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The 25 Most Valuable Pokémon Cards
30 August 2023
The 25 Most Valuable Pokémon Cards

The 25 Most Valuable Pokemon Cards Ever Sold

Since its launch more than 25 years ago, collectors the world over have been consumed by the Pokémon TCG, with sales spiking significantly in 2021 after over a decade of relative stability. In fact, during 2020 and 2021 alone, the Pokémon Company sold 3.7 billion Pokémon, an approximate card sale increase of 15% according to Card Collector. At Aura Print, not only do we print playing cards and playing card boxes, but we're passionate about playing cards, which is why we've compiled this epic Pokemon list for like-minded enthusiasts. As 2023 nears its end, we present our curated list of the 25 most coveted Pokémon cards, how they reached such famed heights, and exactly why collectors are clamoring to own them. If you're more of a YuGiOh Fan, we also have a similar list!

Since its inception, the Pokémon saga has extended far beyond the digital realm, with The Pokémon Company distributing a staggering 43.2 billion cards worldwide – an astonishing testament to its global reach. To put this into perspective, if these cards were evenly distributed, every individual on Earth would possess approximately four Pokémon cards, marking the pervasive influence of these collectibles.

In a testament to its enduring popularity, the first half of 2021 witnessed a remarkable 536% surge in gross merchandise value (GMV) for Pokémon cards on eBay. The surge, backed by avid collectors and enthusiasts, emphasizes that these cards aren’t just novelties but tangible investments and emblems of a cultural phenomenon.

Amidst these stats, The Pokémon Company continued its prolific output, crafting more than 9 billion cards during the 2021/2022 period alone. And in a fascinating twist, the USA outshone Japan in terms of sets released for the Pokémon TCG, with 86 sets to Japan’s 76. This disparity highlights the universality of the Pokémon franchise, showcasing its ability to transcend borders and resonate with diverse audiences.

Beyond language, Pokémon sales span 76 different countries, further demonstrating their mass global appeal. This widespread availability not only fuels accessibility but also feeds the fervor of collectors, who comb physical and digital shelves in pursuit of the rarest Pokémon cards.

As we begin our journey to find the most expensive Pokémon card, we’re poised to unravel the underpinnings of value that fuels Pokémon obsession. In our pursuit of rare Pokémon cards, we pay homage to these cards not just as collectibles but as artifacts that echo the spirit of the world's largest media franchise.

Now, strap in for our journey through the 25 most expensive Pokémon cards, crafted for the true enthusiast.

The Most Expensive Pokemon Cards (As of 2024 - Conversion rate 0.8)

Pokemon CardUSDGBP
Pikachu Illustrator
1st Edition Shadowless Charizard
Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo
No Rarity Charizard
1997 Bronze Pikachu No.3 Trainer Trophy Card
Black Star Ishihara GX Promo
Family Event Kangaskhan - Holo #115 Trophy Card
1000 Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
World Championships 2006 - No. 2 Trainer Card
1999 Super Secret Battle No.1 Trainer Card
Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo
University Magicarp Card
2012 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card
Master's Key
1999 Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle - Tropical Wind
1999 Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey
1996 Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur
Ex Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic Card
Gold Star Rayquaza
2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard
Japanese Pokemon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu
Summer Battle Road 2007 - Miracle Diamond Card
2002 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card
Japanese Design Promo 2nd Grade Winner Spikey-Eared Pichu
Wonder Platinum Trophy Card

1. Pikachu Illustrator - $5,275,000

Pikachu Illustrator Card Statistics

The most expensive Pokémon card ever sold by a whopping $4,855,000 is, of course, Pikachu Illustrator. Sold to the YouTube, boxing, and wrestling sensation Logan Paul back in 2022, he’s not shy when it comes to boasting his multi-million investment, flaunting the metallic card card at WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania 38.

Originally handed out to the winners of an illustration contest held in the Japanese monthly Manga Corocoro Comics in 1998, competition winners took home the soon-to-be renowned Illustrator card, along with 20 copies of the card they submitted to the illustration contest. Just 39 of these cards were printed, with 24 receiving PSA gradings, however, only one was granted an esteemed GEM-MT 10 grade - Logan Paul’s record-breaking Illustrator card.

