Top Ten Most Valuable Pokémon Cards to Invest in
Top Ten Most Valuable Pokémon Cards to Invest in

Top Ten Most Valuable Pokémon Cards to Invest in

Curious about which Pokémon cards are breaking the bank? We've got the scoop on the top ten most expensive Pokemon cards collectors are battling over.





Long Term Growth

Long Term Growth

There's no denying the explosive popularity of Pokémon cards among collectors and investors alike since their inception in 1996. Originating in Japan, Pokémon card trading has grown and later made its way into America. Their popularity has only increased over the years, aided partly by the pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, Pokémon card enthusiasts suddenly had extra time to sort, grade, and expand their collections. This surge of interest in Pokémon cards unexpectedly flooded PSA Grading and Authentication services with submissions, leading to a temporary pause in their operations.

Some of the rarest Pokemon cards, like Chase cards, trophy cards, promo cards, Pikachu Illustrator, and Master's Key card, have sold for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions, delivering high returns for their lucky collectors. Buying a booster pack is one way to get the rarest cards because the Pokemon company randomly inserts them during production.

For instance, as of August 2022, Logan Paul holds the world record for the most expensive Pokémon card, having purchased a PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator card for a jaw-dropping $5.275 million.

Other valuable alternative investments in the Pokémon world include the First-Edition Crystal Charizard card, and the Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card. Their high valuations showcase the profit potential in alternative assets markets, particularly if you can get your hands on a card with the right combination of rarity, condition, and popularity.

The key to successful investing in Pokemon cards lies in research, consulting experts, and staying informed on this niche market's latest trends and auction events. So, whether you're a die-hard Pokémon fan or a seasoned investor looking for a fun and lucrative venture, it's time to dust off those old trading card binders. Who knows? You might just be sitting on your very own treasure trove.

The world of Pokémon has always captured the imagination of fans around the globe, and the thriving trading card collection market has become a treasure trove for investors. Some rare and exquisite cards are known to fetch eye-watering sums at auctions, reflecting their scarcity and potential for value appreciation.

As of August 2022, Logan Paul holds the world record for the most expensive Pokémon card, having purchased a PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator card for a jaw-dropping $5.275 million.

The market has seen several cards skyrocket in value, like the 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4, which sold for $420,000 in March 2022, and the Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram card—one of only two in existence—was snapped up for $350,000 in January 2021.

Other spectacular examples include the Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card, valued at $150,100, and the 2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer, which sold for $110,100 in February 2021—a card so rare that only three copies are known to exist.

Investing in rare Pokemon cards can be an exciting and potentially lucrative venture if you closely monitor market trends and auction events. Armed with thorough research, expert advice, and enthusiasm for "catching 'em all," you too could join the collectors seizing alternative investment opportunities.

Why are Pokémon cards so valuable?

Pokemon cards have skyrocketed in value since their introduction in 1996, with some 1st edition cards appreciating by over 10,000 percent. Classic Pokemon cards hold value due to their rarity, limited supply, high demand, nostalgic appeal, and ever-growing passion for the Pokémon universe.

Rarity and condition are the two major factors affecting a card's value in the Pokémon TCG. Rarity refers to the cards' limited production or exclusivity, while condition refers to the physical state of the card – the better the condition, the higher the value. Factors such as the card's demand, cultural significance, and historical context also determine its value.

Since many Pokémon card sets are out of print, their value is guaranteed to increase over time, making them an attractive investment. The market for Pokémon cards is liquid, well-connected, and filled with collectors who appreciate and value these rare collectibles. Unopened limited edition box sets also see high demand, with Logan Paul buying one box set for $200,000.

With many online resources, exploring and researching the Pokémon card market is easy, even without knowing much about the franchise. Storage solutions and detailed information on card specifications make these collectibles accessible to investors.

We'll provide a comprehensive look into each card, discussing their investment potential and other factors that make them sought-after collectibles. We'll explore the relevant market trends and financial outlooks, helping collectors and investors make informed decisions about placing their bets on these rare Pokémon cards.

Most expensive Pokemon card list

1. Pikachu Illustrator Card

  • Price Range: $400,000 to $5,000,000 
  • Highest Sale Price: $5.275 million
  • PSA 10 Supply: 1 

The Pikachu Illustrator card boasts a unique pen symbol and double-star rarity and is worth over $5 million, making it one of the most valuable Pokémon cards. 

