Since Pokémon first appeared on the scene, it has been incredibly popular. In particular, Pokemon cards have become increasingly difficult to find and costly, leading to a lot of people buying unopened boxes and rare cards worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many stores are struggling with a huge number of Pokemon fans who want to collect as many cards as possible. However, some cards are quite rare and you can hardly buy them anywhere. That’s why the prices of these cards are increasing considerably.
Here is the list of the top 20 most expensive Pokemon Cards of all time, updated in 2021. Aren’t you at least a little curious? If you have an interest in the Pokemon Card collection, you don’t want to miss out on this list.
1. Top 20 most expensive Pokemon cards of all time in the world
1.1. 20th Anniversary 24-karat Gold Pikachu
Sold: in October, 2016 – Price: $2,081
The card appeared in 2016 , when Pokémon TCG’s 20th anniversary was celebrated. The most special feature that makes it the most expensive pokemon card is its material. It was made from solid gold, exactly 11 grammes of 24-karat gold. Ginza Tanaka, a jewellery maker, created a certain number of these cards based on the original Japanese Pikachu cards. The only way to have a copy of this card is to join a lottery in 2016. If you won, you would have a chance to buy this card at the price of $2,081.
1.2. Prerelease Raichu
Sold: in April, 2009 – Price: $10,500
It is considered to be one of the most controversial Pokémon cards of all time. It had been rumored the card was a result of a mistake made in the run-up to the English-language release of the Pokémon TCG’s second expansion in 1999. There are allegedly only 10 or fewer copies of the game left in the market. The existence of this card was still a secret until 2009 when the first copy was published by a fan, PokeGym.
1.3. Master’s Key
Sold: in 2010 – Price: $26,900
In 2010, the best players of Pokemon Cards were invited to Waikoloa, Hawaii to participate in the World Championships. When coming here, each one was given a Master Key’s Pokemon card. Only 36 special postcards were produced because they were printed exclusively for participants. That’s why they became the rarest cards during 25 years of Pokemon card history. Although these items are only for people in that event, some of them were sold in August 2020 at the surprising price of $26,900.
1.4. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5
Sold: in February, 2021 – Price: $22,000
In reality, there were only 27 Gold Star cards published from 2004 to 2007, which made them one of the most unique kinds in the market. All types of Gold Star cards are rare, the hardest to find is Eeveelutions which players only own by joining in official tournaments to get the exclusive items. The rarest of all are the original Japanese-language versions. Besides, the English version of the Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star cards is considered to be one of the most expensive Pokemon cards. A Gold Star Espeon was sold in February 2021 at a price of over $22,000. Meanwhile, the Umbreon was offered with the cost of $20,000 at auction in December 2020.
1.5. 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer
Sold: in April, 2021 – Price: $31,200
This card is one of the two most expensive Pokemon cards. It was especially for the winners in the Battle Road Spring tournaments held in Japan in 2002. The 2002 No. 1 Trainer card was designed by Ken Sugimori, well-known as one of the original creators of Pokémon’s first generation of 151 Pokémon. The text on it is “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament Battle Road Spring 2002 champion is recognized here, and his honor is praised.”, which makes the card exclusive and valuable. A copy of the 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer Card was sold in April 2021 at a price of over $31,000.
2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer
1.6. 1997 Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card
Published: 1997 – Price: between $75,000 to $100,000+
Only 3 winners at the Pokémon tournament in Japan in 1997 could have opportunities to own this card. On the front, the cards show Pikachu holding a gold, silver, or bronze trophy. On these cards, some text states, “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion/ runner-up/ third place winner is recognized here, and their honor is praised. You can use this card to enter the Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament with a preference.” And obviously, all of the text is in Japanese.
1.7. No Rarity Poliwrath
Sold: 2020 – Price: $25,000
It is also another product made by an error during the TCG’s infancy. This mistake made all of the Japanese base set cards come without a rarity symbol in the bottom right-hand corner. The problem was fixed very fast, however, it was only after thousands of packs were published. Surprisingly, the error cards were welcomed and given interest from a lot of Pokémon fans. That’s why it has become one of the most expensive Pokemon cards.