It's common knowledge that Logan has been dying to get his hands on that single perfect Illustrator card for a while, trading his PSA-9 card alongside $4million to own the only perfect version of Pikachu Illustrator known to exist – pricing that extra grading point at $4million and gaining him the Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold - Wild, right?

But Logan Paul isn’t the only celebrity with his eyes set on Pikachu Illustrator. Back in 2021, DJ and music producer Steve Aoki splashed $420,000 on an ungraded Pikachu Illustrator card, which he subsequently had graded at a PSA-9, now estimated to have a worth of around $855,000-$1million.

The celebrity marketing, alongside the inherently limited supply of Pikachu Illustrator means that, as time passes and the cards become more difficult to obtain, the value will undoubtedly continue to rise.

2. 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard - $420,000

1st Edition Shadowless Charizard Statistics

Here we are, the rare Charizard Pokémon card you’ve all been waiting for – the renowned 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard.

Made especially rare due to the lack of the famed ‘shadow’ effect alongside Charizard’s image frame, the limited number of graded copies has made this card a collector’s dream. Although there are thousands of these cards floating around, only 54 have received a GEM-MT 10 grade, turning them into must-haves for Pokémon fans and TCG collectors alike.

There’s no doubting the effect of the Pokémon boom when it comes to the sale of ultra-rare Pokémon cards, and none prove that quite like the 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard. Back in 2020, Logan Paul spent $150,000 on his PSA-10 graded card, only for the value to skyrocket to $420,000 in 2022. Although the card sold in 2022 was not Logan Paul’s treasured Charizard, it was sold with a PSA-10 grade, making it a like-for-like equivalent.

What makes Logan’s 2020 move even more impressive is not only the perfect timing of his purchase but his grading tactics. Logan Paul had his 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard cross-graded with Beckett, meaning he now owns a re-graded card with PSA and Beckett, with a perfect 10 from Beckett far harder to achieve than a mint 10 from PSA. With a Beckett 10, Logan’s card is now considered more valuable than the PSA-10 cards in existence, and as such, the new value of Logan’s card is said to be around $ 1 million. A calculated risk? We’d certainly say so.

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3. Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo - $360,000

Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo Card Statistics

Within the lore of the Pokémon TCG, this card occupies a special niche. Originally conceived as a presentation card, it was designed to exemplify the quintessential attributes of an English Pokémon card. This unique genesis, coupled with the unprecedented rarity of only two known copies, imbues it with a significance that collector’s treasure.

This card commanded a remarkable $360,000 in 2021, a testament to its exceptional rarity. Only two of these cards exist, and intriguingly, neither has undergone grading, adding an air of mystique to their already remarkable aura.

While its outward appearance may deceive the untrained eye, the Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo card harbors distinct features. Its captivating holofoil design, reminiscent of a celestial spectacle, conceals a rare blank reverse side, setting it apart from every other Pokémon card. The squared corners, a departure from the rounded edges of the first edition cards, serve as another hallmark of obscurity.

A tantalizing thought emerges: Had this card surfaced during the zenith of Pokémon card valuations, its price could have exceeded half a million dollars, even eclipsing the record set by the iconic 1st edition Shadowless Charizard in 2022.

4. No Rarity Charizard - $234,000

No Rarity Charizard (Signed) Statistics

The exceptional sale of this card for an awe-inspiring $324,000 in 2022, marked by the signature of renowned illustrator Mitsuhiro Arita, has secured its place as a treasure beyond measure in the world of collectibles.

This specific card’s splendor is twofold, drawing its magnificence from both its origin and the signature that adorns it. The absence of the rarity symbol on this card, a result of a printing anomaly, renders it an inadvertent first addition to the Japanese Pokémon editions. This printing peculiarity, coupled with variations in text, grants this card an extraordinary status.

