Collectors are ready to pay thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rarest and most expensive Pokémon cards. Although you would think that a piece of cardboard with a picture on it that you trade in at the playground isn’t worth much.
Beginning in 1996, Pokémon developed numerous films and video games, but collectible cards still remain the living heart of the franchise.
Note that this ranking is doomed to evolve, probably quickly depending on the rating of cards on the market. We can also specify that it is a world top 20. Some cards are therefore only available for the Japanese, American or French market. Here we are simply interested in the rarity and value attributed to cards.
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Table of Contents
20 Rarest and Expensive Pokémon Cards List
20) Mentali and Noctali with a Gold Star
A gold star appears on extremely few cards of these two pokemon, but if it does, it is located exactly to the right of the name. These cards are rare because originally the Mentali card was only distributed to members of the Pokemon Players Club, and they had to redeem 50,000 points in order to get it! The Noctali is worth up to €4,000 and the Mentali up to €5,000.
19) Florizarre Edition 1 Holographic (1999)
Because Florizarre is one of the most collectable and also one of the most iconic first-gen Pokémon, the first edition of the card, especially if in good condition, can sell for a pretty large sum. One was also recently sold for more than 6,500€!
18) Brilliant Charizard
Shiny Pokémon cards were introduced with the second generation of Pokémon games, and the Shiny Charizard was the very first Shiny Pokémon found! What makes this card particularly aesthetic and therefore valuable is that the Charizard itself is holographic, rather than just the background. This card is usually valued at around 4000 euros, but it has already been sold for around 7300€!
17) Pokémon Booster Boxes with a Black Triangle
Normal Pokémon boosters can already sell for thousands of dollars if the box has never been opened as there can be a wide variety of rare cards inside. But if the box displays black triangle on the cover, it’s worth even more!
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The black triangle (Black Triangle Error in English) was added on some boosters because too many first edition boxes were printed at one time and it was decided to cover the first edition stamp with this triangle. Ironically, this still gave these cards some value.
As a result, the cards inside are classified as “Unlimited,” and because the packs are far more valuable and most expensive Pokémon card than the cards within, it’s critical to maintain them sealed to guarantee that the cards remain true. As a collector’s item, they’re worth a lot of money. A Booster was just sold for €7,000!
16) Snapshot Cards
When the Pokémon Snap game was released in 2000 on Nintendo 64, there was a promotional campaign that allowed players to take snapshots of the game, snapshots in screenshot mode. And the winners had their Pokémon photos printed on the trading cards!
Some of these unique cards have sold for up to $9,000 although most are much cheaper.
15) Cards of the Pokémon “Tropical Mega Battle”
From 1999 to 2001, an annual TGC ( Trading Card Game ) tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, called ” The Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle” .
There were only about 50 players each year at the TCG tournament, so promotional cards given out at these events are extremely rare. Some of these cards, like the One Tropical Mega Battle Trainer Card with a Psyduck, can cost over €8,000!
14) Tortank Edition 1 Holographic
Cards without shadows (on the edges of the frame) were created due to a production error and are therefore very rare and very valuable! Tortank isn’t the most valuable shadowless card, far from it, but a pristine card of this Pokémon can still be worth at least $8,000.
13) Charizard Edition 1 Holographic
There are a number of first edition Charizard cards, all different, and nearly all of them are valuable.
Specifically, the first edition of the German Charizard card named “Glurak” was recently sold for € 7,500 and is certainly one of the most sought-after first editions of Charizard.
First edition Charizards that are well preserved and well rated by professionals can almost certainly sell for over €8,000!
12) 2010 Japan World Championship “Master Key” Card
Every year, the crème de la crème of the best Pokémon card players meet at the World Championships and compete for cash, prizes and of course the title of Best Pokémon Card Player.
Only thirty-six participants competed in the 2010 TCG Championship, which was held at the Hilton in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, and they were the only ones to get this foil card, making it one of the most valuable cards on the market.
They are rarely put up for auction, but when they do, their resale price is always around €8,000 or more.
11) Mega Battle Tournament Kangaroo Cards
In May 1998, a special Parent / Child tournament, the Mega Battle, was held in Japan and during this event a special Kangourex promotional card was distributed only to the tournament winners.
