Set Symbols And Abbreviations
All throughout this guide, youll see a card name followed by a set of two to three letters and a number, like these examples below:
Energy Retrieval BS 81Blacephalon-GX LOT 52Bosss Orders RCL 154
This is the most common way for players to specify which card theyre referring to when discussing their decks and the cards in them. The letters are the official Set Abbreviationor the shorthand used to refer to a specific Setalso called an Expansion. The Pokémon Company International releases four main expansions each yeartypically in February, May, August, and Novemberin additional to an annual miniset that usually releases between August and October. Youll recognize these sets by their names on the booster packs you openSword & Shield, Rebel Clash, and Darkness Ablaze are all examples of these sets and each has its own Set Abbreviation. You can review a list of these abbreviations below.
The number after the Set Abbreviation refers to the Collector Number on the cardor the number printed on the card that represents its position in the set. You can see this collector number on the bottom of each card, usually followed by a slash and the total number of cards in the set, excluding secret rares. So, lets say we want to refer to a specific Cinderace from the expansion Sword & Shield.
So if we wanted to refer to this specific Cinderace, we can do just that by writing Cinderace SSH 34. Now, other players will know exactly which Cinderace were referring to.
The Original Pokmon Base Set
Where it all began, the original English base set collection was release in 1999 and consists of 102 cards. 16 of which are holos.
Now at this point its worth mentioning 1st Edition and Shadowless cards. These are considerably more valuable.
1st Edition is pretty self-explanatory; they are the first ever print-run of the cards.
Shadowless cards, you guess it, dont have a shadow!
Specifically, youre looking to see if theres a shadow around the rectangle box containing the Pokémon illustration.
But there are also some other clues like a lighter HP font at the top of the card and the date including 99 at the bottom.
Now to throw something else in the mix, its also worth pointing out that graded cards are more valuable too if the grading is good of course.
PSA tend to get the majority of the Pokémon grading market and are most commonly use by collectors.
However, because its generally harder to achieve GEM MINT 10 status from Beckett, if you do, your cards will be worth more.
At this stage though, all of this is very hypothetical for a beginner collector.
GEM MINT 10 Base Set Cards go for hundreds of dollars on eBay, and if theyre 1st Edition or Shadowless, were talking thousands sometimes tens of thousands!
For example a 1st Edition Base Set GEM MINT 10 Charizard can expect to sell for upwards of $50,000. Maybe even in the $60k-70k range.
Is A Graded Card Always Safe To Buy
For the most part, graded cards, which have undergone a process of verification and close quality inspection from a reputable company, are safer. However its not foolproof. There have been fake cards graded before – happens with rebacked cards in Magic: The Gathering, Nguyen says. It is much harder and takes more effort to fake a graded card though.
Image: Sarah Jarvis
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Pokmon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
A legendary Pokémon on a legendarily rare Pokémon card
Sold for $144,300 in May 2021
Lugia is one of the most iconic and popular Pokémon in the entire series, having starred on the front of early Game Boy game Pokémon Silver and its Nintendo DS remake SoulSilver. A legendary bird Pokémon from Gen II, Lugia is one of the most powerful and hard-to-find Pokémon that players can catch in the video games – so its only fitting that its Pokémon card is also extremely rare.
The Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 Pokémon card is described by auction house PWCC as one of the most difficult Pokémon cards to grade, as the result of a number of errors and misprints that were included in the early runs of the Neo Genesis set for the Pokémon TCG. Later print runs were corrected, but many of the cards from the expansion remain more common in their earlier uncorrected forms.
As of May 2021, PWCC claims that only 41 Gem Mint 10 condition Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 cards have ever been graded by PSA, with just three earning the maximum BGS 10 Pristine rating from grading company Beckett Grading Services. The Lugias rarity means that it ranks almost as highly as the legendary first-edition Charizard when it comes to the most valuable Pokémon cards.
Organize Cards By Set
Pokemon has been around for over 20 years. In the United States, there are more than 70 sets from the 1990s until now.;
Its best to organize your cards by set and then numerical order. This organization lets potential buyers quickly inspect cards and can help you earn more money since the store doesnt spend time cataloging the cards.
You can find a complete setlist on sites like Pokellector. Creating a free account lets you build a checklist to quickly see which cards you have and the ones youre missing.
There are other apps and websites you can use as well. The best catalogs display the current sales price, letting you estimate how much money you can make by selling the full collection.;
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Where To Buy New Pokmon Cards
In the U.S. Walmart and Target are good mainstream options, but can sometimes lack stock. With regard to online stores both Over The Top Trading and Potomac Distribution have good inventory and competitive pricing.
