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Top 32 Most Valuable and Expensive Pokemon Cards Ever Sold (2024)

Top 32 most valuable and expensive Pokemon Cards

In the dynamic world of Pokémon collecting, the past decade has seen an astonishing surge in card values. Once modest investments, these 32 most valuable and expensive Pokemon cards command tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, shattering records every few years. What makes this transformation all the more fascinating is that many of today's priciest cards were once familiar playthings owned by children worldwide. The evolution from childhood keepsakes to high-stakes investments has left homes seemingly eclipsed in worth by these cardboard treasures.

Embarking on a journey through the most expensive Pokémon cards, enthusiasts delve into a realm where a shiny Charizard or a rare Japanese release can symbolize financial prowess. This definitive list not only unveils the staggering worth of these cards but also explores the factors that render them invaluable, providing insights into the competitive world of Pokémon card collecting.


Although the chances of possessing one of these holy grails may be slim, the prospect is enticing enough to warrant a thorough examination of one's collection. This potential journey may unveil hidden treasures and transform casual collectors into fortunate stewards of coveted cards.


Graph of the popularity of Pokemon Cards

The resurgence of interest in 2020 propelled the worth of select cards into the thousands of dollars, elevating seemingly ordinary cards to coveted artifacts. As market fluctuations stabilize, the lineup of the highest-selling Pokémon cards continues to evolve in later years, offering collectors a glimpse into a dreamscape where trading cards become significant financial assets.

What Makes a Pokemon Card Collectable?


Pokemon card collector holding out two pokemon cards

In recent years, the resurgence of Pokémon card collecting owes much of its renewed vigor to the influence of online personalities, including the likes of Logan Paul, thrusting the hobby back into the mainstream spotlight. The spectacle of Pokémon cards fetching millions in sales has become a reality, captivating audiences and collectors alike. Although third-party grading systems such as the Professional Sports Authenticator and the Beckett Grading Services have helped create a scale of quality of your cards, you first have to consider if your cards are collectible in the first place.


The intrinsic value of Pokémon cards hinges primarily on two pivotal factors: rarity and condition.


The scarcity of a card, often tied to limited releases or unique characteristics, propels its desirability among collectors.


Simultaneously, the card's condition, from pristine to well-worn, plays a crucial role in determining its market value.


A pile of pokemon cards

These twin pillars, rarity and condition, form the bedrock upon which the Pokémon card market stands, dictating the astronomical prices some cards command.


It is this delicate interplay between scarcity and condition that fuels the enthusiasm among collectors, transforming Pokémon cards into not just nostalgic artifacts but also coveted investments.


As we delve into the reasons behind the popularity of Pokémon cards, it becomes evident that their value extends beyond the cardboard itself, intertwining with the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of ownership, and the potential for substantial financial returns.


Here are the Top Most Valuable and Expensive Pokemon Cards:

32 -  Ex-Dragon Frontiers Gold-Star HOLO Charizard


Ex-Dragon Frontiers Gold-Star HOLO Charizard

The 2006 Pokémon EX Dragon Frontiers Gold Star Holo Charizard # 100, graded PSA 10 Gem Mint, commands an impressive $25,400. With a pull rate of one per every two boxes, this Masakazu Fukuda-designed card is one of only 91 PSA 10s. A centerpiece for Charizard and Gold Star collectors, it stood among 26,000 items in the February 2021 auction. In the same auction, the 2004 Dragon Frontiers Shiny Charizard, another Gold Star rarity, sold for a remarkable $25,405, solidifying its place as a prized gem in Pokémon card history.

31 - Japanese Spikey-Eared Pichu Design Promo


 Japanese Spikey-Eared Pichu Design Promo

A second-grade winner's creation, the Spikey-Eared Pichu, fetched a record-breaking $25,800.


Originating from a 2009 children's contest by Shogakukan, this card is one of the rarest, with an estimated 13 to 100 copies produced.


The second-grade Spikey-Eared Pichu boasts a perfect Gem Mint 10 condition—the sole one. Surpassing other Pichu-themed cards, its $25,800 price tag solidifies it as the most valuable Pokémon card featuring Pichu ever sold, adding to the allure of unique, artist-inspired Pokémon cards.

30 - Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu


Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu

The Japanese Pokémon XY-P Black Star Promo Pikachu, a rare 20th-anniversary card, achieved a staggering sale price of $32,520.


Distributed exclusively at the Pokémon 20th Anniversary Festa in Japan, this holographic full-art gem features Pikachu with Gen 1 starters Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur.


Boasting a pristine BGS 10 condition, this card is one of only four in this top tier out of 67 graded.


A record-setting auction at Goldin Auction House secured its place as a highly sought-after and unparalleled centerpiece in Pokémon collections worldwide.