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1.8. EX Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic
Sold: 2020 – Price: $25,400
There are not that many starter cards from Pokemon that aren’t Charizard that sell for big money. However, Gold Star Torchic from Team Rocket Returns is an unusual case. This copy was sold for more than $25,000 by the end of 2020. The card was one of only 17 to get the perfect PSA GEM-MT 10 rating. In the years since a few other cards in the set have also sold for high prices, but none of them has such a high price as the little fire Pokemon.
EX Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic
1.9. 1st Edition Shadowless Chansey
Sold: in 2020 – Price: $36,877
The Charizard card can be on top of the most expensive Pokémon cards. But the majority of the other holographic cards in this very first set have sold for astonishing prices. The GEM-MT 10 Shadowless Chansey is one such rare item. In 2020, it was sold at a cost of more than $35,000, which made this card become one of the most valuable Pokemon cards. There are more than 47 pieces like this in the world.
1.10. Gold Star Rayquaza
Sold: in December, 2020 – Price: $45,100
Rayquaza is well-known as a kind of best art mascot for the Pokémon Emerald video game and the most powerful. Therefore, it’s obvious that it got a lot of love from Pokémon fans who always desire to own at least one card. There are 108 cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Three of them come with a gold star version, including the Rayquaza Holo. When you hold a card, you’ll see that there is a gold star setting for the gold star variant. With this special feature, it’s obvious what’s the most expensive pokemon card.
Gold Star Rayquaza
1.11. Mew Victory Orb Trophy
Sold: December, 2020 – Price: $60,000
The special card was published in the 1998 Summer Battle Road competition. A rare Pokemon card was awarded only to the top three trainers in each bracket across nine regions in Japan. According to PSA, only 16 of these cards receive the Gem Mint 10 score. At a PWCC auction in December 2020, one of these pristine collectibles sold at a final price of $60,000.
1.12. University Magikarp
Sold: in February, 2021 – Price: $66,100
A contest named Tamamushi University Hyper Test was held in Osaka in June 1998. Children had to pass many questions in a limited time. They even needed to compete against each other within different age groups. In the end, they will receive a copy of this card as their prize. Nobody knows how many exactly they create. However, they are still evaluated to be the most precious Magikarp card in the entire Pokémon series. It is even one of the most valuable Pokemon cards in general.
1.13. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
Sold: in Oct, 2020 – Price: $65,100
The card is only for those who participated in the Tropical Mega Battle held in Hawaii back in 1999. Players from all over the world have equal chances to join in this tournament which changed the rules in 2001. Nowadays, people know it by the name Japanese World Championship. Although it’s rare, it’s still a basic trainer card that orders players to flip the coin to determine the result of an event. On the open market, there are very few of these Tropical trophy cards. They aren’t almost as pristine as this PSA-rated GEM MINT 10 version. The card was even sold for over $65,000.
1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
1.14. Ex Deoxys GOLD STAR HOLO Rayquaza #107
Sold: in Dec, 2020 – Price: $45,100
Rayquaza is always known as one of the legendary monsters in the Game Boy Advance version of Pokémon Emerald. The card comes from Ex Deoxys, a Pokémon TCG expansion that was released in 2005 when a company published a new video game. What makes this card more valuable and high-rated? One of the main reasons is that Ex Deoxys booster packs don’t appear on the open market these days. Moreover, a high-respected card known as GEM MINT10 is evaluated to be in the best condition. The perfect condition is estimated to be no damage found on the card. Therefore, it’s obvious that it’s in what pokemon cards are worth a lot of money.
1.15. EX Dragon Frontiers GOLD STAR HOLO Charizard #100
Sold: in Oct 2020 – Price: $60,065
The EX Dragon Frontiers is the first of two Charizard variations that appear on this ranking. It appears in the 2005 Ex Deoxys TCG expansion. There are a few key differences between this variant and the more sought-after “base” Charizards, the most noticeable being its artwork. This variant features a more active fire-breathing dragon that’s a little darker than other versions. Even these Gold Star cards are pretty powerful, which means that you can only have one in your hand during battles.
EX Dragon Frontiers GOLD STAR HOLO Charizard #100
1.16. 1998 Japanese Promo Card – Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy
Sold: in Feb. 2021 – Price: $66,100
Its design was drawn by legendary Pokémon artist Ken Sugimori and features a Magikarp leaping into the air while firing a lightning bolt. These promo cards are only for those who participate in a two-day tournament event in Osaka, Japan. However, only players who win at least one round can get this card. To join in this game, firstly, you have to finish the “Tamamushi University Hyper Test,” which was briefly published in a select number of magazines. We don’t know what exactly the questions are about, but in general, it was about Pokémon. After finishing the test, 1000 fans with the highest scores would be invited to the Osaka event.
