Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Despite being around for decades, the Pokemon TCG remains just as popular to this day. Here are the top 40 most expensive and rarest Pokemon cards.

Decades since it came out, rare items from the Pokemon trading card game have shot up in value thanks to an ever-active community and the support of high-profile influencers. 

Some Pokemon cards can now be sold for life-changing amounts, depending on the packs you buy and the sets you keep an eye out for. Here are the top 40 rarest Pokemon cards out there.

Contents

What makes Pokemon cards valuable?

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Popular Pokemon YouTuber Leonhart has some of the most valuable cards in the world.

There are multiple factors to consider when looking at card value – and it does vary from set to set, so it’s worth taking these with a pinch of salt. When assessing value, these elements can play an important role:

Other elements like promotional stamps or stories tied to cards (for example, the Van Gogh promo Pikachu With Grey Felt Hat) can increase value and demand, too.

40 Rare and valuable Pokemon cards to watch (2024)

When it comes to assessing a rare and valuable card, it’s important to note that the market is constantly dipping and peaking. We’ve used auction data and historical records on price charting sites to determine our list in terms of value, but card prices are changing all the time.

If you’re a collector and considering tracking down a high-ticket card, make sure to shop around and do your research. Contacting a trustworthy local game store to help you out is a great way to make the process smoother, too.

40. Royal Mask (085/SM-P)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Royal Mask (085/SM-P) Pokemon card.

This promotional card from the Sun & Moon era of the Pokemon TCG was given out in Japan in 2017 to players who won Shining Legends Sealed Games at participating stores and Pokemon Centers in July and August of that year.

The fact it’s a promotional piece that was given to winners makes it a hard-to-find card, and the fact that it features a popular character boosts its value, too.

While this isn’t the highest ticket card in this list by any means, it still runs up a good price at auction. We found a PSA auction from 2019 for a perfect, graded copy of the card with a $4,500 final price.

39. Shining Charizard (First Edition) (107/105)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Shining Charizard (First Edition) (107/105) Pokemon card.

There’s a running joke in the Pokemon community that a Charizard tax exists – and it’s still a thing even to this day with more modern sets like Temporal Forces. Charizard is just simply a popular ‘mon and it’s often quite powerful too, which is one of the main reasons why this card holds value.

Additionally, the Neo Destiny expansion set was popular as it marked the end of the Neo era. This particular set was the last English expansion set to have the 1st Edition symbol, which is another reason why this card is so rare and valuable.

We tracked down an auction price of $11,040 for a perfect, graded copy of the card on the Goldin website from 2022, proving that the Neo Destiny set is one to watch as a budding investor or collector looking to grab high-ticket cards.

38. Crystal Charizard Holo (First Edition) (089/088)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Crystal Charizard (First Edition) (089/088) Pokemon card.

Both the Japanese and the English version of this card will be included in this list – and there’s a good reason for this.

Aside from the obvious selling point of a popular ‘mon like Charizard, the Mysterious Mountains expansion set marks the end of the e-Card era in Japan. This set is a novelty now and highly sought after by collectors. The Crystal Type adds some value, too.

We tracked down a PSA auction listing from 2023 where the final price was $11,500 for a perfect quality, graded copy of the card.

37. Fan Club Shining Magikarp 600 Points Holo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Shining Magikarp Holo Pokemon Fan Club card.

Despite being a weaker Pokemon, Magikarp gets some of the coolest rare cards in the TCG. This card was initially released as part of the Awakening Legends expansion set in Japan in 2000 then re-released as an unnumbered promo card in the Pokemon Fan Club.

The Pokemon Fan Club awarded this card to players from 2001-2002 if they could gather 600 GET points, making it quite the rare find.

We tracked down a PWCC auction for a BGS Gem Mint 9.5 copy of the card which ended up with $14,000 as the final price.

36. Base Set Mewtwo Holo (Shadowless) (First Edition)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Base Set Mewtwo Holo (Shadowless) (First Edition) (10/102) Pokemon card.

Experienced Pokemon fans may be surprised to see this card so early on in this list – after all, Mewtwo is iconic. It’s certainly a valuable card, but it’s not the rarest piece out there. The First Edition marker and premium quality are what drives this particular card’s price up.