Because these cards were only given out during this event, many collectors consider them to be the holy grail of Pokémon tournament cards and will pay over $8,000 for just one!
Now let’s get down to business with the Top 10 Pokémon Cards!
10) Raichu Pre-Release Cards
Prerelease cards (sometimes written pre-release or French as a preview) are Pokémon cards with a “PRERELEASE” stamp or the series logo on the card illustration. They are distributed during Prerelease events which are organized by the Pokémon leagues a few weeks before the release of a new expansion, generally in partner stores responsible for ordering and receiving the kits as well as the boosters that will be offered.
In Raichu’s case, there were only between 1 and 15 Raichu Pre-Realease cards available in the world (none in French), which means that it is extremely difficult to find one. A Raichu Pre-Release card can be sold for well over € 8,000.
9) Charizard Card 2002 from the “Position Only” Expedition Expansion
The Pokémon firm sent these cards to its employees, and they were never supposed to be sold, but it appears that at least one of them saved their original packets and sold them to collectors. several years later.
Because no one really knows how many cards were printed, they are definitely considered valuable collectible cards and were re-sold for just over $9,000.
8) Pikachu Ginza Tanaka 20th Anniversary 24K Gold
These cards have only been sold for 20 days in Japan, which means there are few in circulation. Each card is made from 11 grams of 24 karat gold and is made for decoration, not for technical play. While the amount of gold added to the card is only worth around € 500, the card has already sold for over €9,500!
7) Black Star Promo Holo Ishihara GX Card
During his 60th birthday party, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company distributed around thirty of these cards. They are rarely found for sale, this makes them one of the rarest cards on the market! Those most expensive Pokémon card which were sold were exchanged for nearly $11,000 .
6) Victory Orb “Summer Battle Road” Japanese Holographic Card
The 3 winners in each age group of the Summer Battle Road tournament in 2005 in Japan were awarded one of these cards, and they were only given out in that competition that year, making it the one of the rarest cards. Some recently sold this Trainer card for over €12,000!
5) Rayquaza Holographic 2005 EX Deoxys Gold Star
Rayquaza is one of the most powerful Pokémon around, and it has gained considerable popularity after being used as a mascot for the Pokémon Emerald video game. If you are lucky enough to have one of the Rayquaza cards with a gold star, you will find that it can be worth over €15,000!
4) Trainers Cards 1, 2 and 3
Each year at Worlds Finals Trading Card Game tournaments, the winners were rewarded with special Pokémon Trainer Cards. Receiving one of these cards was also a guarantee that you would be able to participate in the championship the following year.
Because only one Trainer card of each type was distributed each year, they are obviously extremely rare. Unfortunately, because these cards are so uncommon, no official price has been established. However, they are among the most costly Pokémon cards available, with individual prices believed to be in the thousands of dollars.
3) Magicarp Tamamushi University Promo Cards
In terms of the game, Magikarp isn’t the most powerful card, but there are only 30 to 100 of these cards in circulation, making it one of the most sought-after! They were first distributed in 1998 during a Japanese Pokemon Conference and are now valued up to €22,000 each.
2) Charizard Edition 1 Holographic without Shadow
Cards without shadows (hadowless in English) are cards that do not have a shadow on the contours of the image as we saw above. This error only occurred for a very short time, making this type of card rare and very valuable. In particular, the first edition of Shadowless Holographic Charizard can sell for € 40,000 or more if it also benefits from an irreproachable quality and rating!
1) Illustrator Pikachu Cards
The card Pikachu Illustrator (Pikachu Illustrator English) is by far the rarest card in circulation, making it the holy grail of Pokémon card collectors! Only the winners of the CoroCoro Cartoon Illustration Contest in Japan in 1998 received this card. So there are just a few of them left in the world!
These cards are generally worth a minimum of € 50,000 and have already been sold for over € 150,000. In 2020, the world record for the most expensive Pokémon card in the world was broken on our site!
An Illustrator Pikachu card was sold by ZenMarket for an astronomical amount of €200,000, on our ZenPlus platform thus confirming the status of the Pikachu Illustrator card as the most expensive and rare Pokémon card of all time.