Black Star Ishihara Signed Gx Promo Card
A card featuring the Pokémon Company’s President himself.
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021
The most recent card to make headlines for pure value, this card sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars at auction on April 26th 2021. You can find the full details at our story here, but this card depicts Pokémon Company founder and current president Tsunekazu Ishihara, and was given to the company staff as a celebration of the man’s 60th birthday in 2017.
That makes the card rare, but this specific version is even rarer, as Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further. The “2017 P.M. SM Black Star #TPCi01 Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed Pokémon GX Promo Card”, to use its full title, is a testament to the raw power apparently held by the Pokémon president. The ability “Red Chanchanko” is in reference to the red vest traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan, and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations”, tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly legendary card.
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Base Set: Unlimited Edition
There were reportedly six separate printings of the Unlimited Edition of the Base Set. ;The first five print runs had a copyright line that read: © 1995, 96, 98 Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK.;©1999 Wizards.. ;These five print runs are completely identical, with;no way to differentiate between them. ;The final print run, which was only available in the United Kingdom, can be differentiated by a change to the copyright line which reads, ;©1995, 96, 98 Nintendo, Creatures, GAMEFREAK.;©1999-2000 Wizards. Cards from the sixth print run are much rarer due to their limited geographical distribution.
Unlimited Edition made a number of aesthetic changes to the face of the cards. The overall card appears to be a lighter and brighter printing than the previous Limited Editions. The drop shadow was added behind the art box to add some depth to the card. In addition, certain text, such as the Pokémons HP value, was set in a bold typeface.
With five to six printings, these cards are by far the most common Base Set cards in existence, and their prices reflect that. Unlimited Edition was printed to meet the insane demand of a public that became obsessed with Pokémon. A Charizard from these printings could fetch about $500 in Near Mint condition from a collector.;
First Edition Holographic Hitmonchan
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $3,250
Sporting boxing gloves, shoulder pads and extreme quickness, Hitmonchan exhibits every bit of the appearance of the fighting-type Pokémon that he is.
The five protrusions on top of its head round out an overall ferocious look.
Bidding for this card in high grade can be just as ferocious as Hitmonchan itself as prices will often rise above $3,000 or more.
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First Edition Holographic Clefairy
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,500
Clefairy is a lovable Pokémon that is incapable of fighting and first evolves from Cleffa and later to Clefable after exposure to a Moon Stone.
The adorable creature uses its small wings to store moonlight that can allow it to float away when in danger.
Known for its extreme shyness, Clefairy is rarely seen and will only emerge from its mountain shelter under a full moon.
Almost as rarely seen in high grade as Clefairy itself, this card can bring $2,500 or more in PSA 10 condition.
Super Secret Battle No 1 Trainer
The answer to “What’s the rarest Pokémon card of all time?”
Sold for $90,000 in July 2020
Its unlikely youve heard of Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer, and extremely unlikely youve ever seen a copy in person. When it comes to rare Pokémon cards, there are very few cards rarer than this.
No. 1 Trainer is a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo, Japan in 1999. To earn a place in the competitions finals, which were held in a secret location, players had to first win a regional tournament. Their prize was the No. 1 Trainer card, which granted them access to the finals.
The cards text translates to: The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognised here, and this honour is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Secret Super Battle. The card features the Japanese logo for the Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game, along with artwork of original generation Pokémon Mewtwo by illustrator Hideki Kazama.
This is a card so rare and valuable that Indiana Jones probably had to escape a crumbling temple with it at some point. Its counterpart cards No.2 Trainer and No. 3 Trainer, similarly awarded to winners in Japanese Pokémon tournaments during the late 1990s, are almost as rare and valuable.
First Edition Item Finder
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $750
The intent of the Item Finder is exactly as it sounds: it aids players in locating items.
While its name and how it helps players find items greatly changed in later Pokémon games, the first edition card merely instructs the player to discard two cards from his or her hand and replace them with a trainer card.
Pokmon Tcg’s Older Sets Regularly Sell For Thousands Of Dollars
First Edition Base Set
Unsurprisingly, the First Edition Base Set is perhaps the most valuable;Pokémon TCG set on the market. As the very first collection, it is the origin of the;Pokémon Trading Card Game phenomenon that contributed to the franchise’s popularity. Aside from the First Edition Shadowless Charizard card, which is one of the most valuable cards in existence, this pack is also home to other extremely expensive;cards. The Shadowless Blastoise and Venusaur cards present within this set sell for thousands of dollars at auction;with mint or near-mint condition . The possibility of obtaining First Edition starters and Legendary;Pokémon is enough of an incentive to purchase even a single sealed pack for hundreds of dollars. Booster packs will sell for even more and have sold at auctions for over $408,000, according to Price Charting.
