a Barbie stamp on one side. Lets not forget the iconic high ponytail hairstyle.

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Pokmon Shining Charizard Card

A shiny Pokémon card is a card that depicts an alternate color variation of a standard Pokémon card. They are basic Pokémon but with odds of finding them in a booster pack starting at 300:1, special play features, and a limit of 1 per player deck, lore about these cards spread quickly.

Charizard is always a sought-after character and this shiny card benefits from holographic artwork, which only increases its collectibility. Typically higher valued than their non-shiny counterparts , these cards often trade for several hundred dollars. To say the least, if you see it at a modest price you will want to nab it as this one is only increasing in worth over time.

If youre looking add one of the rarest Pokémon cards to your collection, expect to pay well over $1,000 USD for this one. For this type of purchase where authenticity matters, we recommend the trusted collectibles marketplace StockX. You can find a direct link to this specific card below.

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How Do I Know If My Pokmon Card Is Rare

This is represented by a symbol located in the bottom right corner of every card. There should be a shape that indicates what rarity the card is. Common cards are marked with a black circle, uncommon cards have a black diamond, and rare cards always have a black star. This is the basic way to tell the rarity of a card.

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Pokemon Portuguese First Edition Charizard

Sold in April, 2021 for $44,850

Only two Portuguese first edition Charizards have ever been graded PSA 10 out of the 34 submitted to PSA as of this writing.

Just two…

Given how the market for Pokemon cards has soared recently and the scarcity of this card in PSA 10 condition, I’m surprised this didn’t sell for an even higher price.

Still, $44,850 is impressive and speaks to the strength of the Pokemon brand and the Charizard character, in particular.

Sending It To A Card Grading Service

How to Tell if Your Pokémon Cards Are Rare or Expensive!

Suppose you want to get a professional opinion on the value of your card. In that case, you can send it to a third-party grading service. Take a look at the list of the most valuable Pokémon cards above. Youll see that they received excellent grades from agencies like PSA and SGC . An exceptional rate from a grading service can increase the value dramatically.

However, these services are expensive. Depending on the value of the card and the grading service you choose, the prices can range from fifty to five-hundred dollars. So when selecting the cards you want to send for authentication, tread carefully.

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Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo

  • Release Date: 1999
  • Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Pokemon card value at auction: $65,100

While not the most flashy Pokemon card on the list, the Tropical Mega Battle promo is an absolute holy grail for Psyduck fans. It doesnt get more adorable than seeing the Water-type mon playing the ukulele while chilling in a hammock with Jigglypuff.

Long before The Pokemon Company solidified the TCG competitive scene into the World Championships in 2004, one of Japans earlier iterations of the contest was known as the Tropical Mega Battle. In 1999, the tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Only 50 players from various countries around the world were invited to compete against one another. Because various Trophy Pokemon cards were given out at the event, the Tropical Wind iteration is incredibly unique. The collectible resurfaced in a PWCC auction in October 2020 and sold for a mouth-watering $65,100.

Holo Reverse Holo Full Art Holo

Perhaps an easier way to find valuable Pokemon cards is to look for holo cards these are also called holofoil, holographic, shiny, or foil cards. There are several types of holo Pokemon cards:

  • Holo The Pokemon image is holofoil
  • Reverse Holo The frame around is holofoil, but not the actual Pokemon image
  • Full Art Holo The entire card is covered in holofoil graphics

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Whether The Card Is A Promotional Item

Some Pokemon cards were not released as regular cards that you can find in Pokemon booster packs in shops. Instead, they were given away as promo cards, for example to Pokemon TCG tournament winners, or to people going to see a Pokemon movie in cinemas.

Some Pokemon promo cards are worth a lot of money, but many arent.

Often, promo cards are completely unique, which makes it easy to find their value. However, some promo Pokemon cards look the exact same to their non-promo version.

To see if you have a promo card, look for a big black star on the card next to the card number. This is why promo cards are often known as black star promos.

This Charizard card has a large black star in the corner, demonstrating that it’s a promo card.

Crystal Charizard Holo Skyridge

70 pokemon sword and shield cards worth money 244761
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
  • Pokemon card value at auction: $25,100

In 2003, interest in Pokemon cards had started to wane among core fans who had been collecting since it launched in 1999. As a result, production of the Skyridge set was considerably lower compared to past expansions.

This would also be the last release printed by Wizards of the Coasts and features the iconic e-reader designs meant to be a tie-in for the Game Boy Advance. Its low production has made the retro set one of the most expensive Pokemon cards products to hunt down from the era.

The crown jewel of the expansion is none other than Charizard. Its rare Crystal Holo design variant was extremely limited even at release. In November 2020, a perfectly graded version of the collectible sold for $25,100 at auction.

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Pokemon Japanese Topsun Holofoil Blastoise

Sold in October, 2020 for $20,100

The 1995 Japanese Topsun cards are some of the most interesting early Pokemon cards and were distributed in packs of apple-flavored gum by Top-Seika.

Collectors could find these cards in one of three versions: blue-back, green-back, and prism holofoil.

While 150 different characters appeared on the blue-back and green-back cards, only 16 received a prism holofoil version.

Though these Topsun cards contain a trademark date of 1995, most collectors agree that the company did not distribute them until 1997.

And that makes sense because even the official Pokemon Trading Card Game didn’t debut in Japan until 1996.

The Blastoise prism holo is one of the most desirable Topsun cards and features the same imagery used for the cover art of the Pokemon Blue videogame released on the Nintendo Game Boy in Japan in 1996.

Japanese Promo Pikachu Illustrator

Sold in February, 2021 for $375,000

During the late 1990s, CoroCoro Comic, a Japanese manga magazine, held a series of illustration contests in which entrants submitted their own unique Pokémon designs and attacks.

Little did they know then that these contests would give rise to one of the rarest and most valuable of all Pokémon cards: the Pikachu Illustrator.

Not only did contest winners receive multiple copies of a card that featured their very own winning design, which was exciting in its own right, each of them also received a copy of the Pikachu Illustrator card as an additional prize.

On the card front, contestants received a special message:

“We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illust Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”

Just 39 copies were distributed to the contest winners, but anyone is welcome to guess how many still survive today.

Considering this example graded PSA 7 sold for $375,000, it’s highly likely we’d see a price tag north of $1 million for the one example in the hobby graded PSA 10.

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