Of particular note is the signature that elevates this card to unparalleled heights. Mitsuhiro Arita, an artist who has contributed his creativity to the Pokémon Trading Card Game since its inception, added his autograph to this card, transforming it into a cherished masterpiece. The card's value, which reached an astonishing $325,000, owes much of its magnificence to this unique personal touch.

While the exact quantity of No Rarity Charizard cards remains unknown, their scarcity is unquestionable. Only six of these cards have received grades ranging from 8 to 10 by the PSA. Astonishingly, only a single card holds the prestigious PSA 10 grade.

A GEM-MT 10 copy returned a commendable price of just over $20,000 in September 2017, a value that soared to an astonishing $60,000 by 2020. The No Rarity Charizard is a rare gem.

5. 1997 Bronze Pikachu No.3 Trainer Trophy Card - $300,000

1997 Bronze Pikachu No.3 Trainer Trophy Card Statistics

It may not be the rare Pikachu Pokémon card that you’re aware of (we’ll get to that), but the 1997 Bronze Pikachu No.3 Trainer Trophy card recently broke records with its remarkable $300,000 sale in April 2023.

This card stands as a testament to the first-ever tournament held for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a pivotal moment in the franchise’s history. The unique trophy card was awarded to the runners-up of this inaugural tournament held in 1997 in Chiba, Japan.

Just 4 copies of this card exist, each residing in the hands of collectors. The rarity of this card is accentuated by the fact that all 4 copies received a grade 8 (near-mint) from the PSA, preserving their quality.

The symbolism of this card is powerful, signifying achievement and dedication within the Pokémon TCG community. The individuals who attained the status of bronze winners in the historic tournament were rewarded with this exceedingly valuable card, a testament to their skill.

The record-breaking sale of the 1997 Bronze Pikachu No.3 Trainer Trophy Card for $300,000 shows just how rare this card is, and as the auction gathered over 50 bids, the card achieved new heights within the world of the most expensive Pokémon cards.


Black Star Ishihara GX Promo Signed Pokemon Card Statistics

A tribute beyond measure, the monumental sale of the Black Star Ishihara GX Promo card for $247,230 etched its name into the annals of collectible card history.

While the exact number of copies produced remains a mystery, estimates place it within the range of 30 to 200 copies. Of these, only one holds the coveted PSA 10 grade, further cementing its position as a collector’s gem.

The card’s creation was a tribute to celebrate the 60th birthday of Tsunekazu Ishihara, the esteemed president of The Pokémon Company. The cards were distributed to a select group of employees and friends during the 2018 World Championships in Nashville, Tennessee. A particularly fortunate employee even secured a copy signed by the man himself, adding an unparalleled layer of authenticity and value to the card.

In early 2021, a momentous sale of this signed card for $247,230 captured the attention of collectors worldwide. The card was subsequently graded with an above-average PSA 7 rating, however, the existence of a single PSA 10 graded version ignited speculation on whether it could potentially command a higher price than its signed, PSA 7 counterpart. Unlikely, but possible.

7. Family Event Kangaskhan - Holo #115 Trophy Card - $150,000

Family Event Kangaskhan Holo #115 Trophy Card Statistics

Given out exclusively in Japan after a parent and child Pokémon tournament held in 1998, the Family Event Kangaskhan Holo #115 Trophy card embodies the spirit of familial bonding within the Pokémon community. The parent and child teams that achieved the most victories across the tournament were awarded this prestigious card, making it a symbol of both competition and shared experience.

The exact quantity of this card remains a mystery, adding an air of intrigue to its already captivating history. The card’s presumed scarcity is emphasized by the fact that only 46 cards have been assessed by the PSA, with just 11 receiving a grade of 10.

The rise in value of this card is nothing short of remarkable. Just a few years ago, it was selling for around $10,000. However, in October 2020, a PSA-graded 10 card achieved a staggering sale price of $150,000, showcasing the extraordinary demand for the rarest Pokémon cards. The combined value of the 11 PSA 10 cards in circulation now exceeds $1.5 million.

