Top 30 most expensive Pokémon cards of all time (ranked)

Top 30 most expensive Pokémon cards of all time (ranked)

Rare and valuable Pokemon cards have been known to make people millionaires in the blink of an eye. Some players who sold some of these cards over the last few years made quite a fortune. The game looks promising because the cards' value is continuously increasing. So, what are the most expensive Pokemon cards, and how much are they worth?

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Most expensive trainer Pokemon cards
Pokémon cards. Photo: pixabay.com, @federicoghedini
Source: UGC

The Pokemon phenomenon gained such a massive global following, a factor that has played a significant role in driving up the prices of rare cards.

The most expensive Pokemon cards in 2022

Here is a look at the priciest Pokemon cards of all time.

1. 1998 Pikachu Promo Holo Illustrator - $5.275 million

most expensive pokemon cards
Pikachu Holo Promo Illustrator. Photo: @JoeOrlandoPSA
Source: Twitter

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  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1998
  • Number: 1

What is the most expensive Pokemon card? The answer is the 1998 Pikachu Promo Holo Illustrator. The card was sold for a whopping $5.275 million in April 2022. This effectively made it the priciest Pokémon card of all time. Art contestants in Japan only made 39 of these in 1998. Only 12 of those are known to be in good condition.

2. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard #4 - $399,750

  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 54

The Shadowless Holographic Charizard card was released in 1999. The shiny Charizard's uniqueness is not having a shadow underneath the dragon. It is the most expensive Pokemon Charizard card.

According to the PSA website, there are just 54 GEM-MT 10 copies in existence, which explains their astronomical value. With one recently selling for close to $400,000, this is second on the list of the top 10 most expensive Pokemon cards.

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3. 1998 Blastoise Galaxy Holo #009/165R - $360,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Blastoise Galaxy Holo. Photo: @TheGatheringNC
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1998
  • Number: 2

The two cards were created in 1998 and hit international markets the following year. The Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram is the only one the public has ever seen.

4. Black Star Ishihara GX - $247,230

most expensive pokemon cards
Black Star Ishihara GX. Photo: @PokeGuardian
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 7
  • Production year: 2017
  • Number: 6

In 2017, Pokémon Company gifted Tsunekazu Ishihara this GX Promo on his 60th birthday. Ishihara is the company's founder. They were then handed out to a handful of employees and friends, with one able to get their copy autographed by the great man himself.

5. Pikachu Illustrator Promo - $195,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Pikachu Illustrator Promo. Photo: @getFANDOM
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 1998
  • Number: 4

Pikachu Illustrator Promo has original art that Atsuko Nishida made. There are 39 copies, but PSA certified only ten. eBay disposed of one in 2016 at $54,970. Since then, the priciest one has sold for $195,000.

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6. Family Event Kangaskhan Holo #115 - $150,100

most expensive pokemon cards
Kangaskhan Holo #115. Photo: @followbacksen
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 5

These were given to the winning families who participated in the 1998 Mega Battle tournament in Japan. PWCC described the Kangaskhan as the third-rarest card. For more than 20 years, only three copies have been sold.

7. 2000 1st Edition Neo Holo Lugia #9 - $144,300

most expensive pokemon cards
Neo Holo Lugia #9. Photo: @Legenday Poker Network
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2000
  • Number: 42

PWCC finds Neo Holo Lugia the most difficult Pokemon to grade due to multiple misprints and errors in the early TCG Neo Genesis. A BGS 10 Pristine copy was sold for $144,300 in May 2021.

8. 2000 1st Edition Holo Lugia No.9 - $129,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Holo Lugia #9. Photo: @TCGCardSearch
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 2000
  • Number: 9

This was the first English Holo Lugia; therefore, it is expected to be expensive. The rare Holo Lugia card was sold for $129,000 in November 2020.

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9. 2006 World Championships Trainer No.2 - $110,100

most expensive pokemon cards
World Championships Trainer No. 2. Photo: @TCGCardSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 2006
  • Number: 6

The World Championships Trainer was first awarded at the 2006 contest in Anaheim, California. Only three copies were issued that year, and PWCC sold it for $110,100 in February 2021. To date, this is one of the most expensive trainer Pokemon cards.

