10 Most Expensive Pokémon Cards

28 June 2021

If You Are a Pokemon Enthusiast, This One’s for You. Find Out the Top 10 Most Expensive Pokemon Cards Out There.

Since the 1990s Pokémon cards have been on a repeat cycle of going from hottest property to distant memory in school yards across the globe. Collect em, swap em, and play the game to win em.

In a regular player hand, there are cards which are far more valuable than others. Rarity depends on the art; the detail and how many prints are in circulation. Cards include common graphics, hologram, reverse hologram, full body, half body and secret rare… to name a few.

But these are not the kind of rare cards we’re going to introduce you to, today. Nay, these are the stuff that nerds’ wet dreams are made off. These cards fetch ludicrous prices at auction so let’s get Pokémon with it.

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Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5, Sold for $22,000

Off the bat, Espeon and Umbreon might not be well known, but they are basically the psychic and dark elemental siblings of Eeveelutions, of the evolved fennec fox, Eevee. 

The Gold Star Pokémon cards are easily the most valuable Pokémon sets made, and Espeon and Umbreon are the two rarest cards in the set. In this set the Pokémon’s name is followed by a gold star. This is a sign the card features alternative-colour artwork different from the common version. Between 2004 and 2007 only 27 gold cards were released.

The Japanese versions of the cards are the most valuable due to their limited availability, even the English-language versions of the Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star cards have a high value.

A Mint condition rated 10 by the Professional Sports Authenticator or PSA Umbreon sold for $20,000 in December 2020. Soon after a Gold Star Espeon, also graded as a 10-pointer, sold in February 2021 for $22,000. Who could have predicted that? Well, these psychic siblings could have.


1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind, Sold for $65,100

This Pokemon card is too expensive and waaaaay out of the budget of the average kid’s pocket money. Only a dozen of these ultra-rare promo card were ever made, and to get your hands on one, you must beat out the best players of the game.

The 1999 Tropical Mega Battle was a predecessor to the Pokémon World Championships we see today. 50 players were invited to take part in the global champs in Honolulu, Hawaii. All had Pokémon trainer status as they had to win a battle in the local region to be invited.

In October 2020 one of these rare cards, a PSA Gem Mint 10 condition card went up for sale. It earned the seller $65,100. PSA values the card as high as $148,482, now that is some decent bank. But if you want to know about the gold standard in Pokémon cards, stick around until the end for a real nugget.


University Magikarp, Sold for $66,100

The University Magikarp had only 68 of these cards graded by the PSA, the largest and most trusted card grading service in the world. The cards were a prize for winners in a special tournament in Osaka, Japan.

The card turned out to be a great prize as anytime one goes on sale, they raise high numbers before they change hands. The average price for a University Magikarp card remained around $17,000, but in February 2021 a card sold for a $66,100 on eBay.

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No. 1 Trainer, Sold for $90,000 The Rarest Pokémon Card

In 1999 finalists in the Secret Super Battle tournament held in Tokyo were gifted with what would become the rarest and very expensive Pokemon card of all time: The No 1 Trainer.

Only seven copies are in existence of this rare holographic Pikachu promotional card. The Competition was held in a secret location and players who had won a regional tournament were given the card to use as access to the finals. To date, six of the seven cards have been certified as in perfect Gem Mint 10 condition by PSA. One recently sold at auction for $90,000 but being the rarest card they are thought to be able to fetch much more.


1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia, Sold for $144,300

The 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia Pokemon Card is an unusual addition to the list, because it is unusual for a card released in the West to be so expensive and sell for such a high price. The Lugia had previously been valued at around $70,000 when one of the 41 available cards made it to market.

But in November 2020 PWCC Auctions closed bidding on nearly $130,000. Only 6 months later in 2021 another mint condition card came up for auction and sold for $144,300. So, it seems that the 1st edition Lugia is hot property and is the sixth most expensive Pokémon card.

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Family Event Kangaskhan, Sold for $150,100

It seems that PWCC Auctions knows their way around a Pokémon trading card auction, because when they brought The Family Event Kangaskhan card to auction in October 2020, they sold one for 15 times the expected value.

Before this auction, the Kangaskhan had sold for around $10,000. But this card, which was awarded to the parent and child teams who racked up the most wins at a Pokémon Tournament in Japan, is now being sold for $150,100. There are eleven Mint copies in circulation registered with PSA. Not a bad way to make money to send your kids to college if you think about it!


Pikachu Illustrator, Sold for $195,000

The Pikachu Illustrator is considered the holy grail of Pokémon trading cards. There are only 10 certified copies, but 19 are thought to still exist from the original 41 copies made.

What makes this card so special is that is it the only card that says Illustrator. It has a once off pen icon in the bottom right corner which indicates rarity. And the picture of Pikachu is by Atsuko Nishida, the original illustrator of the fan-favourite Pokémon.

The cards were given to 39 winners of promo contests in 1997 and 1998, later the card game’s creator found 2 more copies bringing the total to 41 ever created.

In October 2019, a card graded as Mint 9, one grade less than perfect condition, was sold at auction. This rare and unique card took $195,000 or $224,250, if you include the buyer’s premium.


Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card, Sold for $247,230

2021 has been a good year for Pokemon Card trading and this rare expensive card is no exception. In 2017 the Pokémon Company produced a personally signed card of the Pokémon Company founder and president Tsunekazu Ishihara for his 60th birthday as a gift to all company staff.

The rare card has great personal traits written into it. The ability is “Red Chanchanko” which is a Japanese tradition of wearing a red vest on 60th birthdays. It is impervious to any attack, ability, or trainer card against Ishihara. The GX move is “60 Congratulations”, which instructs players to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one.

In April 2021 one went on sale and brought in a whopping $247,230. Now that’s what we call a birthday present!


Pokémon Blastoise #009/165r Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram, Sold for $360,000

Only two of these presentation cards were ever produced, and the whereabouts of only one is known. These presentation cards were produced in 1998 by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo of Japan executives to allow it to handle the English-language release of the card game.

The only known card was graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC. Which puts this, perhaps one of a kind, 20-year-old card in near mint condition. When it went to auction in January 2021, you can be sure that Pokémon card collectors were ready and waiting. The bidding closed at $360,000. Ask Magic the Gathering, you can’t make this stuff up!

If all this trading card stuff is sounding good, be sure to check out our video:


1st Edition Shadowless Charizard, Sold for $399,750

The Shiny Charizard has been a fan favourite since it was first released in 1999. It combines holographic detail, one of the most loved characters with great fighting stats. But the shadowless misprint that leaked into circulation from the 1st edition has a lack of a shadow underneath the fire-breathing dragon. The PSA website lists 54 GEM-MT 10 copies of the card in existence.

In October 2020, controversial YouTuber Logan Paul, got his hands on one for $150,000. But in the same month retired rapper, Logic scored one of the rare cards when he put up $220,574 for one, according to card game outlet Cardhops.

But that wasn’t the highest figure the Shadowless Charizard would see, because in early 2021 Goldin Auctions, sold a copy of the card for $399,750. Giving the 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard the title of the most expensive Pokemon card ever sold.

If you’re interested in YouTubers, don’t forget to check out 10 Youtubers With the Most Expensive Homes.  


What is the best Pokémon card you hold?