8. 2000 Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 - $144,300

2000 Pokemon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia Statistics

The draw of the 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 is unmistakable, stemming from its stunning design and the inherent rarity of 1st edition cards. While the exact number of cards printed is still speculated, a staggering 3,358 have been scrutinized and graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), with just 41 of them achieving a pristine 10.

Originally released in Western markets, this card’s exceptional sale price of $144,300 marked a significant milestone. The card's previous sale in November 2020, where it commanded almost $130,000, indicated a trend towards increasing value.

While the soaring price of this card is quite an achievement, its impact on the broader Neo Genesis set remains to be seen. The Neo Genesis Set, a part of Pokémon TCG history, has experienced an uptick in value due to recent market movements. Prior to these shifts, the average sale price of Neo Genesis cards hovered around $70,000.

As collectors continue to seek out these precious pieces of Pokémon history, this card’s legacy is firmly established among the most treasured and sought-after pieces within the Pokémon TCG world.

9. World Championships 2006 - No. 2 Trainer Card - $110,000

World Championships 2006 No.2 Trainer Card Statistics

Introducing another incredibly rare, and therefore very valuable, Pokémon card. With only 3 cards in existence, the World Championships 2006 No. 2 Trainer Card holds a place of utmost exclusivity. These cards were given to participants who reached the finals of the 2006 World Championships, making them not only cherished mementos of achievement but also highly coveted collectors’ items.

The World Championships 2006 No.2 Trainer card’s origin traces back to the 2006 World Championships at the Anaheim Hilton, where it was distributed to participants who earned their place in the finals of their retrospective divisions.

The sale of this card at $110,000 marked a pivotal moment in the world of Pokémon card collecting. Notably, the card's singular graded status among those known to exist is a defining characteristic. Graded at a PSA 9, this card shares its grade with the only other known example. With two more copies of this card seemingly in existence, anticipation lingers for the moment when their owners decide to part with them, potentially adding to the graded population of this rare Pokémon card.

10. 1999 Super Secret Battle No.1 Trainer Card - $90,000

1999 Super Secret Battle No.1 Trainer Card Statistics

With only 8 of these cards ever printed, the majority of which were bestowed upon the 7 champions of the 1999 Pokémon World Championships held in Tokyo, this card is amongst the rarest out there. Curiously, an additional card made its way into circulation, adding to the mystery surrounding its origins.

All 8 cards known to exist have undergone grading, with 6 achieving a coveted PSA 10 rating and 2 achieving a commendable PSA 9 rating. The grading of these cards speaks to the care with which these cards have been treated by their fortunate owners.

Despite its exceptional rarity, the 199 Super Secret Battle No.1 Card sold for $90,000. While some might have anticipated a higher sale price given its supposed rarity, this figure still stands as a substantial return for a card that was given at no cost.

The card’s artwork, masterfully created by Hideki Kazama, graces the coveted Secret Super Battle promo set. In the Japanese language, the card bears a proclamation that cements its significance: “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion is recognized here, and this honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain entry to the Secret Super Battle”. Quite the win for any Pokémon champ!

11. Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo - $78,000

Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo Pokemon Card Statistics

Introducing the Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo, which made headlines back in 2021 with a whopping auction sale of $78,000.

With the exact number of Gold Star Unbreon Play Promo cards remaining shrouded in mystery, collectors are keen to get their hands on this one.

To obtain this card during its release, collectors needed to be members of the Pokémon Players Club and amass an outlandish 70,000 EXP points before the conclusion of the fourth season. With players receiving just 100 points for attending official events, the rarity of this card is tied to the near impossibility of attaining one first-hand, reinforced by the mere 24 cards graded by the PSA to date.

The cards exceptional sale in December 2021 marked a noteworthy moment in the realm of rare Pokémon cards. Its achievement of a PSA GEM-MT 10 rating played a significant role in elevating its value, surpassing the previous record for this card by a substantial $8,000.

The Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo’s rarity is underscored by the conditions for acquiring it during its release. The stringent requirements, coupled with a relatively short time frame for accumulating points, make the Japanese print of this card a true rarity within the Pokémon card world.

