What Are Pokmon Cards
For the uninitiated, Pokémon Cards are part of the Pokémon Card Trading Card Game that originally launched in 1996. Back then, the original set contained just 151 cards one for each OG Pokemon.
In simplest terms, Pokémon cards are baseball cards but for adorable Japanese Pocket Monsters.
Since then, Pokémon has exploded into the worlds most valuable media franchise, valued at over $100 billion worldwide. For comparison, thats more than Star Wars, Spongebob, and James Bond combined.
Fueling two decades of meteoric growth was a steady stream of new Pokémon creatures and thus new cards to collect. There are around 898 total Pokémon and over 9,100 Pokémon cards to collect in the English market.
Not all 9,100 cards are available on store shelves at once, of course. The Pokémon Company International, the folks who make Pokémon cards, publish and release cards one generation at a time, with each generation lasting about two years.
In total, there have been eight generations of Pokémon cards since 1996. And as the next generation of cards begins appearing on store shelves, the previous generation tends to sell out. At that point, its no surprise that certain cards begin shooting up in value.
How Do I Find The Most Valuable Pokemon Cards In My Collection
As we just mentioned, even if youre selling your Pokemon cards in bulk, its important to identify the most valuable cards so you can get the most money when you sell them.
Heres how to do this.
First, look for old holographic Pokemon cards, especially from the Base Set. They have a slightly darker yellow border than newer Pokemon cards do. Base Set cards will have the number #/102 on the bottom right, but other old sets such as Jungle and Fossil also have some valuable cards, so pull these out as well if you find any that are holographic.
This is the style of the first gen Pokemon cards from the 90s.
If you have new Pokemon cards in your collection, you will want to look for ultra rare cards as theyre often quite popular. Look for cards with a holographic border , with EX, GX, Lv. X, V or a gold star symbol after the Pokemons name at the top of the card.
This is an example of a Pokemon GX card.
You should also look for promo cards, especially old ones, as these can be worth decent money. Look for a big black star symbol on the right side of the card. This symbol is a lot bigger than the typical black star used to signify that a card is rare.
If you find any unusual-looking cards that are not common or uncommon rarity, its best to pull them out and check their value online, just in case.
Pokmon World Championships No 2 Trophy Trainer Card
If we didnt know better, wed say these trophy cards were deliberately made to frustrate collectors determined to catch em all. These ultra-rare cards were given to finalists of the 2006 World Championships in California, and its rumored that only three exist, making this one of the rarest Pokémon cards ever.
This is another one of those rare Pokémon cards thats so extremely scarce they can sell for six figures even without a perfect 10 PSA grade. In early 2021 this card sold for an impressive $110,100.
Featuring the always adorable series mascot Pikachu holding up a silver trophy, its not surprising that the other owners of this card havent had the heart to put it up for sale.
Sometimes, hanging out with your parents really pays off!
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Thoughts On Pokemon Card Set Symbols
Good info. This helped me narrow down that a misprint card I have is fake. But it worries me that all my cards have always come from booster packs. So a lot of my cards could be fake. Damn shady comic book stores.
If the cards came from real booster packs then the cards should be genuine unless it was a fake pack of Pokemon cards Ive never seen that before. Ive just seen reprints of high dollar cards sold online . All the cards Ive collected have come from booster packs I dont buy individual cards because Im not that serious about collecting/playing specific cards. I make due with what I get from the packs.
Matthew Its hard for me to say without seeing the symbol. Cards from 1999 can be valuable especially if its a Pikachu Trainer No. 1, 2, or 3 these were given out at the winners of the Pokemon World Championships they fetch 10s of thousands of dollars! But those cards have a Poke Ball symbol and that doesnt sound like the media symbol you describe. It could be a Snap Pikachu Trainer card, that set has a camera symbol, its in Japanese so not sure if thats it. The Snap cards are from 1999 release of the Snap 64 Nintendo game. Players could take snapshots in the game and compete to get their snapshot printed on real Pokemon card with credit to the player that snapped it. Id have to see a picture of the card to tell you more.
