Best Holo Pokemon Cards to Invest In 2023
Best Holo Pokemon Cards to Invest In 2023

Best Holo Pokemon Cards to Invest In 2023

Curious about investing in trading card? Discover why collectors are being drawn in to holographic Pokémon cards. Prepare for a trip down memory lane that could mean big bucks.



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Ready for a dazzling adventure? The enchanting world of Holo Pokémon cards is where nostalgic memories and stunning collectibles forge an unmistakably lucrative niche. These glittering gems captivate fans and collectors, delighting with their shimmering charm and intricate designs.

A first-edition Neo Genesis Lugia graded PSA 10 sold on eBay for $129,000 in November 2020, and PWCC auctioned a Pristine BGS 10 Lugia #9 for $144,300 in May 2021.

Holo Pokémon cards aren't just visually appealing and have impressive investment potential. Their rarity and distinct visuals make iconic treasures like the Pikachu Illustrator and Shadowless Charizard highly sought-after in the collectibles market.

These gleaming wonders have earned a special place in alternative investments, offering financial rewards and nostalgic bliss. Join us as we explore the vivid world of holographic Pokémon cards as an alternative asset class, unlocking the enigmatic magic and investment appeal that has captivated fans for decades.

Are all rare Pokémon cards holos?

While holos are often linked to valuable Pokémon cards, not all rare cards have to be holos. Some non-holo cards can fetch high prices if they have a 1st edition stamp, indicating they were part of a Pokemon's initial print run.

These 1st edition stamps appear on both holo and non-holo cards, so checking for them when evaluating their worth is vital. A card's condition also significantly impacts its value, whether holo or non-holo.

To accurately assess a card's value, it's crucial to consider factors like the Pokémon card's rarity, condition, and edition stamp instead of relying solely on its holo status.

What are holo cards?

Holographic Pokémon cards are super rare and have a shiny, reflective surface, making a cool rainbow effect when light hits them. These cards are sought after by collectors and fans, usually fetching better prices than non-holographic cards.

Back in the day, older booster packs might not include a holo card, but now, modern packs guarantee a reverse holo card. Holo cards from the late 90s and early 2000s are either regular holo or reverse holo, while newer cards come in various holofoil layers and designs.

A reverse holo card has a regular image on top, but the rest is holographic—the opposite of a regular holo card—and that's how it gets its name.

Holofoil cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game are basically the same as their non-holo counterparts, except for the holo effect on the picture or the card background. As for the English Scarlet & Violet set, all rare cards are holofoil.

Pokémon card rarity can be determined by the symbol in the bottom left or right of the card, with three main levels: Common, Uncommon, and Rare. Holofoil cards are special because of the holo effect on the picture or background. Reverse holo cards have a regular image on top, while the rest of it is holographic. So, in a nutshell, holographic Pokémon cards add a shiny twist to Pokémon card collecting.

Best holo Pokemon cards

The Pikachu Illustrator card is considered the rarest holo card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) due to its limited distribution and unique features.

Initially, 39 cards were awarded in CoroCoro Comic contests from 1997 to 1998. Later, two more were found, totaling 41 Pikachu Illustrator cards. The Pokémon Company makes promo cards for various purposes, such as rewarding players and promoting products.

The most expensive and valuable Pokemon card in the TCG platform today. Famous YouTuber Logan Paul bought it for approximately $5.3 million. 

The Pikachu Illustrator card, recognized as the rarest and most valuable Pokémon card, fetched nearly $5.3 million in a private sale in July 2021. Its unique design, scarcity, and iconic status made it a collector's dream, culminating in the historic price tag (paid for by none other than Logan Paul).

With that in mind, let's look at eight holographic Pokémon cards you should consider adding to your deck as this coveted alternative asset class continues making waves in the collectibles market.

1.  2021 Pokemon Celebrations Shiny Mew Gold Holo #25

  • Price Range: $27 to $93
  • Highest Sale Price: $250
  • Type Pokemon Celebrations Set

Mew is the rarest Pokemon card in the 25th-anniversary main set, making it sought after and popular among collectors.