Often regarded as the "Holy Grail" of Pokémon cards, the Japanese Pokemon Daisuki Club promotional Pikachu Illustrator is an extremely rare card and holds the most valuable Pokemon card title.

It’s a scarce card featuring Pikachu with a paintbrush and a drawing of Charmander on a holographic background, akin to a trainer card, with the word "Illustrator" replacing the typical "Trainer" designation. One of these valuable Pokemon cards sold at auction for an astounding $233,000 in 2020.

The Pikachu Illustrator card's rarity and unique design contribute significantly to its value, with only 41 copies in circulation. These sought-after cards were prizes for contests held in the Japanese CoroCoro Comic magazine between 1997 and 1998, where competition winners received 39 copies.

Adding to the intrigue, two more copies of this valuable card emerged in the collection of Pokémon Trading Card Game co-creator Yuichi Konno in 2020. The card's value has skyrocketed over the years, with a PSA 7 example selling for $375,000 in early 2021 and another fetching $900,000 a year later.

According to Bulbapedia, this card's text translates: "We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illustration Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill." This one-of-a-kind card is not only significant for its rarity, but it also symbolizes the epitome of Pokémon card collecting and investing.

Infamous internet personality Logan Paul played a role in the Pikachu Illustrator card's increasing popularity when he purchased the only PSA 10 copy for a jaw-dropping $5,275,000 in 2021.

2. 1st Edition Holo Lugia

  • Price Range: $450 to $2,412
  • Highest Sale Price: $55,000 
  • PSA 10 Supply: 45

Sale prices of First Edition Holo Lugia range from $1,00 to $7,000 on platforms like eBay.

The 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #The 9 card, released by Wizards of the Coast, has become one of the most desirable and sought-after cards within the Pokemon Trading Card Game community.

This captivating holographic card, varying grades from ungraded to PSA 10, has witnessed a considerable price range, with the PSA 10 grade being the most valuable.

With 3,667 Lugia cards across different PSA grades as of last month, these collectible treasures have sold for impressive amounts on platforms like eBay. For instance, a PSA 8-graded Lugia #9 card sold for $1,350 on June 10, 2023, and a PSA 9 Lugia #9 fetched $7,000.00 on March 28, 2021.

However, collectors and investors must recognize that prices can fluctuate over time and vary depending on the card's condition.

This prized Holo-Foil Lugia card from the Neo Genesis set has sparked interest among Pokémon enthusiasts, with even the lowest-graded cards selling for $122.50 and PSA 10 examples reaching jaw-dropping figures like $45,390.

With the card no longer available from Wizards of the Coast, discerning collectors should research and consult with professionals before purchasing. By seeking reputable sellers, like those on TCGPlayer and Now and Then Collectibles, you ensure the authenticity of your Pokémon cards.

3. Shadowless Charizard

  • Price Range: $395 to $67,700
  • Highest Sale Price: $420,000
  • PSA 10 Supply: 57

A PSA gem mint 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless first Edition Holo Charizard card sold for a record-breaking $420,000 in the PWCC Auctions.

The 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless first edition Holo Charizard card, designed by renowned artist Mitsuhiro Arita, holds a significant place in the hearts of many Pokemon card collectors and is often considered the most iconic and coveted card.

Graded PSA gem mint—one of only 121—these rare Pokémon cards can command prices up to $50,000, especially when displaying perfect condition and centering.

The value of the 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless Charizard Holo Rare 4/102 card can vary greatly depending on factors such as its grade and condition and whether it is a 1st edition or unlimited edition. While a PSA 7 card can range from $970 to $1,275, a PSA 10 card can fetch a staggering $7,500. However, these prices are subject to fluctuations in the market.

Collectors should also be aware of custom holographic Shadowless Base Set Charizard cards, which mimic the appearance of real cards yet hold a substantially lower value due to their unofficial status.

Recent sales—such as the one at PWCC Auctions, which saw a 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard card sell for a record-breaking $420,000—indicate a consistent increase in the value of these rare and highly sought-after Pokémon trading cards.

4. 2002 1st Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard

  • Price Range: $32 to $10,499
  • Highest Sale Price: $40,800
  • PSA 10 Supply: 160

The 2002 1st Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard card which sold for $40,800 is the most expensive e-Card in the series.

The 1st edition Japanese holographic Crystal Charizard card from the 2002 Mysterious Mountains expansion set has captivated collectors and investors with its rarity and stunning artwork.

