World’s 18 Most Rare and Expensive Pokémon Cards (June 2021)

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What’s more insane Logan Paul fighting Floyd Mayweather or Logan Paul entering the fight vs Mayweather with a Charizard Pokemon card valued at $150,000 around his neck?

18 most expensive pokemon cards infographic

Welcome to present-day Pokemon card mania.

Pokemon cards have 20 and 30-year-olds all over the world racing over to their parent’s houses with hopes of finding a super rare 1st Edition Pokemon card in the back of their childhood closet.

Top-Rated Pokemon Cards

Best Return On Investment: 1999 Charizard 1st Edition Card (Buy on eBay)

Best Low-Cost/Budget: 1999 Jungle Pikachu Cards (Buy on eBay)

Most Damage One Attack: 2016 Mega Charizard EX Card (Buy on eBay)

– GoldCardAuctions 


Today we’re going to take a look at the most valuable and the rarest Pokemon card money can buy (or Jake Paul can buy).

Nothing will ever beat the original 1999 Pokémon base set in terms of pure value if you’re looking at first edition cards. 

After a small lull in the market, Pokémon Go helped to reinvigorate the card collecting hobby a few years ago, capturing lapsed fans and new audiences alike. 

This in turn led to Pokemon cards collecting mania and kids that grew up in the 90s looking back hoping their Pokemon cards are still around.

Pokémon Cards: Terminology 

Before we begin, it can get a bit confusing if you’re not sure about the terminology used to describe the rarest Pokémon cards ever produced. Here are a couple of things to consider when looking at cards to buy;


1st Edition – This means that a card was printed in the first print run of a particular set. Each 1st Edition card released gets a stamp, found just below the featured Pokémon


Holo – The card has a shiny holofoil finish or design


Shadowless – All Base 1st Edition 1999 cards are “shadowless”. Shadowless cards were printed before a small redesign, and they were the first run after the inaugural release. These cards tend to be preferred by collectors 


Most Expensive Pokémon Cards

Without further ado, let’s get down to business.

Here’s everything you need to know about 18 of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time, with no prizes for guessing which one manages to take the top spot. 


18. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Gyarados #6 (Buy on eBay)

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Gyarados

This spot on the list could easily have been taken by the likes of Zapdos or Poliwrath, who are a duo of holo cards from the original set of 102 that just missed out. 

The base Gyarados gets the nod instead, as one of the most powerful evolutions from the original trading card game. 

Evolved from the otherwise useless Magikarp, the blue foil surrounding the Pokémon gives a nice water effect. 

As of now, there are 86 gem mint copies on the PSA registry, so it’s not especially rare even when looking at pristine copies.


17. 1999 Pokémon Game 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Alakazam #1 (Buy on eBay)

Most valuable pokemon cards

The psychic-type Alakazam is next up, thanks to a great card found in the original 1999 release. 

As you might expect, it’s another holo shadowless 1st edition card, ticking all of the boxes for serious collectors. 

Alakazam might seem weak by modern standards, but he was a fearsome prospect in the original TGC. The evolution of evolution, you would start with Abra, followed by Kadabra. 

Once again, there are fewer than 100 PSA 10 copies on the registry, with 88 graded at the last count. 


16. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Nidoking #11 (Buy on eBay)

18 most expensive pokemon cards

A dual-type poison and ground Pokémon that is the evolved form of Nidoran, Nidoking is classed as a grass-type for the purposes of this card. 

This means that it comes wrapped in the green background you would expect, although the foil is more reminiscent of a burning flame thanks to the orange and yellow that sparkles. 

It might not have been the most popular Pokémon when it was originally released, but it’s one of the more valuable in the present day. 

Just 90 have earned the elusive gem mint grade from PSA. 


15. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Mewtwo #10 (Buy on eBay)

super expensive 1st edition pokemon cards

One of the best hits from the original set, and the main antagonist from the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo is a man-made Pokémon that was created from the DNA of Mew.

Psychic cards were also fairly rare at the time, while Mewtwo is considered to be a legendary Pokémon-type. The holofoil looks like rays of power emanating from the genetic anomaly. 

This time, the number of gem mint copies that appear on the PSA registry is 81. It’s a tiny bit rarer and more expensive than any of the cards discussed above. That makes sense due to the sheer popularity. 


14. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Ninetales #12 (Buy on eBay)

most vaulable and rare pokemon cards

Not the fire Pokémon shiny you’d be hoping for back in 1999, Ninetales is the evolved form of Vulpix.

Designed to look like a golden-white nine-tailed fox, it’s inspired by the kitsune, which is a Japanese fox spirit. 

It’s backed by a cool blue holo background, but Ninetales’ Fire Blast attack is one of the more powerful in the base game.

It’s not the most popular Pokémon with a western audience, but there are only 67 gem mint copies according to the registry. 

The rarity hasn’t translated to higher prices, but that could all change in the future.


13. 1999 Pokémon Jungle 1st Edition Holo Snorlax #11 (Buy on eBay)

1999 Pokemon Jungle 1st Edition Holo Snorlax #11 PSA 10 GEM MINT

The 1999 Complete 1st Edition only covered about a third of the original Pokédex, with a number of heavy-hitters left out. 

One such Pokémon was Snorlax, who played a large role in the first Game Boy games. 

64 cards were released in the Jungle 1st Edition series, which added a number of interesting holo shinies to the original collection. 

These cards featured different illustrators who brought their own ideas to the fore when designing the images. 

Snorlax is found in the jungle expansion, as the eleventh card in the ‘99 release. 