10. 1995 Topsun Charizard - $98,850

most expensive pokemon cards
Japanese Topsun Charizard. Photo: @PokeGuardian
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1995
  • Number: 2

The Japanese Topsun's blue back proves that it is among the first original Charizard Pokemon cards released in 1995. Therefore, it fetched a hefty prize this year.

11. Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer - $90,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer. Photo: @toyzntech
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 1

It has a Japanese Pocket Monsters Trading Game's logo and Hideki Kazama's unique artwork. It was awarded to the winner of the 1999 Secret Super Battle tournament in Tokyo.

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12. Umbreon Gold Star Holo - $70,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Umbreon Gold Star Holo. Photo: @TCGCardSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9.5
  • Production year: 2005
  • Number: 1

It was not so surprising for the Gold Star Umbreon to fetch $70,000 in June 2021. Gamers who had accumulated over 70,000 XP points were the only ones who qualified to place bids.

13. 1998 Japanese Promo Magikarp - $66,100

most expensive pokemon cards
Japanese Promo Magikarp. Photo: @HighEndVGSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 1998
  • Number: 129

Shogakukan's Magazines in Japan held a contest for students in 1998 and awarded the winners a Magikarp trophy. In February 2020, the Magikarp was sold for $66,100 at the PWCC sale.

14. Tropical Mega Battle - Tropical Wind - $65,100

most expensive pokemon cards
Japanese Tropical Mega Battle. Photo: @bargainplaceuk
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 12

Twelve Tropical Mega Battle cards were made in 1999, and one was traded for $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition during The Tropical Mega Battle in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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15. World Championships 2013 No. 2 Trainer - $65,000

Top 10 most expensive Pokemon cards
The World Championship Trainer No.2. Photo: @ludkinsmedia
Source: Instagram
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2013
  • Number: 3

The 2013 Pokemon World Championships (PWC) in Vancouver were the first to be held outside of the United States. Still, all four semi-finalists were American. Three of them walked away from the event with the coveted No.2 Trainer card, one of which was sold for $65,000 in October of 2021.

16. No Rarity Charizard - $60,100

  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 102

A GEM-MT 10 copy of the No Rarity Charizard card sold for just over $20,000 in September 2018. Since then, the value of the card has skyrocketed. In November 2020, a PSA grade 9 copy was sold at auction for $60,100.

17. Charizard EX Dragon Frontiers #100 - $60,066

most expensive pokemon cards
Charizard EX Dragon Frontiers #100. Photo: @HighEndVGSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 2006
  • Number: 68

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This card is an extension of the 2005 Ex Deoxys TCG, and you can only have one of these in the deck. The card is darker than other versions and stands out because of its active fire-breathing dragon.

18. Summer Battle Road - $60,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Summer Battle Road. Photo: @tcgnoheya
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2005
  • Number: Unnumbered

Fifty-one people bid on the Summer Battle Road in the December 2020 PWCC roup sale, and the final price was $60,000. The first Mew Victory Orb winner played in the 1998 battle.

19. 1999 Tropical Mega Battle Trainer No.2 - $60,000

most expensive pokemon cards
Tropical Mega Battle Trainer No. 2 Trainer. Photo: @HighEndVGSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: Authentic
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 32

The players who got the Japanese Tropical Mega Battle Trainer were quite lucky. PWCC traded them for $50,300 in October 2020. The priciest one so far has sold for $60,000.

20. Mew Victory Orb Trophy - $60,000

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what Pokemon packs have the most expensive cards
The Mew Victory Orb Trophy. Photo: @janbox.en
Source: Instagram
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2005
  • Number: 14

The Victory Orb trophy cards were initially given out to the top 3 players of each age group during the Japanese Battle Road Summer tournaments in 2003 and 2004.

21. No Rarity Venusaur - $55,000

  • PSA grade: 8.5
  • Production year: 1996
  • Number: 60

No rarity cards came about as the result of a printing error, with some early copies of the Japanese base set cards missing the little black star from the bottom right-hand corner. This makes them highly desirable among Pokemon collectors.