29 - Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy


Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy

The Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy, a rare gem from Sapporo's 2002 Pokemon duels, recently fetched $34,100.


Awarded for securing second place in the Junior Division, this unique card commemorates Fukunishi Tomoki's achievement. Notably misattributed as the Neo Spring Battle Road, it is a testament to a crucial era in Japanese Pokemon prize cards.


With its distinctive features, including region and winner names, it remains a unicorn investment, highlighting the card's exceptional rarity and historical significance.

28 - Daisuki Club Holo Masters Scroll Promo


Daisuki Club Holo Masters Scroll Promo


The Daisuki Club Holo Masters Scroll Promo, a relic from the Pokémon Daisuki Club's glory days, recently fetched an impressive $35,200.


Originating in 2004, the club rewarded members with exclusive promo cards based on their ranks, with the revered Master's Scroll requiring a remarkable 8,600 Action Points.


This PSA 9 rarity, graded from one of only 59 examples, stands as a testament to the dedication of Pokémon masters.


Its hefty price tag reflects its scarcity and cherished place in Pokémon TCG history.


27 - Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Ex Deoxys


Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Ex Deoxys

Gold Star cards, introduced in EX Team Rocket Returns, are prized rarities, found roughly once every two booster boxes. These cards, featuring shiny Pokémon variants, evoke the joy of encountering elusive shinies in the games.


The EX Deoxys Rayquaza Gold Star by Masakazu Fukuda, priced at an impressive $35,400, captures Rayquaza's ferocity.


Regarded as one of Fukuda's masterpieces, the illustration depicts Rayquaza extending a clawed hand, complementing a dazzling holographic pattern.


Despite challenges in acquiring it from sought-after booster boxes, this card stands as a highly desirable and visually stunning Pokémon collectible.

26 - Chansey #3 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set


Chansey #3 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set

The Chansey #3 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set card, graded GEM MT - 10, commands hefty prices, surpassing $30,000 in multiple sales, with its biggest sale totaling $36,877. Even lower-rated versions fetch over $5,000, attesting to its substantial value.


The rarity of this 1999 base set card, graded MINT 10 by BGS, contributes to its allure. As a symbol of happiness, capturing Chansey brings joy, making it a prized addition to any collection.


In Pokémon card collecting, the Base Set, with its nostalgic charm, reigns supreme, and Chansey #3 continues to astonish with its escalating market value.


25 - 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard


2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard

The 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard, a rare gem from the e-Card era, recently fetched an astounding $40,800 in a PWCC auction.


Illustrated by Pokémon artist Kouki Saitou, this Crystal Charizard, part of the Mysterious Mountains expansion, boasted a unique feature—crystal cards could change energy types.


The card's pristine Gem Mint 10 condition, confirmed by PSA, contributed to its record-breaking sale, nearly quadrupling its previous highest price.


A testament to its rarity and allure, this Crystal Charizard stands as a captivating relic in the ever-evolving world of Pokémon card collecting.

24 - Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set


Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set

The Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set card, an iconic piece from the 1999 Base Set, recently fetched an impressive $45,100 at a PWCC auction.


Despite living in Charizard's shadow often, Blastoise's value has soared. As a symbol of the Pokémon Blue version, the final evolution of Squirtle holds enduring popularity.


Illustrated by Ken Sugimori, this rare card, with only 101 PSA 10 1st Edition copies, emerges as a standout in any collector's portfolio.


With the Pokémon franchise's 25th anniversary approaching, these cards stand poised to appreciate even further, making them a compelling investment for enthusiasts and investors alike.

23 - Torchic Gold Star Holo Team Rocket Returns


Torchic Gold Star Holo Team Rocket Returns

The Torchic Gold Star Holo from Team Rocket Returns commands a staggering evaluation of $48,000, representing its rarity and significance.


In the mid-2000s, Pokémon TCG faced lower sales, but now, cards from that era, like Gold Star Torchic, witness a resurgence in value.


With only 17 PSA 10-grade copies verified, its scarcity adds to its allure.


Introduced in 2004, Gold Star cards aimed to revive interest. Torchic, with its adorable artwork, emerged as one of the rarest and most highly sought-after releases, capturing the essence of Pokémon collecting.


22 - Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer


Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer

Despite lacking an official grade, the Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer commands an astounding $50,300 price tag.


This 1999 tournament exclusive, given to top players in the Mega Battle event, boasts scarcity, with only five known by PSA. Sun-induced color loss on the back doesn't diminish its value.


21 - Autographed Pokémon Japanese Base Set Venusaur


1996 Autographed Pokémon Japanese Base Set Venusaur

The 1996 Autographed Pokémon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur, a rare gem from the original Japanese release, commands a staggering $55,000.


