First Edition Cards Are King
Pokémon cards that were released before Nintendo began distributing the trading card game were printed in two sets: first edition and unlimited. You can tell that a card is first edition because of the Edition 1 badge located at the bottom-left of the card illustration.
It is these cards that carry great value, while their non-first edition cards are much less valuable. For instance, an unlimited holographic Charizard from the Base Set perhaps the single most famous Pokémon card in existence sells for about $215 on average. However, a quick look at eBay reveals that first edition Charizards can easily sell for thousands of dollars.
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.
Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo
- Release Date: 1998
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $66,100
In 1998, Shogakukans Magazines in Japan offered a contest for school students. Fans that took the various tests offered in the publication could send them back to the company to have them graded.
Those studious enough to pass with high scores were then invited to a special conference held in Osaka of that year. Once there, the children got to participate in a unique Pokemon card battle tournament. Winners of the rare contest ultimately received the Magikarp Trophy Pokemon card Promo.
Due to the insane obscurity of how the TCG item was given out, its easily one of the rarest Pokemon cards on our list. It was not very surprising then when the Trophy collectible went up for auction in February 2021 and sold for $66k at PWCC.
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Why Are Pokemon Cards Suddenly Popular Again
Pokemon card collecting has always been popular, as evidenced by the 34 billion cards now in circulation.
But even the makers of Pokemon cards were caught off guard when demand began skyrocketing in mid-2020. In addition to being fun, addictive, and nostalgic, collecting Pokemon cards during the pandemic even promised a potential form of economic relief each $4 booster pack could contain a Charizard GX SV 49 worth $1,800.
Soon, celebrities and influencers picked up on the resurging popularity of Pokemon cards. In early October, Logan Paul live-streamed an event where he opened a rare box of cards worth $200,000 in front of his 22 million subscribers. Pokimane and other influencers quickly followed suit, offering a Pokemon-flavored version of the ever-popular unboxing videos.
Things came to a head on October 13th, 2020 when rapper Logic bought a first-edition, holographic Charizard for an eye-watering $220,574.
How To Cash In On Your Pokemon Cards
Now that youve gone through your cards and identified which may have value, its time to see how much theyre actually worth and put them up for sale.
As you might expect, one of the easiest ways to check the value of a card is to look it up on an auction site like eBay. Make sure to look at completed listings to see how much the card actually sold for.
Other useful sites are ones like TCGPlayer and TrollAndToad, which act as digital storefronts for game shops and individuals selling cards. Once you look up a card, you can check the Market Price for an idea of how much its currently worth. Like eBay, these sites allow you to sell your cards for a fee.
A snapshot of Charizard cards on TCGPlayer.
Once you know how much your cards are worth, you can either make a listing on one of these sites to sell them, or you could visit a card shop or flea market to haggle in person, whatever it takes to get the very best price for your Pokemon cards.
Joshua is a Senior Editor and Producer of Features at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Star Wars are frequently used words in your vocabulary, youll want to follow him on and IGN.
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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.
Pokemon Card Sold By Country
With no surprise, 62.19% of Pokemon cards were sold from the United States and Japan coming in second with 19.62%. Canada came in third with 7.71% of total cards sold.
For the bigger countries like Japan, the United States, Canada and Australiait kind of got interesting.
The United States sold the most at $44,579.17 but only had an average of $66.46. This is less than the total average sold.
Japan and Australia had higher averages at $93.73 and $89.17 respectively.
Canadas average was on the lower side at $55.53. Canadians seem to be selling their cards but arent selling valuable pokemon cards.
It was also interesting to see that Canada and Australia had around the same number of items sold, but Australia had a 60% higher average than Canada.
This could mean that Australians have more valuable Pokémon cards than Canadians.
Same with Japan and the United States.
Japan had a 27% higher average cost than the United States but only had 19.62% of items sold compared to the United States which had 62% of the items sold.
We also looked at One37pm and found that the most valuable collector Pokemon cards are printed in Japanese .