Tournament And Promo Cards
Not all Pokemon cards come from booster packs. Some of the rarest Pokemon cards were only given out as tournament prizes or promotional giveaways. These cards usually bear a stamp on the art to identify where they came from or have a special promo star in the bottom corner, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these sorts of markings on your cards.
Some of these special cards were quite commonplace back in the day–such as the promotional Mew card given out in 1999 to those who bought tickets for Pokemon: The First Movie– so theyre not worth more than a few dollars now.
Card image courtesy of PKMNcards.com.
But some, like the 2011 and 2012 Tropical Beach card from the Pokemon World Championships, can easily fetch hundreds of dollars.
Card image courtesy of PKMNcards.com.
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How To Find The Value Of A Pokemon Card
To determine what a specific Pokemon card is worth, there is an easy process you can follow.
Often, Pokemon card price lists and websites are out of date, so its important to look at what the card is actually selling for right now to see what its really worth.
Below, well show you how to perform a Pokemon card valuation using this Shaymin EX Pokemon card as an example.
Blastoise Holo 1st Edition $4150
Image credit: Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm
Blastoise is the final evolution of Squirtle. The 2nd most valuable card in the set, Blastoise is also the most powerful card in the game. When looking at the price difference between Charizard and Blastoise, and knowing they are both going to be 1 & 2 moving forward, Blastoise will be undervalued until investors decide the 2nd most valuable card is worth much more than 10-15% of the top card, while having a lower graded population.
PSA Pop: 100 – 622
Current Pokemon Card Value: PSA 10$31,334 PSA 9 $4150
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/27 Trade Please: $1900
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think this was a prank or a fake card, but nope. This is a real card that was part of 1998 promotion for the Pokemon-themed album Trade Please by Suzukisan. By sending in the flier that came with each album, entrants could receive an evolved Kanto starter of their choice as well as thisâ¦uniqueâ¦trainer card.
The starter Pokemon that came with are also quite rare and valuable cards, but sites like PSA Card show that the original Trade Please card can reach prices as high as $1900 if itâs been preserved at a high enough quality. This card actually did get a reprint just a few years ago for a similar event in Japan during Pokemonâs 20th Anniversary, but these were printed in much higher amounts and arenât nearly as high-value.
Shining Mew Corocoro Promo Pokmon Card
Japanese TCG collectors who picked up the May 2001 issue of CoroCoro Comic, were rewarded with the Shining Mew promo card. The beautiful collector’s item is covered with holo foil speckles on every inch of the card and has a stunning artwork of Gen 1 Kanto Mythical Pokémon Mew, responsible for the series’ popularity, floating through a cosmic galaxy background. The CoroCoro Comic isn’t just one of the best promos to have ever been released in the TCG, but it is also a contender for one of the best-looking Pokémon cards of all time. Seeing this card in person is an experience in itself, as the rainbow sparkles really pop off the card.
So it’s actually pretty surprising that the rare TCG promo can be picked up on auction sites for just $80. Even high-graded versions of the Shiny Mew card can be found in the $250 range. Out of all the Pokémon card collectibles that are undervalued, and not being worth the most money in Pokémon TCG, this is probably the most shocking example of a card that didn’t benefit from the TCG‘s recent explosion in popularity.
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Working With A Local Dealer
I would recommend selling your collection to a dealer in your area. These folks dedicate a significant portion of their time to buying and reselling Pokémon cards on a professional or semi-professional level, and they may be interested in acquiring your collection.
However, it’s important to understand that the dealer’s motivation is to resell your cards at a profit, so they will often offer about half the market value of your cards, considering the condition of your collection. But consider this as a convenience fee for selling your cards without having to seek out and render service to dozens or hundreds of buyers.