In October 2022, a PSA 10 graded 2002 1st Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard card was sold at auction at PWCC for $40,800, making it the most expensive e-Card in the series.

Introduced as one of three crystal-type cards in Mysterious Mountains, alongside Crobat and Celebi, Crystal cards can change their energy type based on an attached energy card. These cards were exclusive to the Pokémon TCG's 'e-Card' expansions from 2002 and 2003.

It’s crucial to note that the prices displayed on PriceCharting for the Japanese Mysterious Mountains Charizard card are based on the lowest available prices when updating. The sales volume for this card is relatively low, with some grades only witnessing one sale per year. Thus, the estimated value for a particular card grade relies on sales data from other grades and the card's age.

5. Holographic Gold Star Torchic

  • Price Range: $308 to $48,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $75,000
  • PSA 10 Supply: 17

The striking Gold Star Torchic holo card is one of the rarest Pokemon cards, often fetching an astounding price of over $50,000. 

Gold Star Torchic, a highly sought-after and valuable Pokemon card, is part of the esteemed EX Team Rocket Returns set of Pokémon trading cards. This beautiful card features a shiny holo finish and is numbered 108 in the set. Showcasing the Fire-type Pokémon Torchic, Masakazu Fukuda creates an eye-catching illustration that captures the essence of this beloved character.

Gold Star Torchic has sold on eBay for prices ranging from $1,200 to $1,844.76. It’s crucial to note that the card's prices are subject to change, and quantities may be limited, as its condition significantly impacts its value.

The striking Gold Star Torchic holo card is one of the rarest gold Pokemon cards, often fetching an astounding price of over $50,000. Collectors and investors should conduct thorough research and consult with professional Pokemon card collectors before purchasing or selling valuable trading cards like this one-of-a-kind treasure.

6. Topps Chrome Charizard Tekno #06

  • Price Range: $7,600 to $23,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $23,000
  • PSA 10 Supply: 8

The elusive Topps Chrome Charizard Tekno #06 is currently valued at $23,000, making it one of the most sought-after Pokemon cards.

Certain cards hold immense value in Pokémon card collecting and trading due to their rarity and desirability. One such card is the Topps Chrome Charizard Tekno #06. This shiny Charizard card recently made headlines when it sold on eBay for an impressive $23,000 with a PSA 9 grade.

Produced by Topps in 2000, the Topps Chrome Trading Card Series 1 boasted a diverse set of Pokémon-themed trading cards, each featuring one of the first 78 Pokémon. Among this illustrious lineup, the Tekno-Chrome variant emerged as the rarest card and one of the most coveted of the series.

The Topps Chrome Trading Card Series 1 offered collectors three holographic variants for each card: Spectra-Chrome, Sparkle-Chrome, and the elusive Tekno-Chrome. The appearance of each variant varied, with the Tekno-Chrome cards exhibiting a unique, futuristic-style holographic background, emphasizing the allure of the already beloved Charizard artwork and design.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that the estimated values of these cards, as listed in various sources, are subject to fluctuations depending on sales data for other grades and the card's age. Moreover, grading from other companies may significantly impact a card's value, as cards with different grading scales might be worth much less than their PSA counterparts.

Collectors and investors in the Pokémon trading card sphere should practice due diligence when researching and acquiring Topps Chrome Charizard Tekno #06 cards to ensure they obtain cards in the best possible condition and at appropriate price points.

As with all collectibles, the item's condition, uniqueness, and scarcity will influence it's asking price in the market. In the case of the elusive Topps Chrome Charizard Tekno #06, its current $23,000 value is a testament to the card's rarity and the thriving demand for collectible Pokémon trading cards.

7. Holographic Gold Star Rayquaza

  • Price Range: $124.50 to $45,100
  • Highest Sale Price: $48,600
  • PSA 10 Supply: 48

With an estimated value of around $48,600, the Holographic Gold Star Rayquaza The card coveted in the Pokémon trading card community.

Among the rare and valuable Pokémon cards, the Holographic Gold Star Rayquaza stands out as a highly desired collectible with many cards with the perfect gem mint (PSA 10). With an estimated $48,600 value and a steadily increasing price, this card is a treasure for collectors and investors.

The Gold Star Rayquaza card, part of the EX Deoxys set released in 2005, is notable for its stunning and intricate holographic artwork. Illustrator Masakazu Fukuda showcases the formidable and majestic Rayquaza, a Dragon/Flying-type Legendary Pokémon from the Hoenn region, in an eye-catching design that has enthralled collectors for years.