Distinguished by the absence of a rarity symbol, unlike its English counterpart's 1st Edition stamp, this Venusaur symbolizes Pokémon's early history.


Only five graded Gem Mint 10 by PSA, this card, featuring both the artwork and an autograph by Mitsuhiro Arita, holds immense historical and collector value.


The autograph by Arita on the case enhances its uniqueness, making it a prized and one-of-a-kind artifact for any Pokémon enthusiast.


20 - Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy


Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy

The Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy, a rare gem from the 1998 competition, commands a hefty $60,000.


Awarded to only the top three trainers in each of the nine regions in Japan, this scarce Pokemon card is a symbol of triumph.


With only 16 receiving the coveted Gem Mint 10 score by PSA, its rarity adds to its allure. A pristine collectible, auctioned at PWCC in December 2020 with 51 bids, includes the original plaque from the finals, making it a coveted and valuable piece in Pokemon card collecting.


19 - 1999 Pokémon Best Photo Contest Chansey


1999 Pokémon Best Photo Contest Chansey

The 1999 Pokémon Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey, a rare gem from the Pokémon Snap celebrations, commands an astounding $63,000.


As a result of the Nintendo-sponsored contests for Pokémon Snap, where fan-submitted pictures became official Pokémon cards, the 64 Mario Stadium Chansey by Kaori Someya is exceptionally rare.


With only two recorded sales, the December 2022 auction saw it fetch $63,000, emphasizing the extraordinary worth of these Pokémon Snap cards, each an embodiment of both creativity and scarcity in the Pokémon collecting realm.


18 - Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo


Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo Card

The Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo, a rare '99 Japanese Finals Prize card, commands an astonishing $65,100.


Originating from the prestigious Tropical Mega Battle, a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships, this card is one of only 12 produced as promos for the 1999 event. The tournament, featuring 50 elite players globally, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, remains legendary, and its rare prizes, like the Tropical Wind, are highly coveted.


With only a few in existence, the card's scarcity contributes to its exceptional value, reaching a staggering $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, making it a prized possession for serious Pokémon collectors.


17 - 2010 Pokemon World Championship Master's Key


2010 Pokemon World Championship Master’s Key

The 2010 Pokemon World Championship Master's Key, a rare gem, fetches an impressive $66,000.


Exclusive to participants of the 2010 World Championships in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, only 36 cards were created, marking it among the rarest in Pokémon history.


Initially distributed solely to tournament attendees, one reached a public auction, commanding $26,900 in 2020. Recently, PWCC facilitated another sale, tripling the previous record with a final price of $66,000 in 2023.


This Master's Key card, with its limited production and tournament exclusivity, stands as one of the rarest modern Pokémon collectibles, securing its status as a prized possession for enthusiasts.


16 - Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo


Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo

The Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo, a coveted relic, commands an impressive $66,100.


Originating from a 1998 contest by Shogakukan's Magazines in Japan, students partook in tests, vying for a chance to become "Pokemon Professors." Those who were successful were rewarded with this rare Magikarp Trophy card.


A mere 91 identified by PSA, the Gem Mint 10-graded cards, sought for their pristine condition, fetch top dollar at auction.


Though not the cutest, this Magikarp reels in a substantial sum, a testament to its rarity and desirability among collectors.


15 - Gyarados Unnumbered Best Photo Contest Promo


Gyarados Unnumbered Best Photo Contest Promo

The 1999 Gyarados Unnumbered Promo from the 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest emerges as a sea beastie rarity, boasting a staggering price tag of $87,500.


Crafted from the victorious entries of the Pokémon Snap photo contest, only 15 copies of each winning card were produced. A perplexing choice for the competition, the Gyarados snapshot, recognizable mainly to the initiated, captivates collectors.


In a recent sale on July 7, 2023, Heritage Auctions featured this gem, leaving enthusiasts intrigued by its elusive allure and premium value.


14 - 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer


1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer

The 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer card, a Pokémon enigma, commands an astounding $90,000 price tag.


Awarded during Japan's regional contests, this elusive promo granted access to the secretive Super Secret Battle finals in 1999. The card's mystique intensifies with its Mewtwo silhouette, captivating collectors.


A mere seven PSA-graded copies exist, one achieving a record-breaking auction sale in July 2020, solidifying its status as one of the most prized and rare Pokémon cards globally.


13 - 2019 Japanese SM Promo Extra Battle Day Full Art Lillie


2019 Japanese SM Promo Extra Battle Day Full Art Lillie

The 2019 Japanese SM Promo Extra Battle Day Full Art Lillie, an elusive gem, fetched an astonishing $108,000 in a June 2023 auction.


This card's exorbitant value stems from its extreme scarcity. Exclusive booster packs containing this prized Lillie card were solely distributed to winners at the Japanese Extra Battle Day event in 2019. Speaking of the Battle Day event, this year's Japanese Extra Battle Day might contain rare and collectible cards.