There are a ton of hidden costs and hours of labor behind the market values you see on popular websites. Even if your cards are in impeccable condition, if you approach a dealer, understand that they need to compensate themselves for the labor of selling the cards despite the costs inherent to selling, and those considerations will impact how much they are able to offer you.
Video Of Me Looking Up Pokemon Cards Values:
If you get too many results that include cards NOT like yours, use the checkboxes to pick the ones just like yours. Choosing a few comparable items by using the checkboxes gives you a much more accurate estimate of your Pokemon cards value.
What to do next:
Once youve searched mavin.io and figured out the value of your Pokemon cards, you have several options:
If your Pokemon cards are valuable You could hold onto the cards and collect them, as most collectors do, and hope they appreciate in value over time. It may be a good investment to get them professionally graded by PSA, this will dramatically increase their value.
You could sell your Pokemon cards to a local card shop, knowing full well their value . But remember, dealers purchase collections at wholesale prices. They need to make a profit after all, and selling a large collection takes a considerable amount of time and resources so dont expect to get 100% of what youd get online.
Selling your Pokemon cards online will get you the best price, but it can be time consuming: taking pictures, writing descriptions, responding to customers, packing, shipping, returns its a lot of work. If you have the time and patience, selling them online is a great way to make money. Read our guide to selling on eBay.
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Is My Old Pokmon Card Collection Worth Anything
So you’ve rediscovered your old Pokémon cards. But how do you know if you’ve struck gold or struck out with them? Below is some advice on determining your collection’s value based on my experience appraising and buying old card collections.
What Makes Gold Star Torchic So Rare
- Only 17 PSA 10s exist, compared to 38 for Mudkip and 44 for Treecko
- The artwork is beautiful and the gold star next to its name adds to the rarity
- The Team Rocket Returns set has gained much appreciation in the last few years sealed product is hard to find, so its very unlikely the PSA pops will increase greatly in the future
Recent Cards Sold
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St Edition Charizard Holographic: $369000
Not only is this Holographic Charizard Pokémon card from the revered 1st Edition Set. The Sportscard Guaranty Corporation , one of the most trusted third-party card grading services, also rated it and gave it the highest possible condition rating: SGC Gold Label Pristine 10. A rare card in such good condition is even more unique. Plus, everyone loves Charizard! In December of 2020, this card sold for $369,000.
Is Your Pokmon Card A Misprint
It may sound counterintuitive that an error would make something more valuable, but then, it also makes something more unique and therefore rarer.
Keep in mind mention that a misprinting of a card, doesnt automatically make your card worth more money. As mentioned before, a misprint of a card will generally result in a lower score from a professional card grading service.
However, there is a market for misprints, and certain well-known misprints, in particular, can drive up the price of a Pokémon card and sell for a decent amount of money.
One such printing error is the much desired first edition base set Red-cheeked Pikachu, which is currently worth more than $10,000 USD provided that it is in Gem Mint condition.
Even lower graded version of this card can be seen to be sold for several hundreds of dollars.
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/27 1999 Super Secret Battle No 1 Trainer: $90000
These cards were so cool. Awarded to regional champions in 1999, they served as both the prize for winning a regional heat and as the ticket to enter the Super Secret Battle finals held in an undisclosed location in Tokyo on August 22, 1999.
There are estimated to only be seven of these cards in existence, all of which have been graded by the PSA. A PSA 10 copy of the card sold at auction in 2020 for a massive $90,000, but the seller is hoping to get even more for it, as it is now up for offers from a starting price of $198,000.
/27 The Masked Royal Prize Promo: $18000
This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.
Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means itâs incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at Â¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.
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Crystal Charizard Holo Skyridge
- 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.
Special Cards To Keep An Eye Out For
Aside from the various rares mentioned above, there are a few unique traits worth looking out for that can mean a Pokemon card has high value. These are often printing errors or limited distribution that led to a card becoming extremely precious to collectors. Sometimes these cards look no different than others of the same kind at first glance and require special attention to identify, so look carefully!
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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.