Have you ever wondered what the most expensive and rare Pokémon cards are? Fortunately, we’ve put up a list that shows you which cards are regarded to be the rarest and how much they’ll cost you if you want to get your hands on them.
The value and rarity of a Pokémon card are mostly influenced by one factor: the number of official releases.
The more precious the card, the more costly it will be, with some of the most expensive ones fetching far over $1,000,000 if found in immaculate condition.
Even today, there are a plethora of cards available for dedicated collectors and amateurs alike.
Here are the top ten most uncommon and expensive Pokémon cards in the world right now, ranging from Master’s Key to Pikachu Illustrator.
Table of Contents
10. University Magikarp – $66,100
University Magikarp isn’t commonly for sale, but when it is, it normally sells for a hefty price.
The card’s average price in previous years has been approximately $17,000, but the most recent transaction was for much more.
A GEM-MT 10 copy of the card was sold on eBay for a whopping $66,100 at the end of February 2021.
This outperformed the previous record for the card (established in October 2020) by $16,000.
Tamamushi University gave out the card as a prize for winning a competition. Participants passed a series of examinations and were invited to a unique competition in Osaka.
Winners received a copy of University Magikarp once the competition concluded.
The card was printed in 1,000 copies, according to a magazine advertising supporting the competition, but only 68 have been graded by PSA.
9. Gold Star Umbreon Play Promo – $70,000
The Gold Star Umbreon Pokemon Play commercial, which was released in Japan in 2005, shows some very amazing artwork.
This, paired with the card’s scarcity, resulted in a copy selling for $70,000 in June 2021.
Beckett had evaluated the card as a 9.5, implying that a perfect 10 may increase the card’s worth even further.
To obtain a copy of the card, players must first join the Pokemon Player’s Club and then acquire 70,000 EXP points by the conclusion of the fourth season.
Given that players only got 100 points for attending official tournaments, not many of them were ever awarded, as indicated by the PSA grading just 24 of these so far.
8. World Championships 1999 – No.1 Trainer – $90,000
A replica of the No.1 Trainer card, considered by some to be the rarest Pokemon card in existence, sold at auction for $90,000 in July of 2020.
Given its apparent rarity, it’s a little odd that it didn’t sell for more, but $90,000 is still a good return for a free card.
At the 1999 Pokemon World Championships in Tokyo, each of the seven regional champions received the card, with an additional card making its way into circulation.
It is part of the secret super-fight promo package and has artwork by Hideki Kazama.
Only six of the eight PSA-graded versions of the card have received the ideal GEM-MT 10 rating.
7. World Championships 2006 – No.2 Trainer – $110,100
For some reason, No.2 Trainer cards have always been highly sought by collectors, and the 2006 Pokemon World Championships variation is no exception.
PWCC sold a PSA 9 graded copy for slightly more than $110,000 in February 2021, making it the most expensive No. 2 Trainer card to date.
The card was first distributed to competitors in the 2006 World Championships at the Anaheim Hilton, allowing them to return to the event the following year.
Winning one was not simple, since players had to reach the finals in their category. Perhaps it is for this reason that the card sold is the only one ever graded by the PSA.
6. 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia – $144,300
It’s unusual for a card issued in the West to fetch exorbitant prices unless it’s part of the basic set.
As a result, the original owner of this 1st edition Lugia card was undoubtedly astonished when PWCC Auctions sold it for about $130,000 in November of 2020.
Six months later, the price increased even higher when a duplicate of the card sold for $144,300.
Although the current record holder was graded by Beckett and achieved a 10 Pristine rating, there are 41 copies of the card that have obtained the PSA’s GEM-MT 10 rating.
It remains to be seen whether this transaction will cause other Neo Genesis cards to surge in value, but previous to the recent rise, the average sale price of a 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia was just $70,000.
5. Family Event Kangaskhan – $150,100
The Family Event Kangaskhan promo card cost roughly $10,000 four or five years ago.
A PSA GEM-MT 10 copy, on the other hand, sold for more than 15 times that price in October 2020.
The card in issue was sold on eBay by PWCC Auctions, with the final offer standing at a whopping $150,100.
The card was distributed in Japan during a parent-child Pokemon tournament in 1998.
Families competed against other families, with the parent and kid teams with the most victories receiving the Kangaskhan promo card.
There are only 11 GEM-MT 10 copies of the card in circulation, with a total worth of nearly $1,500,000.00.
4. Ishihara GX Promo – $247,230
The Black Star Ishihara GX promo card was developed to commemorate the 60th birthday of Tsunekazu Ishihara, the current president of the Pokemon Company.
The cards were distributed to a select group of colleagues and friends, with one lucky recipient having their copy personalized by the great man himself.
This card, which was later graded a 7 by the PSA, was sold by Goldin Auctions in early 2021 for little under a quarter-million dollars.
Only eight copies of the card have been graded by PSA since 2017, with only one achieving GEM-MT 10 rating.
It’s debatable if this will sell for more than the one sold by Goldin since, while it’s in better shape, it lacks Ishihara’s autograph, which may make it less attractive in the eyes of certain collectors.
3. Blastoise Wizards of the Coast Presentation Galaxy Star Holo – $360,000
It’s been nearly a quarter-century since Wizards of the Coast originally proposed a Pokemon trading card game to Nintendo.
According to rumors, the trading card manufacturer made two copies of a single card to attract the Japanese behemoth: Galaxy Star Presentation Blastoise.
Heritage Auctions sold one of these two versions for $360,000 in early 2021.
Because of the card’s scarcity, none of the two known specimens has ever been graded by the PSA.
If the card had been auctioned off a year or so earlier, when Pokemon card prices were at their zenith, it would have likely sold for more than $500,000, breaking the record for the most expensive Pokemon card in the process.
2. 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard – $399,750
Controversial Logan Paul, a YouTuber, made waves in October 2020 after spending $150,000 for a 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard card. Surprisingly, this is not the most costly version of the card ever sold.
In fact, it’s not even close. The current record holder is Goldin Auctions, who sold a replica of the card for slightly under $400,000 a few months later.
According to the PSA website, just 54 GEM-MT 10 copies of the card exist, which helps to explain their high value.
Given that Charizard’s base set was made in such large quantities, it’s highly feasible that there are hundreds, if not thousands, more copies out there just waiting to be discovered.
1. Pikachu Illustrator – $900,000
On multiple occasions, the Pikachu Illustrator card set the record for the most expensive Pokemon card ever sold.
The first occurred in late 2016 when a duplicate of the card was auctioned off for $74,000, followed by another for $190,000 a few years later.
Then, in July 2020, a copy sold for a whopping 25 million yen on the Japanese marketplace ZenPlus, while another sold for $375,000 on eBay in early 2021.
One year later, Goldin auctioned off a copy of Pikachu Illustrator for a whopping $900,000, reclaiming the title of most expensive Pokemon Card for the sixth time.
In 1998, the card was given to the winners of an artwork contest organized by the Japanese monthly comic CoroCoro Comics. Only 39 copies of the card were ever manufactured, with only 12 reported to be in good condition.
Interestingly, the current record holder was only a PSA 7 (near mint), thus if the sole extant GEM-MT 10 copy were to ever show up for auction, it would almost certainly fetch a far higher price, helping the Pikachu Illustrator card to truly solidify top rank.