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Get The Cards Condition Graded By The Psa
Lets say you find your old cards and come face-to-face with a 1st Edition Chancey card worth up to $3,500. Sweet!
Now, how do you sell it?
Your first step will be to temper your expectations. Although auction sites will list estimated values of thousands of dollars, the resale value at that moment in time could be 10x more or less than that.
In addition to checking TCGplayers, a good way to rapidly appraise your cards value is to browse recently sold listings on eBay. You can do so by searching for your card, clicking Advanced, and checking the Sold listing box.
Looks like one recently sold for ~$1,875 CAD, or roughly $1,500 USD. Not bad.
This particular Chancey was both encased and graded by a company called the PSA, or the Professional Sports Authenticator. The PSA grades the condition of rare trading cards on a quality scale of 1-10, with 10 being known as Gem Mint. Cards graced by Gem Mint status arent just free of manmade scuffs theyre free of the most microscopic factory defect.
Generally speaking, most cards handled by children before retiring into a shoebox will score a PSA of 7 or lower, selling for about 5% to 10% of Gem Mint price.
Unfortunately, the news gets worse any card worth over $500 will likely need PSA grading, and the PSA is currently so overwhelmed that theyve temporarily suspended most services.
Therefore, youre left with three options:
Most Expensive Pokemon Cards In 2022
It should be noted that top lists are almost always up for debate. A cards value can be determined by the highest its ever sold at auction, or what it sells for on average.
A Pokemon cards value can also wildly fluctuate with the market and are largely dependent on the items grading and condition. Our list is based on what the collectible has sold for in the latest auctions, and its position will be updated if another card outsells it and makes a new record.
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First Edition Holographic Raichu
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,500
Raichu, the rodent-like evolved form of Pikachu, is an electric-type Pokémon that uses its tail to gather electricity from both the ground and atmosphere.
As it charges, the creature stores the electricity in those circular, yellow sacs on its cheeks and once fully charged, Raichu’s ears will point directly upwards.
Raichu also uses its pointed tail as a ground to prevent itself from being electrically shocked.
Recently Updated Pokemon Card Values
The following is a list of all Pokémon cards that have recently had their price values updated. Clicking on a specific Pokémon card image will take you to that card’s listing. Selecting the card’s name will bring you to the individual Pokemon listing pages which are further broken down by TCG set.
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Cost By Pokemon Card Type
There are several types of Pokemon cards and different Pokemon. While the Pokemon does have a factor in price, its the type of card that makes it valuable.
Were no Pokemon card expert, but here is how we filtered our extracted data:
To no surprise, at the bottom, you had common Pokemon cards that had the lowest average sold at $3.47.
The highest priced common Pokemon card was a “POKEMON CHARMANDER 50/82 TEAM ROCKET SQUIRTLE PIKACHU COMMON CARD NM/MINT LOT sold for $23.46
2nd lowest was uncommon Pokemon cards with an average cost of $15.86
At the top, we got Secret rare Pokemon cards with an average cost of $231.30.
The lowest secret rare Pokemon card was sold at $6.58 which was Pokemon Card Champions Path Drednaw V 069/073 Secret Rare Holo Full Art NM/M
The highest secret rare Pokemon card was sold at $1,120.92 which was PSA 10 Pokemon Champions Path Secret Rare Shiny Charizard V Card 79/73 079/073
Coming in 2nd and 3rd are shadowless / 1st edition Pokémon cards with an average of $135.05 and Pokémon legend cards with an average of $130.79
1st edition cards had both the lowest and highest item sold which was the 1st Ed English Venonat 63/64 Jungle Set Nintendo WOTC Card Pokemon 1999 sold at $0.01 and a 1st Edition Dark Charizard Holo Team Rocket Pokemon Card #4/82 – PSA 10 sold at $2,084.14
The highest Pokemon legend card was a 2004 EX Hidden Legends Kyogre ex GEM MINT PSA 10 Holo Card Ultra Rare for $782.03
Sleeves For Card Protection
Sleeves are great. They protect cards from wear and make them easier to shuffle. Some Pokemon cards can be quite valuable, so its important that they dont get damaged, during play sessions.