We found a PWCC auction for a PSA Gem Mint 10 version of this card which ended up with a $15,000 final price tag. Mewtwo is a fan-favorite ‘mon and Base Set is always a hit with collectors, so it’s unsurprising to see this.

35. Daisuki Club Master’s Scroll 8,600 Points Holo (055/LP)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Daisuki Club 8,600 Points Holo Master’s Scroll (055/LP) Pokemon card.

The Daisuki Club was a Pokemon fan club that was founded in 2004 and offered members a ranking system using Action Points. Players could accumulate AP by taking part in tournaments, quizzes, and other activities, with rankings like Gold (1,200 AP) and Super (3,200 AP) to aspire to.

The Master rank was the highest position in the club, asking players to gather a staggering 8,600 Action Points. Achieving this rank rewarded you with the Master’s Scroll card, as shown above.

The PWCC auction that we found for this card noted that only 59 copies of the card had been graded by PSA at the time of publication, positioning this as a deeply rare gem. The final price for the previously linked auction was $15,600 altogether.

34. Espeon Gold Star (025/PLAY)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Espeon Gold Star POP Series 5 (025/PLAY) Pokemon card.

Hopping up in price slightly, this Espeon Gold Star card was released as part of POP Series 5, which stands for Pokemon Organized Play. These cards were promos for tournament events and the Gold Star Eeveelutions (this isn’t the only one) are somewhat elusive.

Not only is this a card that is arguably quite scarce, it also features a popular Pokemon in its Shiny form. The Gold Star symbol adds value to this piece, too.

While prices for this card do vary based on quality and grading, we found a PSA auction listing from 2021 for a PSA Gem Mint 10 that finished up with a $22,100 price tag.

33. Base Set Poliwrath Holo (No Rarity symbol)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Base Set Poliwrath holo with no rarity symbol Pokemon card.

As mentioned earlier, the original Pokemon cards are always going to be a hit with collectors. This particular card has no rarity symbol and it’s a holo, adding to its already high value. Poliwrath is also a particularly popular ‘mon amongst fans of the original 151 Pokemon.

We found a 2020 PSA auction listing for a perfect condition, graded version of this card which ended up with $25,015 on the final price tag.

32. Crystal Charizard Holo (146/144)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

In 2003, interest in Pokemon cards had started to wane among fans who had been collecting them since the TCG first came out. As a result, production of the Skyridge set was considerably lower compared to the expansion sets that came before it.

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 made the retro set one of the most expensive Pokemon card products from the era.

The crown jewel of the expansion is none other than Charizard. We’ve already mentioned the Japanese version of the card, but this iteration was just as popular. In November 2020, a perfectly graded version of the card sold for $25,100 at a PWCC auction.

31. Torchic Gold Star Holo (108/109)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Torchic Gold Star Holo (108/109) Pokemon card.

In 2004, The Pokemon Company introduced “Gold Star” Pokemon cards to drum up interest in the hobby again. The new line of collectibles had a low print run and made their debut alongside the criminally underrated Team Rocket Returns expansion.

Due to its insane popularity, Hoenn Fire-type Starter Torchic instantly became one of the rarest Pokemon cards released that year. We found a PSA auction listing for a PSA Gem Mint 10 version of the card that wrapped up with a $25,400 price tag.

30. Spikey-Eared Pichu Japanese Design 2nd Grade Winner

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Japanese Design 2nd Grade Winner Spikey Pichu promo Pokemon card.

This card arguably has the best story out of any of the cards in this list. This card was drawn by a 2nd Grade student as part of a Shogakukan magazine competition to celebrate the release of the movie Arceus and the Jewel of Life.

It’s unknown exactly how many copies of this card are in existence, but it’s unlikely that more than 100 of them exist.

It’s an exceptionally cute card that is perfect for fans of the Pokemon movies to track down. When it went up for auction in June 2023, it ended up with a final price tag of $25,800. This is a Pokemon card that is both rare and valuable.

29. 20th Anniversary Festa Pikachu Participation Prize (279/XY-P)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

20th Anniversary Festa Pikachu Participation Prize (279/XY-P) Pokemon card.

This card was given out in Japan in 2016 to people who participated in the 20th Anniversary Festa which was held in multiple locations in October. Event promos are usually highly valued by collectors, and this particular piece is even more valuable thanks to the inclusion of Gen 1 Starters.