The Gold Star cards, among which Rayquaza is one, are known for their rarity and feature alternate shiny colorations of the featured Pokémon, setting them apart from their regular counterparts.

8.  Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Card

  • Price Range: $38 to $50,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $200,000
  • PSA 10 Supply: 3

 In October 2020, a PSA 10 Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer card sold for $23,000 at an auction.

The Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Card is the stuff of legends among collectors. Born from the ultra-exclusive 1999 Japanese Tropical Mega Battle tournament, these holy grail cards are as rare as a Shiny Charizard.

The '99 Mega Battle Tournament was big, with just seven regional events in Japan and a tropical finals showdown in Hawaii. Winners scored this No. 2 Trainer card featuring an Exeggutor just chillin' on the cover. The card granted VIP access to the Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament.

With only five cards ever graded by PSA and a limited sales record, this beauty is a collector's dream. You'll find near-perfect centering, clean yellow borders, and zero creases. The card's glossy look and standout illustration really make it pop. But hey, it's not perfect—some light paper loss on the back gives it the 'authentic' grade.

The Pokémon company's global fame has skyrocketed Pokémon card values, and the Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Card is no exception. It's an investment opportunity that's as rare as they come in the ever-growing Pokémon market.

With an estimated population of just 12 copies, it’s a hot ticket item for collectors. With a holographic Exeggutor print and a sleek "TMB" stamp, a PSA 10 copy of this card snagged $23,000 at an auction in October 2020. Now that's what we call a tropical payday.

9.  1998 Blastoise Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram #009/165R Card

  • Price Range: $250,000 to $400,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $360,000
  • CGC 8.5 Supply: 1

"The 1998 Blastoise Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram Card, a rare find worth over $360,000.

Here's a card that even hardcore collectors will double-take. The font looks a little off. Well, folks, this is as real as it gets. This test-printed Blastoise card is an important chunk of the Pokémon card saga that literally takes us back to the drawing board.

The Wizards of the Coast team designed and developed this card as a demonstration piece. Their mission was to convince the Nintendo bigwigs that they had the chops to produce an English version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

What sets this card apart from other rare Pokémon cards? It was never intended for the public. Only four of these cards were ever made, each more unique than the last. Three have "Magic: The Gathering" backs drawn from WOTC's already established TCG. What about the last one? It tips its hat to its experimental origins by sporting a blank back.

The adventure this card has been on. From design draft to an auction house where one of these cards, graded 8.5 by CGC, found a new home for a staggering $360,000. As for the location of the other three? That's anybody's guess.

With this stunning centerpiece in your collection, you'd feel like you've captured a real-life Blastoise. After all, it's not every day you reel in a Pokémon card with such a unique creation story. So, would-be Pokédex completers, do you have what it takes to uncover the location of the remaining three?

10.  Pokémon Kangaskhan Parent/Child Tournament Promo Card

  • Price Range: $50,000 to $225,000
  • Highest Sale Price: $225,000
  • PSA 10 Supply: 12

In recent years, high grade Pokémon Kangaskhan Parent Child Tournament Promo Card have sold for over $150,000.

The 1998 Parent Child Mega Battle promotional card featuring Kangaskhan is the real deal when it comes to ultra-rare collectibles. This crazy rare card went out to winning parent-child teams in a one-of-a-kind tournament pairing parents with kiddos.

Kangaskhan, with its baby-carrying pouch, was the perfect mascot for this family-centered event. The card stands out with the original Pocket Monsters Trading Card Game logo set symbol, reserved for only the rarest Pokémon cards. Plus, artist Ken Sugimori's awesome artwork just seals the deal.

With a mere 16 copies graded PSA 9 and another 11 graded higher, this Parent Child Mega Battle Card is an absolute treasure for Pokémon fanatics and collectors alike.

This sweet trophy card celebrated the 1998 Pokémon Card Game Parent Child Mega Battle tournament in Japan. The card features a holographic Kangaskhan, and only a handful are known to exist.

Lately, the Pokémon Kangaskhan Parent Child Tournament Promo Card has caught the eye of collectors and investors thanks to its rarity and historical significance. Sales have topped $150,000 for high-graded cards, proving that investing in rare Pokémon cards can be a big deal.