12. University Magicarp Card - $78,000

University Magicarp Pokemon Card Statistics

Despite a pretty large print run of 1,000 cards, the University Magicarp Card is pretty scarce within the collector’s market. With just 68 cards submitted for grading, 45 of which received ratings between 8 and 10, and an impressive 12 achieving a perfect PSA 10 rating, this card is pretty rare.

The University Magicarp’s most recent sale shattered expectations, far surpassing its average price over recent years, which had stood at around $17,000. In April 2022, a Gem Mint 10 copy of the card, auctioned by PWCC, commanded a staggering $78,000. This sale marked a significant milestone, eclipsing the previous record by an impressive $12,000.

The card’s origin lies in a promotional campaign orchestrated by Tamamushi University. In this initiative, school children in Japan were invited to “enroll” in the fictional University. Through a series of mail-in exams, participants competed for a range of prizes, including school supplies and cosmetic badges. The reward everyone was after, however, was the University Magicarp Card, which was awarded to the winners of the final special tournament held in Osaka.

13. 2012 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card - $72,000

2012 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card

Arriving at lucky number 13, we have the remarkable 2012 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer Card, which made headlines with an enormous sale price of $72,000 in late 2021.

With only three of these cards known to exist, and a single graded card amongst the trio, its scarcity is unparalleled. The graded card achieved a PSA 9 rating, tantalizing collectors with the possibility of what could happen should one of the remaining two cards ever surface to claim a PSA 10 rating, however, the whereabouts of these cards are unknown.

Awarded to the winners of the Pokémon World Championships held in Hawaii in 2012, this card holds significance as a memento of their triumphs. The exclusivity of this card is amplified by the limited nature of World Championship cards, often exhibiting wear and tear even before they enter the hands of the winners.

What truly distinguishes this card is its limited nature. Its value is intricately tied to its singular graded status, cementing it as a coveted relic in the realm of rare Pokémon cards. Until more of these cards emerge, its value is poised to continue its upward trajectory, affirming its place among the most sought-after treasures for collectors of rare Pokémon cards.

14. Master's Key - $66,000

Master's Key Pokemon Card Statistics

The Master’s Key card recently shattered records with a staggering sale price of $66,000, showcasing its rarity and immense value among collectors.

Remarkably, the Master’s Key card is a newer addition to the Pokémon TCG, having been introduced in 2010. Its recent creation further underscores the remarkability of the value generated in a relatively short span of time, and by no means was it a conventional release.

The Master’s Key card was an exclusive prize awarded to the highest-ranking participants in Japan’s representative tournament, a counterpart to the national championships. This card held an elite status, marking the pinnacle of achievement for top-tier players in bother the TCG and the video game competition held simultaneously.

With only 36 cards printed, and just 11 graded 8-10, the rarity of this card was first recognized in 2019 when a copy fetched over $21,000 at auction, setting a new record at the time.

However, that record was soon blown out of the water when, in May 2023, another copy of the card with a near-perfect Beckett grading of 9.5 reached an astounding sale price of $66,000.

PWCC, a renowned collectibles marketplace, acknowledged the Master’s Key Card’s unique status as “one of the rarest modern Pokémon cards in existence”. Its TCG manager, Peter Petipas, emphasized the card’s allure, stating, “The Mater’s Key prize card is one of the most highly coveted issues across all of Pokémon”. With just 36 known copies in the world, the likelihood of such a card appearing in the market is exceedingly rare.

15. 1999 Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle - Tropical Wind - $65,100

1999 Pokemon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Card Statistics

When it comes to ultra-rare Pokémon cards, our 15th-place entry is just that: ultra-rare! This card achieved an astonishing sale of $65,100 in October 2020, and the PSA now estimates its value at an incredible $148, 482. Among the rarest Pokémon cards, this gem really stands out.

With a print run of fewer than 600 copies and only one graded example – a pristine 10 – the scarcity of well-cared-for cards is undeniable. Initially, these cards were distributed to all 576 participants across nine regional Japanese Pokémon tournaments. These tournaments determined the qualifiers for the International Tropical Mega Battle tournament held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

And the rest of the cards, you ask? An additional 10 copies of the card were distributed through a mail-in lottery campaign from Trainer Magazine Vo.3. Cool, right?

