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The 18 Rarest and Most Valuable Pokémon Cards

Do you have any special Pokémon cards hidden in your collection? Are you curious about the value of that shiny Charizard or promo card stashed away in your attic or basement? Look no further! We have compiled a definitive list of the most expensive Pokémon cards of all time, along with their worth, what makes them valuable, and their record-breaking selling prices.

Rare and Valuable Pokémon Cards

  • Gold Star Espeon and Umbreon
  • Spikey-Eared Pichu
  • 2002 No. 1 Trainer
  • XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu
  • First-Edition Crystal Charizard
  • No Rarity Venusaur
  • Tropical Wind
  • Master’s Key
  • 1999 No. 1 Trainer
  • 2006 No. 2 Trainer
  • 1st Edition Holo Lugia
  • Pokémon Snap Chansey
  • Kangaskhan-Holo
  • Ishihara GX
  • Bronze Pikachu No. 3 Trainer
  • Blastoise Presentation Card
  • Shadowless Charizard
  • Pikachu Illustrator

Even if you just want to marvel at the mind-boggling amount of money people are willing to spend on a piece of cardboard, this list of the top 18 rare and most valuable Pokémon cards has got you covered.

18. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5

A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time. These Gold Star Pokémon cards are part of one of the most valuable Pokémon sets ever produced. Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007, making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards available. A PSA 10 Gem Mint condition Espeon card was sold in February 2021 for over $22,000, while an Umbreon card in the same condition fetched just over $20,000 at auction in December 2020.

Gold Star Pokémon cards Espeon and Umbreon POP Series 5

17. Japanese Design Promo 2nd Grade Winner Spikey-Eared Pichu

This card was designed by a second-grader as part of a Pokémon-themed drawing contest held in Japan in 2009. The Spikey-Eared Pichu card is unique, not only because of its unknown child artist but also because it is one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence. Only three copies of the card have been confirmed, and one of them sold for a staggering $25,800 in June 2023.

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Japanese Design Promo 2nd Grade Winner Spikey-Eared Pichu card

16. 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer

This rare and valuable promo card is a one-of-a-kind item. Each card was personalized with the name of the tournament’s winner, making them entirely unique. The 2002 No. 1 Trainer card is one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence. It was awarded to winners of the regional Battle Road Spring tournaments held in Japan in 2002. Only a small number of cards were produced, and each one was customized with the name of the tournament winner. The 2002 No. 1 Trainer card sold at auction in April 2021 for just over $31,000.

2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer card

15. Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu

This card was given out during Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary Festa. The Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu card gains its rare status from being included in a one-off event celebrating the franchise’s 20th anniversary. Only a limited number of cards were produced and given to attendees as a memento during the Pokémon 20th Anniversary Festa held in October 2016. This rare card sold for $32,520 in March 2023.

Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu card

14. 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard

This is the most expensive e-Card out there, and it’s a PSA 10. The 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard is one of the most valuable and sought-after Pokémon cards. This Charizard comes from the final expansion of the Japanese e-Card Series and is one of the most unique Colourless Crystal Pokémon cards. A PSA 10 version of this card sold for $40,800 in October 2022. It is the most expensive e-Card ever sold.

2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard

13. 1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur

This very rare Pokémon card is made even more valuable by its artist’s autograph. No Rarity Pokémon cards are among the rarest Pokémon cards in existence, and the Venusaur Pokémon card from the game’s first print run in 1996 is one of the rarest of them all. Only five copies of the Bulbasaur evolution, famous for appearing on the original video game Pokémon Green, have been graded at a perfect Gem-Mint 10 by PSA. A No Rarity Venusaur card sold in November 2021 for $55,000, setting a new record for the rare Pokémon card.

1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur PSA 10 Gem Mint

12. 1999 Pokémon Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey

One of only 15 to have existed, and the only one known to still exist. The 1999 Pokémon Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey card is one of the rarest Pokémon cards ever made. Only 15 copies were ever produced, and this is the only known remaining card. It was created as part of a contest in which players submitted their favorite snapshots from the Pokémon Snap video game. This card sold at auction in December 2022 for $63,000.

