Pokemon cards can get expensive, and while this has been known for years, only recently has the infamy of certain Pokemon cards come to rear their heads in the market. There are plenty of Pokemon cards out there that are exclusive thanks to limited-time events, rare draws, and sponsorships that never happen again. Because of all that and how long-running a franchise Pokemon is, there’s no shortage of cards out there that are a boon for collectors around the globe. In this article, we’ll rank the most valuable cards you can find as part of the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
10. Espeon Gold Star
The Espeon Gold Star card is part of a two-card series, sharing almost identical value with the Umbreon Gold Star card. If you want to know which art is better, that’s a decision for the beholder. These cards were exclusively part of the Pokemon Players Club event, which required Trainers to register and quality for a search-and-find game. Those who did qualify were granted the card. More copies of the Umbreon Gold Star card exist than Espeon, although both are roughly estimated to have around the same value of $6,000.
9. Umbreon Gold Star
The Umbreon Gold Star card is almost in the same boat as Espeon, depicting a shiny version of the Eeveelution. Qualifiers for the Pokemon Players Club event got either an Umbreon or an Espeon, so while the only estimated amount of cards can be guessed at, the actual number is likely relatively even. Whether it be luck that brings Umbreon more into the spotlight or not is unknown. Either way, if you have an Umbreon Gold Star card, that’s worth about $6,000.
8. Master Key Prize Card
One of the few rare cards out there that isn’t a Pokemon, the Master Key Prize card is another example on how events really are the spawn for these valuable cards. This one comes from the 2010 Japan TCG World Championship event, held in Hawaii. According to cardholders, 36 cards were given out to participants, making the card obscenely rare. It was only ever printed in Japanese, making it unique among rare cards. The Master Key Prize Card has an estimated value of $20,000.
7. Pikachu Illustrator
If you want to know the most expensive card out there, the Pikachu Illustrator is about as close as you can get. It has a base value of $500,000, making it one of the most sellable Pokemon cards since the genesis of the series. This card came about as a CoroCoro Comic Art Competition, and only those who won the top spot got the prize Pikachu Illustrator card, which means only about 20 or so exist worldwide, and even fewer are in active circulation among vendors.
6. Tropical Wind Trainer Card
The Tropical Wind Trainer Card is another case where rare cards get that rare because of a specific giveaway event. It was used as a prize in 1999, the reward for if you participated in the Tropical Mega Battle World Championship. There are only 10 of them out there, making the going price for one well near $1,000.
5. 2004 Pokemon EX Team Rocket Returns Holo Torchic Gold Star
No, it’s not the Torchic that makes this card so valuable, although their adorable face does help a bit. No, the real value for the 2004 Pokemon EX Team Rocket Returns Holo Torchic Gold Star is the production rate for them. There were only 300 printed, ever. It’s no misprint or special prize; it’s a rare card that is hard to find in mint condition. Most listings you can find for such a card reach numbers like $43,000- and that’s the average.
4. 2005 Pokemon EX Deoxys Gold Star Holo Rayquaza
The 2005 Pokemon EX Deoxys Gold Star Holo Rayquaza card is an excellent card for having shiny Rayquaza and a fantastic card for a collector to own. Anything Gold Star, at least to a certain extent, is collectible. The only difference with this one is that there are only 40 floating around on the Earth, which makes it anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 in terms of value.
3. 2006 EX Dragon Frontiers Gold Star Charizard
Only about 10 copies of the 2006 EX Dragon Frontiers Gold Star Charizard card exist in mint condition today. Even if the card were to have more copies flying around, the natural rarity of this one makes the card valuable almost by default. If you have one of these in your collection, just know it’s worth about $70,000.
2. 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard
The 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard is more of a classic case of value based on outdated concepts. It’s valuable because it was part of the Game Boy Advance e-reader lineup of cards. Players could use this card to scan and get items and minigames, making it not a rare card but a selectively improving-in-rarity piece that collectors should watch out for. In terms of going price in 2023, you’d find this card for $40,000.
1. 1996 Pokemon Japanese Base Set Holo Venusaur
This final card is quite the rare one by sheer age alone. The 1996 Pokemon Japanese Base Set Holo Venasaur is one of the first cards around, making it rare automatically. It’s also a holo, which improves any card’s value. Later reprints of the card got a rarity stamp, which turned out to be an oxymoron, as stamped cards are less valuable since it was a later edition and not an original. This card has a value of $55,000.