Delving deeper, the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle served as a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of competitive TCG play. This exclusive event brought together 50 players from across the globe to partake in a tournament set against the stunning backdrop of Honolulu. The cards, including the Tropical Wind card, were given as prizes, marking them as some of the most valuable Pokémon cards in existence.

16. 1999 Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey - $63,000

1999 Pokemon Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey Card Statistics

Our odyssey through the realm of expensive Pokémon cards brings us to the 16th entry in our list: the 1999 Pokémon Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Chansey card. The card achieved a staggering feat, selling for an astounding $63,000 in December 2022.

This card’s rarity is thanks to its awesome backstory, and we're here to tell you all about it. As part of the promotional run for the N64 game Pokémon Snap, two contests were held, inviting players to submit their best snapshots from the game. Among them was the Nintendo-sponsored Japanese TV show “64 Mario Stadium”, which spanned from 1993-2000. Just five winners were rewarded with 15 copies of their snapshot on an official Pokemon card, and these cards stand as the sole existing copies of their kind.

This card remains a testament to the intersection of gaming and collectibles, with winning snapshots transformed into official Pokémon cards. The rarity of this card is close to unparalleled, as only 15 were ever produced, making them exceptionally difficult to acquire.

Among the contest winners was Kaori Someya, whose snapshot of Chansey earned her a place in Pokémon history. In December 2022, a copy of this card changed hands for an astonishing $63,000, with a tough Beckett grade of 8.5, which at present is the highest grade for this particular card.

Who knows what price we could expect should a pristine version land on the desk of a PSA or Beckett grader any time soon.

17. 1996 Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur - $55,000

1996 Pokemon Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur (Signed) Statistics

Still with us on our journey through the most valuable Pokémon cards? Well good because number 17 is extraordinary.

This card garnered significant attention by fetching an astonishing $55K in November 2021, showing the value of a simple printing error.

That’s right, the No Rarity Symbol cards emerge as anomalies stemming from a printing error, and the 1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set Holo Venusaur is one such card, with a small number of early Japanese base set cards missing the iconic black star from the bottom right-hand corner. This unintentional quirk imbues them with a distinct desirability that collectors can’t resist, and this sale proved that point.

The rarity of this card is accentuated by its scarcity in the market. Of the few printed, a mere 23 have been awarded with grading scores ranging between 8 and 10. Amazingly, only 5 of these achieved the prestigious PSA 10 rating, making them perfect specimens in terms of quality and condition. The card’s allure culminated in a remarkable sale of $55,000 in November 2021, with the sold copy holding the distinction of being one of those 5 PSA 10-rated cards.

Given that the PSA has ceased grading this specific card variant, the limited number of PSA 10-rated copies is unlikely to increase, further elevating the card’s rarity.

What’s more, this card was signed by the one and only Mitsuhiro Arita. Fortunately, the signature graced the protective case rather than the card itself, preserving the card's integrity, but this renders the value of unsigned versions somewhat unknown. What we do know however is that it’s unlikely an unsigned version of this card would fetch quite as much at auction, but that’s something to watch out for.

18. Ex Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic Card - $50,000

Ex Team Rocket Card Statistics

This card stole the spotlight with a jaw-dropping sale price of $50,000 in late 2021, showing the world that it’s not just Charizard who’s capable of commanding the big bucks.

While the exact print quantity of this card remains unknown, a total of 322 cards have been submitted for inspection to the PSA, with a mere 17 achieving the crowning PSA GEM-MT 10 rating.

This card’s charm is undeniable, representing an extraordinary example of the high-value Pokémon card prices can achieve. Among the EX Team-Rocket Returns set, this fire-type Pokémon remains a standout, eclipsing others within the same collection. Its sale marked a significant moment in the world of Pokémon card collecting, with very few collectors estimating such a sale for a starter card, especially a first-phase card as recent as this one, originally sold in 2004. It just goes to show that you never know the value hiding in your Pokedex.