We found an auction of a supremely high-quality version of this card which eventually sold for $32,520. It’s a BGS Pristine Black Label 10 and the auction site Goldins notes that only 3 other cards of this incredible quality have been graded to meet this level.

28. Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy Pokemon card.

Kicking off in Sapporo Japan, the 2002 Neo Summer Battle Road tournament saw some of the world’s best players competing against each other in a series of tournaments. Those who managed to place second place in their division received the highly coveted Number 2 Trainer Trophy card.

Like all trophy cards, the number of these Neo Summer Trainer Trophies in existence is exceptionally low. Despite its scarcity, one of the 2002 Summer tournament prizes went up for auction at PWCC in March 2021, pulling in a $34,100 price point.

What makes this item special is that it has the name of the second-place winner Fukunishi Tomoki written on it. Also, the Neo Summer Battle Road Trophy has Ken Sugimori’s iconic artwork printed on the E-Series format during the 2002 era of the TCG. It’s a truly awesome piece of Pokemon history.

27.  Topps Chrome Series 1 Tekno Charizard

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Topps Chrome Series 1 Tekno Charizard Pokemon card.

This isn’t a typical Pokemon card, which is what makes it such a valuable piece to have on hand as a collector. Topps cards are not legal in Pokemon tournaments, but they are old-school collector’s pieces that often feature fan-favorite ‘mons.

This particular card is part of the Chrome promo series that Topps released in 2000. Aside from the obvious selling point of the Charizard tax, these cards are also exceptionally high-quality with a thick, durable material and have an interesting Topps Chrome logo placement, too.

We found a listing reference for a PSA 10 version of this card on Price Charting, which noted that $35,000 was the final price point for this must-have card.

26. Base Set Chansey Holo (First Edition) (Shadowless) (03/102)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Base Set Chansey Holo (First Edition) (Shadowless) (03/102)

Base Set, Shadowless, and a First Edition? This rare card is a triple threat and it’s unsurprising that it’s been so highly sought-after over the years.

One of the most interesting things about this card is that it’s very hard to find in good condition. This particular card experienced some manufacturing issues, meaning that the holo section scratches very easily. Finding it in good condition is quite difficult.

We found a PWCC listing for a PSA Gem Mint 10 which had a whopping $36,877 price tag by the end of the auction. You’d be able to find lower-quality copies of this card for less, but the aforementioned difficulty of finding a good quality copy is arguably what spiked this price.

25. Base Set Blastoise Holo (Shadowless) (First Edition) (02/102)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Base Set Holo Shadowless First Edition Blastoise (02/102) Pokemon card.

While Charizard tends to get all of the attention with regards to the Gen 1 Starter final forms, Blastoise does have an absolute cult following. This Pokemon is iconic and represents the amazing designs of the original 151 ‘mons perfectly.

This particular card is part of the Base Set, it’s a First Edition, and it’s a Holo, too. It’s a beautiful card that would fill out an original 151 collection perfectly.

We found a 2020 listing from PWCC where this prized card racked up a $45,100 price point by the end of the auction.

24. Rayquaza Gold Star Holo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Pokemon card.

An early favorite of Ruby & Sapphire, Rayquaza has seen an uptick in popularity over the last decade. This particular card is a shining example of a stunning Raqyquaza, originating from the EX Deoxys expansion set.

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, these incredibly rare Pokemon cards feature a special symbol next to the name of the ‘mon and are highly sought-after.

We tracked down a Price Charting auction listing which reported a PSA 10 version of this card ending up with a mammoth $48,598 price tag.

23. Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Pokemon card.

One of the stand-out features of this card is the low graded quality. It’s marked as ‘Authentic’ and doesn’t look to be in particularly great condition, but it’s still an immensely rare card that collectors all over the world would love to have in their collection.

Given out originally at the 1999 Mega Battle tournament in Japan, only the top players received this Pokemon card. In total, PSA has only seen five of these, making it one of the rarest Pokemon cards in existence – hence the massive price tag.

There’s a PWCC auction listing for this card from October 2020 which shows off a $50,300 price tag. It’s a super scarce card that will likely only spike in price.

22. Base Set Venusaur Holo (No Rarity Symbol)(Autographed)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Base Set Venusaur Holo (No Rarity Symbol)(Autographed) Pokemon card.