Thats why sleeves can be a really nice gift for someone who plays Pokemon cards. These are also great if youre looking for a more budget friendly gift.
We have two options that wed like to show you. One comes with traditional Pokemon art, but has lower quality, while the other doesnt feature Pokemon art, but is more durable.
These sleeves depict the popular Charizard. The art looks pretty cool, but the quality isnt the greatest. The sleeves will split very quickly. Usually the wear is pretty noticeable, even just after a couple of games.
If youd rather gift sleeves of a higher quality, theres another option.
Dragon Shield is the golden standard for card sleeves of various card games. Their sleeves are pretty close to indestructible. Sure, they can get dirty after using multiple years, but you can clean them pretty easily.
Our playgroup has been using their yellow sleeves for over 6 years now, and in all this time maybe two of them have split.
The downside is that they dont have official Pokemon art, which can be a bummer. Nevertheless, you can browse their Art Sleeves, which feature many amazing designs, including dragons. These will probably appease Pokemon players.
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Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set
- 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.
Are Vintage Pokmon Cards Worth More
In most cases, vintage cards will be worth more than modern cards. However, many rare modern cards will be worth more than a common or uncommon vintage card.
Pokémon card prices all come down to supply and demand. Vintage cards are often lower in supply as they are out of print and many have been lost over time. But ultra-rare modern cards are also low in supply due to limited printing, and in demand due to rarity.
Promotional cards are often in low supply because of the limited amount of copies printed, but not all are in high demand. Vintage promo cards are all valuable, as they are becoming increasingly rare.
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Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holographic Lugia
Sold: in May, 2021 Price: $144,300
The card is estimated to be one of the most perfect examples of the super popular card, a first-edition Lugia. Pokémon: Silver features this Pokémon, a legendary Pokémon from Gen II due to its appearance on the cover. Because Lugia was given love from players, many people have this kind of card. But according to Beckett Grading Services, a highly-rated trading card, and collectible grading company, almost all Lugia cards are not rated Pristine 10. In the future, they even predict that these cards can be sold for more.
How To Value Your Pokmon Cards
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If you want to sell your Pokémon cards, it’s important that you value them first so you know you’re getting a good deal. Fortunately, Pokémon cards are easy to value once you know what to look for and where to look.
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Chansey #3 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $36,877
For many Pokemon card collectors, it doesnt get any better than the Base Set which made its North American debut in 1999. Not only does it feature some of the TCG series most iconic artwork, but there is also a ton of nostalgia players have connected to the release.
As a result, Pokemon cards from the release have seen the most explosion in value over the last decade. While not a heavy-hitter in the franchise itself, fans have been going wild for the adorable Chansey #3 Pokemon card. So much so that it surprised industry veterans when it started fetching jaw-dropping prices.
While hovering around $20k since 2019, the collectibles value has only continued to grow. According to PWCC, a 1st Edition Shadowless version sold for $36,877 in a November 2020 auction.
Pokmon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Mewtwo #10
Psychic cards were also fairly rare at the time, while Mewtwo is considered to be a legendary Pokémon-type. The holofoil looks like rays of power emanating from the genetic anomaly.
This time, the number of gem mint copies that appear on the PSA registry is 81. Its a tiny bit rarer and more expensive than any of the cards discussed above. That makes sense due to the sheer popularity.
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Summer Battle Road 2007
Given that it was handed out to the top three competitors from each age division during Japan’s 2007 Battle Road Summer and 2008 Battle Road Spring tournaments, one would be forgiven for thinking that there are a lot of copies of Miracle Diamond floating around. That’s not actually the case though, with estimates pinning the actual number at around 90. More than 14 years after it was first handed out, one of these sold for an impressive $32,000 in late 2021.
Of those which were handed out, only ten have been graded by the PSA, with just six of them achieving the coveted PSA GEM-MT 10 rating. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the current recorder holder is one such card, with the other four likely to sell for considerably less than the 32 grand it raised in the event that they ever go to auction.