19. Gold Star Rayquaza - $45,100

Gold Star Rayquaza Statistics

Continuing our exploration of the most expensive Pokémon cards, we now set our sights on the 19th entry on our list: Gold Star Rayquaza. The card took a remarkable $45,100 in December 2020, cementing its place in the list of top-tier Pokémon card prices.

A relative newcomer to the TCG, the Gold Star Rayquaza debuted in 2005 as part of the EX Deoxys set. Within this set, it stands as one of seven different Rayquaza variants, each with its own unique appeal. Despite the presence of multiple Rayquaza cards, it may be surprising to learn that Gold Star Rayquaza isn’t the rarest among them, making its sale price all the more surprising.

The allure of this card is thought to lie in its exquisite design and limited availability, with 440 cards graded over the past 15 years. Of these, a mere 46 have achieved the coveted mint PSA 10 rating, representing the pinnacle of trading card condition. It’s also notable that the record-breaking price for this card was set by one of the 46 pristine versions signifying the immense value collectors attribute to the finest cards.

20. 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard - $40,800

2002 1st Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard Statistics

While it’s by no means the rarest card in terms of quantity (there are 134 PSA 10 graded cards known to exist), the 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard card holds a distinctive position within the world of Pokémon E-Cards.

The Pokémon E-Card series introduced a unique interactive element, with the barcodes lining the sides designed for Game Boy Advance scanning with an E-Reader peripheral. The Crystal Charizard hails from the final expansion of the Japanese E-Card series and stands out as one of the Colorless Crystal Pokémon, devoid of any specific energy type. Embodying the intersection of gaming and collectibles, these E-Cards offered access to card information and occasional entry to mini-games, making them intriguing additions to any collection.

The auction held at PWCC in October 2022 saw a pristine PSA 10 version of this card claim the spotlight, commanding a hefty $40,800. While this price isn’t the highest paid for a Charizard card, it serves to signify the value of E-Cards in the Pokémon collecting world.

21. Japanese Pokemon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu - $32,520

Japanese Pokemon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu

Introducing the Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu card, one of the most recent record setters fetching an incredible $32,520 back in March and igniting discussions about the evolution of the Pokémon collector’s market.

But as collectors often ponder, “What is the rarest Pokémon card?”, While our journey through the rarest Pokémon continues, this card undoubtedly holds its own unique status among collectors. Distributed at an exclusive event marketing the franchise’s 20th anniversary, this card was given as a memento during the Pokémon 20th Anniversary Fiesta back in October 2016, showcasing the original starter Pokémon from the foundational video games; Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green. With Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Pikachu rendered in holographic splendor, you’ll notice the card is also embellished with the emblem of the 20th-anniversary celebration.

The auction house responsible for this sale opened its bidding at a humble $500, with bids quickly toppling $32,000, much to the astonishment of the collector’s community and the auction house themselves. Grading experts at BGS awarded the card a pristine ‘10’ rating, signifying the highest echelon of quality attainable. This triumphant transaction etched a new milestone in the card’s short history, underscoring its position as a sought-after rarity.

22. Summer Battle Road 2007 - Miracle Diamond Card - $32,000

Summer Battle Road 2007 Miracle Diamond Card Statistics

Despite the assumption that the original print quantity makes this card no rarer than a classic Bill Trainer Card, its scarcity has now become evident. After being distributed to the top three competitors in each age division during Japan’s 2007 Battle Road Spring Tournaments, there is now an estimated 90 copies in existence, with just 9 of those receiving a top-tier PSA grading of 8-10.

The passage of over 14 years since distribution has only enhanced this card's mystique, when in late 2021 a copy sold for an impressive $32,000 at auction, affirming its esteemed place in the hierarchy of Pokémon collectibles.

Among the 9 cards professionally graded by the PSA, only 6 achieved the prestigious GEM-MT 10 rating, one of which was the record-breaking card sold here. It’s no longshot to suggest that this sale now sets an impressive benchmark for the remaining 4 owners should they choose to part ways with their prize cards.