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Front and back of a Chansey Pokemon card

11. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind

An ultra-rare promo card – one of only a dozen ever made. The 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind card is extremely rare. Only twelve copies were ever produced and given to top players at the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament. The tournament was an exclusive event for the best Pokémon trainers in the world. This particular Tropical Wind card sold for $65,100 in October 2020.

1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind

10. Master’s Key

This more recent card is no less rare or valuable. The Master’s Key card is a promo card awarded to participants in a Pokémon TCG tournament. It was given to finalists in the 2010 Pokémon World Championships. Only 36 copies were distributed, making it one of the rarest Pokémon cards of recent years. A near-perfect Gem Mint 9.5 copy sold for $66,000 in May 2023.

Master’s Key

9. 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer

The answer to “What’s the rarest Pokémon card of all time?” The Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer card holds the title of the rarest Pokémon card. It was a holographic promotional card awarded to finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo, Japan in 1999. Only seven copies of this card are believed to exist, making it one of the most valuable Pokémon cards ever made. The 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer card sold for $90,000 in July 2020.

No. 1 Trainer Pokémon card

8. 2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer

One of the rarest Pokémon cards of all time, with only 3 known to exist. The 2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer card is one of the rarest Pokémon cards ever made. It was given as a trophy card to finalists of the Pokémon World Championships held in Anaheim, California in 2006. Only three copies of this card are believed to exist, making it highly valuable. A Mint 9 condition copy sold for $110,100 in February 2021.

2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer PSA 9 Mint

7. 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9

A legendary Pokémon on a legendarily rare Pokémon card. The 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 card features Lugia, one of the most legendary Pokémon. This card is part of the Neo Genesis set, known for its difficulty in grading. Only 41 Gem Mint 10 condition versions of this card have ever been graded by PSA, with just three receiving the maximum BGS 10 Pristine rating from Beckett Grading Services. This Lugia card sold for $144,300 in May 2021.

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2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 card

6. Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card

The third-rarest Pokémon card of all time. The Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card is an extremely rare Pokémon card. Only four copies of this card are known to exist. It was awarded to runners-up in the first-ever tournament held for the Pokémon Trading Card Game in 1997. This trophy card sold for $150,100 in October 2020.

Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card

5. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card

A card featuring the Pokémon Company’s President himself. The Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card is a unique Pokémon card featuring the President of the Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara. This card was given to company staff as a celebration of Ishihara’s 60th birthday in 2017. The card is extremely valuable due to its rarity and Ishihara’s signature. It sold for a staggering $247,230 in April 2021.

Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo card

4. Bronze Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Trophy card

A total of four of these cards exist. The Bronze Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Trophy card is an extremely rare Pokémon card. Only four copies of this card were ever made. It was awarded to runners-up in the first-ever Pokémon Trading Card Game tournament held in Tokyo, Japan in 1997. This card, created by renowned Pokémon artist Mitsuhiro Arita, sold for a staggering $300,000 in April 2023.

3. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram

A two-of-a-kind card that suddenly became one of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time. The Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram card is one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards. Only two of these cards were ever produced, and this is the only known remaining card. It was created in 1998 as a presentation piece to convince Nintendo of Japan executives to allow Wizards of the Coast to handle the English release of the Pokémon TCG. This ultra-rare card sold for $360,000 in January 2021.

Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram Pokémon card

2. 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4

A very valuable version of a classic fan-favorite. The 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4 is one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released. This card stands out because of its printing error, lacking the shadow underneath the dragon Pokémon. A mint-condition first-edition shadowless holographic PSA 10 Charizard sold for $420,000 in March 2022, solidifying its place as one of the most valuable Pokémon cards in existence.

1. Pikachu Illustrator

Extremely expensive, extremely rare – the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards. The Pikachu Illustrator card is the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold. It fetched a mind-blowing $5.275 million in July 2021. This card is the true Holy Grail of Pokémon card collecting, with only one PSA 10 known to exist. Originally given to the winners of promo contests held in 1997 and 1998, this card is the epitome of rarity. It is the only Pokémon card to say “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer” at the top, and it features the artwork of Pikachu by Atsuko Nishida, the original designer of Pokémon.

Loan Paul holding his PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator

These rare and valuable Pokémon cards are highly sought after by collectors. Their limited availability and unique features make them some of the most valuable cards in existence. Whether you’re a collector or simply an admirer of these incredible pieces of pop culture history, these cards are sure to leave you in awe.

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