The Mew card from the Pokemon Celebrations Secret Rare set is an exclusive gold shiny version of the famous creature from the Pokémon series. This Pokémon card is exclusive to the 25th Anniversary Collection, and there is no Japanese equivalent, making it highly sought after by collectors worldwide.

The full-art gold Pokémon card is extremely eye-catching and is considered a rare prize for those who can obtain it. This anniversary edition of Mew is the first of the Pokémon's 36 appearances in the Pokémon TCG to be featured as a Secret Rare shiny card.

2. Aerodactyl V Holo #180

  • Price Range: $75 to $230
  • Highest Sale Price: $350
  • Type: Alternate Full Art 

PSA 10 Aerodactyl V's Alternate Full Art cards can be worth up to $230.

Aerodactyl V (Alternate Full Art) is a Fighting-type Pokémon with 210 HP, capable of weakening the opponent's strategy with its Rock Crush attack that deals 120 damage and discards energy attached to the opponent's Active Pokémon.

This ultra-rare Pokémon card ranges from $75 to $305, making it one of the most expensive Pokemon cards you can find in the Lost Origin card set.

3. 1999 First Edition Growlithe Holo #28

  • Price Range: $4 to $630 
  • Highest Sale Price: $1,813
  • PSA 10 Supply: 172
  • Type: First Edition 

In June 2018, a Gem MT 10 Growlithe Pokémon card reached an impressive $1,813 on eBay. 

The Growlithe card is an Uncommon Fire-type Basic Pokémon from the Base Set with 60 Hit Points, a retreat cost of 1, and an attack called Flare that deals 20 damage for 2 energy cards.

Base Set was the first expansion of the Pokémon TCG, released in January 1999 with 102 cards, including popular cards like Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur. As a collectible card game, investing in Growlithe or any card from the Base Set has the potential for long-term value appreciation thanks to fans' nostalgia for the original Pokémon TCG.

4.  Giratina V Holo #186

  • Price Range: $192 to $700
  • Highest Sale Price: $1,275
  • PSA 10 Supply: 1326
  • Type: Alternate Full Art 

A PSA 10 Giratina V is Lost Origin's most valuable Alternate Full Art card, fetching nearly $1,000 in September 2022.

Giratina V (Alternate Full Art) is a Dragon-type Pokemon with 220 HP and Abyss Seeking attack to draw 2 cards. Its Shred attack deals 160 damage ignoring effects on the opponent's Active Pokemon.

A valuable addition to any deck, the Giratina V card is the most expensive from Lost Origin, with a price range of $192 to $700. Collectors highly seek after it for its rarity and power.

5. 1999 First Editon Charmander Holo #46

  • Price Range: $36 to $900
  • Highest Sale Price: $7,100
  • PSA 10 Supply: 921
  • Type: First Edition Base Set

The reptilian Fire-type Pokémon, Charmander, is among the priciest, garnering $7,100 in a November 2020 sale.

Charmander is a fire-type Basic Pokémon from the Base Set of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, with 50 Hit Points, a retreat cost of 1, and two attacks: Scratch, dealing ten damage for one energy card; and Ember, dealing 30 damage for two energy cards and can only be discarded with a Fire Energy card attached to Charmander.

6. 1999 First Edition Alakazam Holo #1 

  • Price Range: $200- to$8,200
  • Highest Sale Price: $20,501
  • PSA 10 Supply: 91
  • Type: First Edition Base Set

The 1st edition Alakazam is an incredible psychic Pokémon with a supercomputer-like brain, and it's one of the priciest holo cards at $20,501.

The Alakazam card from the Base Set is a highly sought-after holo rare Pokémon card with a powerful Pokémon Power that allows players to move damage counters from one Pokémon to another—a valuable addition to any deck. Its Confuse Ray attack can also be a useful tool in battle.