22. EX Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic - $50,000

  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2004
  • Number: 322

The card that sold for $50,000 was one of only 17 to have been given the PSA's perfect GEM-MT 10 rating and 322 to have been submitted to the company for inspection.

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23. 1st Edition Blastoise Shadowless Base Set - $45,100

most expensive pokemon cards
Blastoise Shadowless Base Set. Photo: @HighEndVGSearch
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 9.5
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 102

Blastoise Shadowless Base Set comes second after Charizard in the list of the most sought-after collections by gamers. It was created in 1999 and sold for $45,100 towards the end of 2020.

24. EX Deoxys Holo Rayquaza #107 - $45,100

  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 2005
  • Number: 107

Rayquaza is an Emerald's Game Boy Advance version. It came out in 2005 from Ex Deoxys as a TCG expansion. This is one of the most expensive Pokemon EX cards of all time.

25. 1995 Topsun Holofoil Charizard No.6 - $37,600

most expensive pokemon cards
A Topsun Holofoil Charizard. Photo: @Brandon Bissoondyal
Source: Facebook
  • PSA grade: 6
  • Production year: 1995
  • Number: 61

Pokemon curators are nostalgic about the 1999 Topsun Holofoil Charizard No.6. After PSA grading it, Topsun Holofoil was sold towards the end of 2020 at $37,600.

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26. 1st Edition Shadowless Chansey - $36,877

most expensive pokemon cards
Chansey #3 Base Set. Photo: @followbacksen
Source: Twitter
  • PSA grade: 6
  • Production year: 1999
  • Number: 130

TCG curators adore North America's Shadowless Base Sets, which were invented in 1999. The first Shadowless version's value shot from $20,000 in 2019 to $36,877 in November 2020.

27. Master's Scroll - $35,200

what are some of the most expensive Pokemon cards
The Master's Scroll card. Photo: @followbacksen
Source: Instagram
  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2010
  • Number: 55

In early 2021, a mint PSA 10 copy of the Japanese Master's Scroll was sold on eBay for $35,200. The card was never available in packs and never availed outside Japan. The only way to obtain it was through the Pokémon Daisuki Club in 2010.

28. Summer Battle Road 2002 - No. 2 Trainer - $34,100

  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2002
  • Number: 3

This one was awarded to winners of the Kanto Summer Battle Road tournament held in 2002. The card came in male and female variants. Since their production, only two have ever been graded by the PSA.

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

  • PSA grade: 10
  • Production year: 2007
  • Number: 10

More than 15 years after it was first given out, one of these sold for $32,000 in late 2021. Of those which were handed out, only 10 have ever been graded by the PSA, with just six of them achieving the coveted PSA GEM-MT 10 rating.

30. Skyridge Charizard - $28,100

  • PSA grade: 9
  • Production year: 2003
  • Number: 182

Charizard Pokemon sets are among the most valuable, and their prices seem to keep rising every year. The Skyridge variant is just one of the Pokemon's many cards to have sold for ridiculous amounts, with one card fetching more than $28,000 at auction in November 2020.

What Pokemon packs have the most expensive cards?

The Skyridge set is one of the rarest Pokemon sets there is. Unopened packs typically go for around $260. The Crystal cards are the most valuable Pokemon cards in these sets and some of the most valuable Pokemon cards in the world

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What are some of the most expensive Pokemon cards?

The 1998 Pikachu Promo Holo Illustrator and the 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard #4 are the world's priciest Pokemon cards going for $5.275 million and $399,750, respectively.

What Pokemon set has the most expensive cards?

At slightly over $45,000, the Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set has the priciest cards.

The most expensive Pokemon cards in the world cost millions of dollars, with a sizeable number of them costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. These cards' prices are often dictated by rarity, condition, and numerous other factors.

READ ALSO: Where are the best places to sell Pokemon cards in 2022?

Briefly.co.za recently explored a collection of the best places one can sell their Pokemon cards today. The Pokemon phenomenon took the world by storm and created a collectables market worth billions of dollars. Today, there are numerous platforms where one can sell their cards.

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One of the most important tasks would be to evaluate your cards based on rarity, condition, and uniqueness. The next step would be to choose the sales method that best suits you and then choose a platform that supports your preferred method.

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