Error Cards

Pokémon error cards, or misprinted cards, are a unique aspect within the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), as they feature certain incorrect or irregular elements. These intriguing cards can range from having small smudges or ink stains to entirely blank designs.

Some standard error types include misspelled cards with incorrect Pokémon names, moves, brands, or illustrator names; miscut cards that have been improperly cut during the printing process, resulting in non-standard sizes or shapes; and ink errors, which may display ink smudges, dots, or repeating ink misprintS.

A rare Pokemon card with an inverted stamp error can be worth around $2,000.

Among Pokémon collectors and enthusiasts, these error cards hold unique appeal, with some misprints being more valuable than others. The value of an error card often depends on factors like how rare the mistake is and if it involves popular Pokémon like Charizard or Pikachu.

Generally, corrected errors are more appealing to collectors, as they had a shorter print run due to their timely fix, making them rarer than ones that were printed continuously.

Rare errors that can increase a card's value include fold-over or printed fold errors, miscut cards, and color bar errors. Collectors should watch for these and other rare misprints, as they could significantly enhance the worth of their Pokémon card collections.

CGC Trading Cards, the first third-party grading service to authenticate and grade major error trading cards, utilize advanced forensic technology to verify the authenticity of these unique collectibles.

Working closely with experts from printing facilities, they ensure secure and accurate authentication, making it easier for collectors to explore the fascinating realm of Pokémon error cards confidently.

Risks and rewards of investing in Pokémon cards

To embark on the Pokémon card investment journey, aspiring investors should familiarize themselves with resources such as card databases, online forums, and social media groups. Stay updated on market trends, consult price guides, and learn to authenticate and grade cards to assess their investment potential in the Pokémon TCG.

Popular culture, influencers (e.g., Logan Paul), and socioeconomic events may influence market trends. As with any investment, thorough research, understanding market dynamics, and diversifying investment strategies are crucial for making money on the rarest Pokémon cards.

Some attribute the rising demand for Pokémon cards to the pandemic-induced boredom and stimulus checks, which have provided financial backing for people to delve into the world of collectible cards. However, this surge in popularity and investment in Pokémon cards comes with risks and rewards.

Collecting and investing in rare Pokémon cards is both exciting and potentially lucrative. The combination of nostalgia, rarity, and market trends has created a fascinating subculture within the world of collectibles.

On the plus side, the booming demand for cards outweighs the supply, indicating that prices may continue to rise in the short term. Additionally, trading cards are relatively easy to buy, sell, and store compared to other investment options, making them appealing to collectors and investors alike.

Nevertheless, there are downsides to this rising trend, such as the potential for the market to deflate when a new fad arises. While increasing sales of Pokemon cards, profit is not always guaranteed, even in a flourishing market, and finding card packs in stores may prove challenging due to scarcity.

Navigating the Pokémon card investment world requires knowledge, passion, and diligence. As the Pokémon card market continues to grow and evolve, investors and collectors alike can find satisfaction in uncovering treasures that hold financial value and an indelible place in popular culture.

Are expensive Pokemon cards a good investment?

Pokémon cards are having a major comeback since the pandemic, bringing nostalgia and some financial gains to collectors. The limited supply of rare cards and growing demand make now an exciting time to invest in Pokémon cards.

  1. Scarce supply and rising demand could equal higher prices.
  2. Trading cards are easy to buy, sell, and store—a hassle-free investment option.
  3. The potential upside is huge—a $500 investment in a rare card in 2017 might now be worth $5,500 if the card's condition held up.

Mint, rare, and out-of-print cards hold their value best. And let's face it, Pokémon's universal appeal means there'll always be buyers. Though prices for ultra-rare cards (think Pikachu Illustrator Card or Gold Star Torchic) might fluctuate, owning a piece of Pokémon history never loses its charm.

To dive into this exciting market, do your research, consult with pros, find reputable sellers, and revel in hunting rare and valuable cards. Familiarize yourself with rarity symbols, first edition stamps, and promo markings to spot those precious finds.

But beware: Pokémon card investors face risks like demand drops, low grading, damage, or theft. Despite these issues, investing in Pokémon cards can be fun and offer unique opportunities for risk-takers.

Remember, success in this market lies in research, understanding trends, and watching demand. And don't forget, card condition and grading matter in value, so store them well and consider grading services like PSA or Beckett.

All in all, investing in Pokémon cards can be a nostalgic and potentially rewarding experience. Just stay informed and have a blast while doing it.