The card's price range is between $7.50 and $800, with higher prices reserved for cards in better condition. As a highly-valuable card from the original Base Set, the Alakazam card has strong potential as a long-term investment.

7. 2000 Lugia Pokemon Neo Genesis #9 

  • Price Range: $177 to $55,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $129,000
  • Supply: 45
  • Type: First Edition 

The Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 Pokémon card is one of the rarest and most valuable cards due to printing errors in early runs of the Neo Genesis set.

The Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 Pokémon card is one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards due to printing errors in early runs of the Neo Genesis set. Only 41 Gem Mint condition cards have been graded by PSA, and only three have earned the BGS 10 grades.

A first-edition Neo Genesis Lugia graded PSA 10 sold on eBay for $129,000 in November 2020, and PWCC auctioned a Pristine BGS 10 Lugia #9 for $144,300 in May 2021. Those sales make this holographic card the second-most valuable Pokemon from the first edition set.

8. 1999 Shadowless First Edition Charizard Holo #4 

  • Price Range: $1,166 to $50,100 
  • Highest Sale Price: $420,000 
  • Supply: 123
  • Type: First Edition

The Shadowless First Edition Charizard is among the rarest and most coveted Pokémon cards, with prices reaching nearly half a million dollars.
Source: eBay

The 1999 Base Set Holo Charizard card is the most iconic and sought-after Pokemon trading card due to its popularity and power in the game. The PSA grading system helps collectors and investors track the best-condition Charizards. The Shadowless variation of the first edition holo Charizard card is one of the most valuable and rare Pokémon cards.

One card fetched $399,750 at Goldin Auctions in March 2021, and another sold for $420,000 at PWCC Auctions in March 2022. The card's growing popularity, scarcity, and coveted status make it a top pick for collectors.

Why does the Pokémon company make holographic cards?

Holo Pokémon cards were likely made to boost the rarity and value of certain cards. These cards are harder to find as usually only one is included per booster pack. Companies usually create the most in-demand cards as holos, making them more appealing and valuable.

Trading card companies use various holo patterns to keep the designs fresh and exciting. This keeps collectors interested in getting these valuable and eye-catching cards for their collection.

Pokémon trading cards have become popular collectibles, with some rare ones selling for record prices. To create a new Pokémon card, designers develop ideas, create artwork, and test the card with the rules of the trading card game. Collectors find holographic Pokémon cards appealing and highly desirable, which makes most of them worth more than non-holo cards.

Their rarity is one reason for their increased value, as older booster packs didn't always contain a holo card. However, upcoming sets like Scarlet and Violet will make collecting holofoil cards more accessible since each booster pack will include three holofoil cards.

Is the Pokémon TCG a good investment?

Pokemon Trading cards have become super popular, with some rare ones going for wild amounts of money. But remember, not all Pokémon cards will command high market prices, and investing in them is risky. While some old-school cards from 1999 are in high demand, newer cards are also getting attention—but none are guaranteed to be profitable investments.

The market for Pokémon cards isn't like the stock market, so finding the best deals requires a keen eye. Scarcity, card values, and changing market trends can make it challenging for collectors to score huge profits.

While some have made large gains, there are no guarantees with Pokémon card investments. Don't forget to consider hobby-related expenses and watch out for fakes when hunting for valuable cards.

So, should you invest in Pokémon cards? It depends on your financial situation and goals. Just make sure you're well-informed and cautious in your decision-making, and don’t put in more than you could afford to lose—that goes for any investment, but especially Pokemon cards and other collectibles.

The Pokémon TCG has proven to be a decent investment lately, with interest booming during the pandemic. Out-of-print and sought-after cards might continue to increase in value, though not all cards are worth it.

To get the most bang for your buck, get your cards graded, as they'll usually be worth more that way. Keep them in mint condition because wear and tear can lower their value. Collecting, growing, and diversifying your Pokemon card collection is a wise way to maintain its long-term value.