While English Base Set cards had First Edition stamps, the original run of the Japanese Base Set had no rarity symbols at all. They’re referred to as No Rarity cards and they are scarce gems that collectors are willing to spend immense amounts on.

Something that truly makes this card impressive is the signature on the outside casing from the original artist Mitsuhiro Arita. According to PSA, the grade 10 collectible is only one of 5 to exist in the entire world.

We found a PWCC listing for an auction where this autographed gem managed to wrap up with a crazy $55,000 price tag.

21. Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy case and Pokemon card.

Trophy cards are always a hit with rare card collectors and this one was given out during the 1998 Summer Battle Road competition. Spanning nine regions across Japan, only the top three Trainers in each bracket

According to PSA, only 16 of these cards have achieved the coveted Gem Mint 10 score. Trophy cards are popular because of their scarcity and their importance to players, but the fact that this one has an awesome design doesn’t hurt either.

When looking for auction listings to verify the price of this card, we found one on PWCC that included the original trophy case alongside it. It’s a stunning piece of Pokemon history that racked up an impressive $60,000 price point.

20. 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey Pokemon card.

Created as part of the promotional Pokemon Snap photo contest back in 1999, this card is exceptionally rare. 20 copies or less exist for every competition winner in this case, making the cards hard to come by and immensely valuable for collectors.

We found a PWCC listing for this card where it ended up with an immense $63,000 price tag by the end of the auction. It’s one of the hardest Pokemon cards to find out there right now.

19. Charizard Gold Star Holo (100/101)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Charizard Gold Star Holo (100/101) Pokemon card.

It should come as no surprise that this immense Charizard card went down well with fans. It’s a Gold Star piece with a Delta marking, featuring a rare Charizard variant and some super punchy attacks, too.

This is one of the rarest Charizard cards that we’ve picked out for this list. We tracked down a PSA auction listing page which featured prices of varying amounts, with one PSA Gem Mint 10 going for an incredible $60,065.85 at the end of the auction.

18. Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo Pokemon card.

While not the most flashy Pokemon card on the list, the Tropical Mega Battle promo is a holy grail for Psyduck fans. It’s an adorable and visually striking card, featuring another fan-favorite in the form of Jigglypuff.

This card was given out at the predecessor to the World Championships, referred to as the Tropical Mega Battle. In 1999, only 50 players received an invitation to compete and this Trophy card is one of the Trophies that was given out at that event.

We tracked down a PWCC listing for this card which ended up closing with a massive $65,100 price tag at the end of the auction.

17. 2010 Pokemon World Championship Master’s Key

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

In 2010, the best Pokemon card players worldwide were flown into Waikoloa Village, Hawaii for the World Championships. Upon arrival, they were given a Master’s Key Pokemon card.

Because the item was only printed for participants at the tournament, only 36 of these in total were ever created, making it one of the rarest Pokemon cards in history. As expected, some of these cards have made their way out of the tournament scene and into the resale market.

We found a PWCC auction for this card which ended up closing with a $66,000 price tag. Cards like these are hard to find, so when collectors can get their hands on them, they’re willing to pay a lot more.

16. Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo Pokemon card.

In 1998, the Shogakukan magazine hosted a contest for school students. Fans who took the various tests offered in the publication could send them back to the company to have them graded – and if they passed with high scores, fans would be invited to a special conference in Osaka.

At this conference there was, unsurprisingly, a Pokemon TCG tournament. The winning players were awarded with this card, which remains one of the rarest Pokemon cards to this day. It’s estimated under 70 copies of this card exist.

The final price that this card ended up with at auction via PWCC was $66,100 which makes sense considering how hard it is to get your hands on a copy.

15. Umbreon Gold Star Holo (026/PLAY)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Umbreon Gold Star Holo (026/PLAY) Pokemon card.

Umbreon features on a number of popular and rare Pokemon cards, and this particular card managed to run up a mighty $70,000 price tag when PWCC put it up for auction.

In a similar vein to the Espeon Gold Star that we mentioned earlier, Pokemon collectors had to accumulate a certain number of points to pick up this card from the Pokemon Player’s Club. In particular, they had to get 70K points – which was no easy task, requiring a lot of in-person attendance at events and success during tournament matches, too.

Receiving a BGS grade of 9.5 and being classed as Gem Mint make this card even rarer, as only two copies in the world have received a grade this high.