23. 2002 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card - $31,200

2002 Pokemon World Championships No.1 Trainer Card Statistics

Claiming the 23rd spot amongst the most valuable Pokémon cards is the unique 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer Card. With a staggering auction price of $31,200 in April 2021, this card is a true collector’s gem.

With only 2 copies distributed, this card's scarcity is only enhanced by its personal touches – the names of the winners from the regional Battle Road Spring tournaments held in Japan back in 2002.

Illustrated by Ken Sugimori, the visionary behind the original 151 Pokémon, this card is a testament to the fusion of artistry and rarity. It’s no surprise that this enigmatic card is rarely seen at auction, after all, there are only 2 in existence, and you’d think the personalized nature would have the competition winner clinging onto the card for eternity.

It was quite a shock to the Pokémon collector community when a complete set including the card, its original display folder, and delivery envelope appeared at auction in 2021, fetching a record price and emphasizing the card’s exceptional status in the Pokémon collecting realm. What’s more, this card was ungraded – who knows what a PSA Gem Mint 10 would have fetched? Who knows, perhaps this sale will encourage the second winner to come forward and trade their card for a payout!

24. Japanese Design Promo 2nd Grade Winner Spikey-Eared Pichu - $25,800

Japanese Design Promo Card Statistics

In 24th place, we present a true rarity that reverberates with the Essence of Pokémon card value. This card's journey recently culminated in a staggering sale of $25,800, with its uniqueness stemming from its origin as a young fan's creation back in 2009.

Born from a drawing contest that spanned numerous children’s magazines in Japan during the late noughties, this initiative was woven around the promotion of the Pokémon movie “Arceus and the Jewel of Life”. The contest was open to children from Kindergarten through to 12th grade, allowing them to show their creativity by crafting a design featuring either Spikey-Eared Pichu or Arceus, with the winning designs immortalized in the form of their very own Pokémon card.

The design for this adorable version of Spikey-Eared Pichu was created by a second grader, a mere 7/8-year-old at the time. As the winner in their category, their character design transcended paper and pencil to become a physical piece of Pokémon lore – a design that materialized into a bona fide Pokémon card, every Pokémon fan's dream.

The exact number of cards awarded to each competition victor remains a mystery, however, auction house PWCC estimates that a modest range of anywhere between 13-100 copies of each winning card was produced. Scarcity propels these cards to the zenith of rarity within the world of Pokémon collectibles, placing them among the most elusive treasures the series ever crafted.

Just 60 cards within this collection are thought to have been graded to date, with just three of these Spikey-Eared Pichu cards confirmed. The coveted PSA Gem Mint 10 rating given to just one of these cards cements it as a collector’s must-have, with its eventual sale price setting a new benchmark and etching this card as the most expensive card ever to feature Pichu.

25. Wonder Platinum Trophy Card - $25,100

Wonder Platinum Trophy Card Statistics

Securing the 25th spot on our countdown of the most valuable Pokémon cards is the illustrious Wonder Platinum Trophy Card, standing as a testament to the unwavering allure of Pokémon card value. This storied card, which exchanged hands for an incredible $25,100 in November 2020, was originally bestowed upon the crème de la crème of competitors at the revered Japanese National Championships in 2009. Its artwork showcases Giratina, bedecked with a resplendent platinum pendant – an emblem of prestige in the Pokémon universe.

While rumor suggests that only 36 copies of this card exist, the tale of its rarity delves deeper. The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) have graded only eight of these cards, with just six achieving a flawless, perfect 10 rating – an affirmation of their exceptional preservation.

In late 2020, a card graded 9.5 by Beckett’s harsher grading system commanded a jaw-dropping $25,100, showing that cards from the e-Card era are stepping forth as collectibles, too.

At Aura Print, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Printing custom playing cards, designing custom TCG cards, and creating board game cards in-house, few know the ins and outs of playing card printing quite like we do.

If you want to learn more about creating your own tarot cards, Magic cards, or unofficial Pokémon-style cards, get in touch with our team today!


Ready to dive into our next TCG list? We put together the ultimate guide to the 21 most expensive MTG cards, and we think you're going to love it!



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