Participation required fierce competition, ranking based on head-to-head scores, and a rock-paper-scissors showdown in the finals. Illustrated by the revered Naoki Saito, this Full Art Lillie, with its unique origin, is a rare and sought-after collector's dream.


12 - Pokemon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer


Pokemon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer

The Pokemon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer, a rare trophy card from the 2006 event in Anaheim, California, is a scarce gem with only three known to exist.


Despite its rarity, a PSA 9-graded copy, sold at a PWCC auction in February 2021, fetched an astounding $110,100.


Runners-up in the championship also received this valuable card, and its scarcity, coupled with its prestige, makes it a prized possession among collectors. The card's resale rarity underscores its significant value in the Pokemon market.


11 - 2001 Japanese Neo Summer Battle Road National No. 2 Trainer


2001 Japanese Neo Summer Battle Road National No. 2 Trainer

The 2001 Japanese Neo Summer Battle Road National No. 2 Trainer card is a rare gem featuring Takahiro Ikeda, a Senior Division runner-up in the Neo Summer Battle.


This 1/1 Trainer card, with a CGC 10 status, showcases Ikeda standing before the legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh. The card's unique design, incorporating real-world individuals, makes it exceptionally rare, with only 20 estimated to exist.


In a September 2023 auction, this one-of-a-kind card commanded a staggering $132,000, solidifying its status among the most valuable promo cards from Pokémon tournaments.


10 - Pokémon Snap Magikarp Card


The Pokémon Snap Magikarp Card, a prize from a Pokémon Snap contest in the late '90s, recently resurfaced, fetching an impressive $136,000 in a Japanese auction. This rare gem was one of only 20 'Snap Magikarp' cards awarded to competition winners.



Unlike other cards from the event, the Magikarp version has remained elusive over the decades.


With only 20 copies of each unique design distributed exclusively to the winners, the 'Snap Magikarp' card is a testament to both rarity and nostalgic value for collectors.


#9 - Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer


Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer

The Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer Pokémon card, a unique rarity unseen for over two decades, emerged from obscurity in a historic auction.


Awarded to the second-place runner-up in the 2000 Secret Super Battle-Best In Japan tournament, this exclusive card features Yamaguchi's real-life photo surrounded by Pikachu, Chansey, Growlithe, and Dudou.


Graded Near-Mint/Mint 8, the one-of-a-kind card stunned collectors, selling for an impressive $137,500 at Heritage Auctions.


Initially listed with an $85,000 starting bid, this genuine 1/1 card, shrouded in mystery, finally surfaced in July 2023.


#8 - Lugia 1st Edition Neo Genesis


Lugia 1st Edition Neo Genesis

The 1st Edition Lugia from Neo Genesis, akin to the Base Set of the second Pokemon generation, holds legendary status.


Its scarcity, compounded by misprints in early runs, makes the holo, the first edition version, highly coveted.


Debuting in 2000, the Psychic bird became a symbol for many '00s kids, contributing to its popularity.


In May 2021, a Beckett-graded 10 Lugia shattered records, fetching a staggering $144,300 at a PWCC auction. This Lugia remains an elusive TCG gem with only three such pristine cards globally.


#7 - Kangaskhan Trophy Card Promo


Kangaskhan Trophy Card Promo

In absurd Pokémon cards, the Family Event Kangaskhan Trophy Card Promo 115 Parent/Child Mega Battle reigns supreme, boasting a staggering price tag of $150,100.


Originating from a 1998 Japanese Mega Battle tournament, this rare gem, earned through parent-child duos, showcases Kangaskhan with its baby, mesmerized by holographic sparkles.


With only 11 graded copies and an exclusive early Japanese card symbol, its scarcity propels its value, exemplified by a notable sale at $175,000 in July 2023.


A nostalgic relic turned into an astronomical investment; its allure continues to escalate.


#6 - Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card


Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card

Behold the extraordinary Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card, a unique oddity fetching a jaw-dropping price of $247,230.


Distributed initially to Pokémon Company employees during Ishihara's 60th birthday celebration in 2017, this rare promo card boasts Ishihara's artwork. With only 30 to 60 estimated existence, its scarcity escalated its allure.


A momentous sale in April 2021 featuring Ishihara's signature propelled its value to new heights, marking this Pokémon GX card as a masterpiece in the trading card game realm.


#5 - Bronze Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Trophy card


Bronze Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Trophy card

At Heritage Auctions, collectors eagerly exchanged $300,000 for the prized Trophy Pikachu No. 3 Trainer Bronze card.


This exceedingly rare gem, awarded only to trainers finishing third in the First Official Pocket Monsters Tournament in Chiba, Japan, 1997, boasts a PSA NM-MT 8 grade.