14. 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Gyarados

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Gyarados Pokemon card.

This card was part of the same photo contest that we describe for the Chansey card earlier on, being created to celebrate a winner. It’s incredibly rare and quite a unique-looking piece too, showing a lot of dynamism.

This particular copy of the rare card was auctioned by Heritage Auctions in July 2023 and it managed to stack up a mighty $87,500 price tag.

13. No. 1 Trainer Super Secret Battle

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

No. 1 Trainer Super Secret Battle Pokemon card.

In 1999, The Pokemon Company hosted regional contests in Japan. Winners received a No. 1 Trainer Pokemon card which granted them access to the final that took place in a secret location. It was a mysterious and exciting tournament set-up, which paired perfectly with this incredible card.

This is one of the rarest and most valuable Pokemon cards out there. We found a Heritage Auctions listing which placed this card at $90,000, which makes sense considering the scarcity, event tie, and featured Pokemon.

12. Extra Battle Day Full Art Lillie

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Extra Battle Day Full Art Lillie Pokemon card.

The value of this card comes down to its scarcity. The only way to get it was to win a chance at drawing it from an exclusive Booster Pack given out at the Japanese Extra Battle Day event in 2019.

In order to be in with a chance at even opening one of these special packs, players first had to compete and were ranked based on their scores and Prize Cards. In the finals, the players had to also win a game of rock, paper scissors to win their chance at pulling Lillie.

The Lillie card was illustrated by an artist with a cult following, Naoki Saito. Lillie herself is a popular character, so it’s unsurprising that PWCC managed to auction it for $108,000 in 2023.

11. Pokemon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Pokemon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer Pokemon card.

The incredibly rare Trophy card was handed out at the 2006 World Championship held in Anaheim, California. Since these Pokemon cards were only given to winners, the amount of them out in the wild is very low.

In fact, it’s believed that only 3 copies of these cards have ever been issued. It’s immensely rare to see them up for auction, so it’s not surprising to see PWCC managing to pull in a $110,100 price tag.

10. Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer Card

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer Pokemon Card.

1 of 1 cards are not common in Pokemon and this is one of the only examples. It was made as a prize for the second-place winner of the Japanese World Summer Challenge in 2000. In order to qualify for the final, challengers first had to compete at eight qualifying tournaments across Japan.

Cards were made for the top 3 Trainers, but this is (currently) the only one that’s made its way into the grading world. It sold for an immense $137,500 on the Heritage Auctions site in 2023.

9. Lugia Holo (09/111) (First Edition)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Lugia Holo (09/111) (First Edition) Pokemon card.

This Lugia card represents the very best of the Neo Genesis expansion set. It’s an utterly iconic card that’ll bring up nostalgia for a lot of people, and it’s also immensely rare and valuable.

It’s reportedly incredibly hard to grade thanks to manufacturing issues and very few cards of this incredible quality can be found out in the wild, especially according to BGS standards.

We found a PWCC auction listing where the Lugia card ended up selling for an incredible $144,300, pointing to how far collectors are willing to go for a top quality Neo Genesis card.

8. Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy Holo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy Pokemon card.

This 1998 Trophy Pokemon card could only be obtained by participating in a special tournament in Japan and it remains one of the most valuable Pokemon cards in existence to this day. It features an adorable design with just the right amount of sparkle.

Fittingly, the contest required both a child and their parent to participate alongside each other in TCG battles. It is believed that there are only 11 graded copies of this card in existence, making it one of the rarest Trophy Pokemon cards to exist.

This immensely rare card last sold for $175,000 with Heritage Auctions. Given its scarcity, we expect the value to continue to go up over the next couple of years.

7. Ishihara GX Black Star Promo (Autographed)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Ishihara GX Promo (Autographed) Pokemon card.

This card is a bit of an oddity, featuring the CEO and President of The Pokemon Company – Tsunekazu Ishihara. The special Pokemon card was actually given out to each employee who attended the executive’s birthday in 2017.

The card itself is very valuable and rare, with the community speculating that only around 30-60 of them actually exist, but the particular example we’ve picked out from Goldin Auctions is a signed copy. This copy went for a massive $247,230 when it was put up for sale.

6. Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Bronze Trophy Card

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Bronze Trophy Pokemon card.