POP Series 5
Skyridge Pokémon TCG Set
The Skyridge Pokémon Trading Card Game set was released in May of 2003, and was the 16th set ever released in the game. Trainer Booster Boxes regularly sell at auction for over $50,000. This collection set is home to particularly valuable cards such as the Crystal Charizard card, which is one of the most valuable Charizard;Pokémon TCG cards ever;released and has been sold for over $5,000 at various auction hours and websites . The Skyridge;Pokémon TCG set also has Ho-Oh, Gengar, and Celebi cards which are valued at over $1,000 each at mint or near-mint condition.
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How To Tell What Pokemon Card You Have: Set Number Edition & Foil
You have some Pokemon cards sitting around and you’ve heard they can be pretty valuable, but you don’t know if your cards are rare or common or even how to tell what card you have. What is “reverse holo”? What is “first edition”? And what the heck is “shadowless”?This guide will help you determine which Pokemon cards you have so you can look them up and know the value.How to determine Pokemon card versions?
Ultra Rare Pokemon Cards
Throughout the evolution of the Pokemon TCG there’s been a number of cards that have been introduced with additional effects to them. All Ultra Rare cards will have a Holographic shine to them but will also have text after the Pokemon’s name to denote it as one of these special types of cards. These cards might also feature special art covering half or even the full card. Pokemon cards will cycle out each of these types of Ultra Rare cards so while I will be listing all of the different Ultra Rare cards most types are no longer in current circulation so it will be impossible to come across one via booster packs. The types of Ultra Rare Pokemon Card Rarity are:
- Pokemon ex
- Pokemon Prism Star
- Pokemon V
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First Edition Holographic Ninetales
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $3,000
It’s easy to see where Ninetales gets its name although the spelling of “tails” is noticeably different.
And while each of its golden-white tails is catching to the eye, it is said that simply grabbing one of them can result in a 1,000-year curse giving this fox-like Pokémon its reputation of extreme vengeance.
Inspired by the;kitsune;of Japanese folklore, Ninetales holds mysterious powers within its nine tails and can even control the mind with its piercing, red eyes.
Find The Set The Card Belongs To
If there is no logo on the right side, its Base. Every other set has an indicator.;
When looking into what set a card belongs to, make sure to see if there is any logo on the right side, just underneath and to the right of the illustration. If there is no symbol, the likelihood is that its a Base set card.
There have been error cards that do not have a symbol, so make sure the year matches with the set.
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Wheres Best To Track Your Pokmon Card Collection
Theres only one resource that Id recommend for tracking which Pokémon cards youve acquired
Pokellector; What a great website! Not only can you create an account and tick which cards you have, but theyve also got a great bank of images too.
Furthermore, theyre very clued up on which new sets are coming out and when if youre into the new sets of course.
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
A very valuable version of a classic fan-favourite
Sold for $369,000 in December 2020
Shiny Charizard has been one of the Pokémon card games most popular cards since it first released in 1999, so theres no surprise that 20-plus years later, it remains one of the most sought-after cards for collectors and fans alike.
While a number of first-edition cards from the Pokémon TCGs early days are worth some money – assuming theyre still in good nick – due to their limited availability and age, this specific version of the holographic Charizard absolutely stands out as one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released.
A PSA 10 Base Set 1st Edition Charizard just sold at auction with an ending bid of $183,812.00 via . Including the 20% buyer’s premium, the total transaction value exceeds $220k. As of now, this is the highest known sale of the card.
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How Do You Identify What Series A Pokemon Card Is From
Just from looking at the Pokemon card, is it possible to determine what series the card is from e.g. Hidden Fates, Steam Siege etc.? The copyright states the year but not which release quarter the card is from.
Each card contains a logo indicating which set it is from. This image was taken from here. A list of all the set logos is available here. I know link only answers are discouraged but there are many of these and can easily be googled.
Charmander 1st Edition $330
Charmander’s value has been all over the place in the last 12 months. After the;2020;summer of;record sale;after record sale, baby Zard’s value has taken a dip recently, but don’t be surprised if Charmander rebounds due to the power Charizard yields on the market.;
PSA Pop: 1521 – 652 – 661
Current Value: PSA 10 $1186;PSA 9 $330
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