1.17. Pokémon Super Secret Battle “No. 1 Trainer” – Promo Holographic Card
Sold: in July 2020 – Price: $90,000
It is another promo card selected in this most expensive pokemon card list. It’s a Super Secret Battle trainer card. One of their outstanding features is a special art. Not only can you see a galactic Mewtwo on the front of the card, but also the Pokémon Trading Card logo. The kind of cards is only for 7 players invited to join in Japan’s national tournament in 1999. The tournament finals remained a secret. The location could only be discovered after one of these cards was won in a regional tournament. One of the special versions is evaluated to be GEM MINT10 by the PSA.
Pokémon Super Secret Battle “No. 1 Trainer” – Promo Holographic Card
1.18. 2000 – 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.
1.19. Japanese Promo Card – Family Event Trophy – Holo Kangaskhan
Sold: in Oct, 2020 – Price: $150,100
Holo Kangaskhan is thought to be in what pokemon cards are worth money in the world. This is only for winners in the Parent-Child Mega Battle tournament held in Japan in 1998. This was a contest where families competed against each other. This rare card was available to only certain families who got a specific number of wins. 46 of these cars were rated by PSA, especially, the promo card is rated with a perfect 10. That it is given such a high rank by PSA makes its price high.
Japanese Promo Card – Family Event Trophy – Holo Kangaskhan
1.20. “Backless Blastoise” – Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
Sold: in Jan 2021 – Price: $360,000
Before the series was launched in the US in 1998, a test printing took place before anyone knew the franchise would explode. In the next period, it is known as an abnormal Blastoise Pokémon card. The lack of side opposite is a strange point, which makes this card rare. That’s also the reason why it is called “Backless Blastoise”. This is actually not intended for public consumption, since it was a test run made by Wizards of the Coast.
1.21. 1st Edition Charizard, Holographic – SGC GOLD LABEL PRISTINE 10
Sold: in Dec, 2020 – Price: $369,000
What pokemon cards are worth the most can’t be perfect because of the lack of 1st Edition Charizard, Holographic. Almost all cards have shadows, but this Charizard is a shadowless holographic first edition card. Super early cards don’t have shadows behind art or text. In addition, Charizard is a favorite dragon of many players, even some influencers join in to collect this card. The Charizard cards tend to become popular recently, which makes many desire to own at least one in their collection.
1st Edition Charizard, Holographic – SGC GOLD LABEL PRISTINE 10
1.22. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
Sold: in April 2021 – Price: $247,230
Tsunekazu Ishihara, the current president of the Pokémon Company, is depicted in this card, presented as a gift to employees on his 60th birthday in 2017. The full text on this card states, “2017 P.M. SM Black Star #TPCi01 Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed Pokémon GX Promo Card”. When you have a GX move “60 Congratulations”, it means that you can flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. With such great power, it’s easily understood why it is one of the most expensive Pokemon cards.
1.23. 1998 Japanese Promo Card – HOLO – Illustrator Pikachu – PSA 7 NRMT
Sold: in Feb, 2021 – Price: $375,000
Another Promo card appears in this most expensive pokemon card list, which can make many people surprised. As you probably noticed, many of the high-priced cards online aren’t traditional Pokémon cards. PWCC reports that only 40 of these cards were ever created and released. Only people participating in 3 art contests in Japan have a chance to receive this card. The winner’s card would be printed with their artwork. The most outstanding card is created by Atsuko Nishida, the original creator of Pikachu’s character design. Thus, whenever this card is offered for sale, its price is always the highest.
1998 Japanese Promo Card – HOLO – Illustrator Pikachu – PSA 7 NRMT
Pokémon is a precious memory of many kids around the world. When you’re a kid, you desire to hold a powerful card in your hand, but you don’t have enough money. That’s why nowadays, many adults still have an interest in collecting these valuable cards. It can be explained that they want to keep their childhood forever and make it come true. With passionate Pokémon players, they’re willing to spend a huge amount of money to buy one of the cards on this list.
How about you? If you read at the end of this article, I guess you’re also a loyal fan. Hope that you can gain more information and useful knowledge about these most expensive Pokemon cards in the market.
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