We’ve mentioned a fair few Trophy cards in this article, and this particular one is an immense example of how much collectors are willing to pay for them.

The very first Pokemon TCG tournament was held in Japan, back in 1997. For the top three finishers in each division, a special Trophy Pikachu card was their reward, each of which noted their placement in the historic event. This is one of those cards.

PSA has previously claimed The Pokemon Company printed under 100 of these unique cards, making them extremely valuable on the market. Based on that, it’s hardly surprising to see that Heritage Auctions moved this card for a whopping $300,000 back in 2023.

5. Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo Pokemon card.

Originally commissioned by Wizards of the Coast in 1998, the Blastoise Presentation Pokemon card was supposed to give stores an idea of what the TCG line would look like in its final print run. It’s an immensely rare Pokemon card.

It’s currently unknown exactly how many copies of this card exist, but it’s widely believed that there are only a couple of them – with one copy even reportedly having a Magic: The Gathering backing.

This artifact went up for auction in 2021 at Heritage Auctions, racking up an insane $360,000 price tag in the process. This card is nearly impossible to get your hands on, making it a dream for many collectors.

4. Base Set Charizard Holo (First Edition) (Shadowless)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

First Edition Shadowless Holo Base Set Charizard Pokemon card.

This is the card that started it all for many collectors. Featuring the iconic lizard with the selling points of being Base Set, Shadowless, Holo, and a First Edition, it’s not hard to see why this is such a rare and valuable card nowadays.

On October 9, 2020, rapper Logic paid over $226k for a Grade 10 1st Edition Charizard, setting a new bar for the Pokemon card. Records have continued to spike over the years as more and more collectors have chased this card, with PWCC reporting an insane $420,000 auction in 2022.

According to the auction house, only 121 Charizards in the whole world are known to exist with the perfect Gem Mint 10 rating – making this one of the rarest Pokemon pieces of all time.

3. Trophy Pikachu Silver 2nd Tournament Card

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Trophy Pikachu Silver 2nd Tournament Pokemon Card.

This is an incredible Pokemon Trophy card from the Lizardon Mega Battle – the first ever international Pokemon TCG tournament, held in Japan back in 1998. It’s believed only 14 of these cards exist, 4 of them have been confirmed, and only one has this stellar Gem Mint rating.

It’s unsurprising to see that this card managed to positively explode at auction. The Goldin auction site reports a crazy $444,000 final price tag for this card.

2. Topsun Charizard Blue Back Card

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Topsun Charizard Blue Back Card.

This card was a promotional piece that could be found in boxes of gum back in 1995. It was created by Topsun, who created some of the first ever Pokemon cards – way before Wizards of the Coast took over – and as a result, the cards are highly sought after.

Although PSA lists the card as being “released in 1995 and released in 1997” the claim is unverified both on Topsun and Nintendo’s websites. It is believed that the date on the card refers to the year Pokemon was trademarked instead.

This card was auctioned by Goldin in 2023 for an incredible $493,230. It’s a dream piece for many collectors, yet so immensely rare that it feels impossible to get a hold of.

1. Illustrator CoroCoro Comics Promo (Pikachu Illustrator card)

Top 40 most expensive & rarest Pokemon cards ever sold

Pikachu Illustrator card, shown alongside Logan Paul with the world record certificate.

At the time of writing, one of the most rare and certainly the most valuable Pokemon cards in the world is the elusive Pikachu Illustrator card. In 1997, the CoroCoro magazine held an art competition where winners were given the card as a prize.

The card has been sold for some insane amounts in recent years, shooting up in value and notoriety. Celebrity Logan Paul is one of the most notable owners of this card, wearing the TCG collectible on a chain during his Wrestlemania debut. He even achieved a world record for the most expensive Pokemon card sold at a private sale.

Logan Paul isn’t the only big name to get their hands on this card, either. In October 2022, former New York Giants football player Blake Martinez sold his CGC 9.5 graded Pikachu Illustrator in an auction for $672,000, making it one of the first non-PSA graded copies of the card known to exist.

All of this points to one key factor – the Pokemon TCG has been around for decades and it’s not showing any sign of going away any time soon.

Pokemon TCG fans will go to incredible lengths to get their hands on beautiful and rare cards. Each card in this article is a piece of gaming and pop culture history, with some of them being arguably worthy of being displayed in a museum.

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