Only 71 copies have earned gem mint status so far, and the lazy Pokémon features on a difficult card to seek out. 


12. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Hitmonchan #7 (Buy on eBay)

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Hitmonchan

Back to the 1999 base set, where we’re looking at one of the greatest fighting Pokémon ever. 

A homage to the quick fists of Jackie Chan, this humanoid monster sports a pair of boxing gloves, and even throws a jab as a basic attack. 

The rarest card we’ve seen so far, there are just 56 gem mint copies at the current time of writing. 

This has translated to sky-high prices, even when compared to many of the other holos seen above. 

In any case, it’s definitely deserving of a place on the list. 


11. 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation Holo 1st Edition Entei #6 (Buy on eBay)

most rarest pokemon cards

One of the few options released past the turn of the century to make the list, Entei is found as part of the 2001 Pokemon Neo Revelation set. 

As we’re looking at the most valuable cards we’re sticking with 1st Edition versions, although you won’t have to worry about shadows. 

Trending: Venomized Funko Pop Collection

Entei is also known as the Legendary Beast of Johto and made his first appearance in Pokémon Gold and Silver. 

His legend lives on as of 2021, even if the Pokémon only just misses out on a space in the top 10. 

There are 30 gem mint first edition cards in existence, making for a great pick that contends with the 1999 set. 


10. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Raichu #14  (Buy on eBay)

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We begin the top 10 with the evolution for the most popular Pokémon on the planet. 

The evolved form of Pikachu, Raichu is similar in design to the electric mouse that traveled everywhere with Ash Ketchum.

It’s nowhere near as popular, but the association with Pikachu has helped to boost values in recent years. 

With 87 gem mint copies according to the registry, it’s not especially rare by any means, while the foil is a neutral sparkly silver. 

It manages to snag a spot in the top ten, but I’d personally prefer an Alakazam or a Mewtwo rather than a Pokémon most people disregard in favor of the base version.


9. 2002 Pokémon Neo Destiny 1st Edition Shining Charizard #107 (Buy on eBay)

most valuable pokemon 1st edition cards

It didn’t take long for a Charizard to make it onto the list. 

Rather than the Shadowless first edition version found in the base collection, we’re looking at the 2002 Shining Charizard that came with the Neo Destiny set. 

The first offering to highlight Light Pokémon, which counterbalanced the more aggressive Dark Pokémon in gameplay, it was also the first issue to feature Shining cards with a design that presented only the Pokémon (and not the background) in foil material in the artwork.

The Charizard (#107) is one such example, finished in a muted silver foil that contrasts well with the rest of the card. 

There are 222 PSA 10 copies according to the registry, but that hasn’t stopped values from rising due to the popularity of the fire-breathing lizard. 

Shining cards were originally inserted at a 300:1 rate. 


8. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Venusaur #15 (Buy on eBay)

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Venusaur #15

Now we’re getting somewhere. The final evolution of the starter Pokémon Bulbasaur, Venusaur had a massive part to play in both the games and the anime as one of the mainstays in Ash’s party. 

It featured on-the-box art for the original Japanese version of the game, although the Green edition was never released worldwide. 

With over 137 PSA 10 copies in existence, the original holo Venusaur is clearly a coveted card. 

It may pale in comparison to the likes of Blastoise and Charizard, but it’s still a member of the original trio that players got to choose from. 


7. 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Holo Houndoom #8 (Buy on eBay)

2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Holo Houndoom

Neo Revelation is a 66-card expansion that was released back in 2001. 

We’ve mentioned that dark Pokémon were overpowered at the time, but they were also unique enough to stand out from the crowd compared to normal types that had been seen before.

Houndoom is one such example, with the card wrapped in a distinctive black background. 

You’ll be able to see advancements in terms of the illustration compared to the base 1999 set, as Houndoom howls at the moon in the image. Rather than a full holo background, only the stars glitter in the light. 

Another expensive option, it’s limited to only 28 PSA 10 copies. That’s low enough to allow it to mix with the rarest original Pokémon cards.


6. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Machamp #8 (Buy on eBay)

1999 Pokemon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Machamp #8

Heading back to before the turn of the millennium, the 1999 set contains yet another expensive card featuring one of the original 151 Pokémon. 

The fighting-type Machamp is the third and final evolution, starting with Machop and Machoke.

As for Machamp, he’s flexing two of his four arms in the image, surrounded by a holo swirl of energy. 

There are just a handful of pristine shadowless first edition versions, which makes sense as it wasn’t particularly sought after in the first place. 


5. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Chansey #3 (Buy on eBay)

pokemon card value

Another Pokémon who featured heavily in the cartoon, Chansey is a basic holo with a difference. It has a massive 120 HP, while its Double-edge attack hits for 80. 

However, the stats aren’t the reason why gem mint shadowless first edition versions have sold for over $36,000.

As a normal-type Pokémon, the card is wrapped in a white background which contrasts heavily with the yellow border. Chansey is essentially a pink blob, while the holo that surrounds it will flake away instantly.  

It’s exceedingly condition-sensitive, and there are only 48 copies that have earned gem mint status. 


4. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Blastoise #2 (Buy on eBay)

Shadowless Holo Blastoise is a super valuable pokemon

The second of the trio of evolved starters from the 1999 set, Blastoise was also the cover star for Pokémon Blue.

First off, let’s get the price tag out of the way. A PSA 10 copy sold for $45,000 in 2020, with another selling for $44,000 this year. 

It’s all the more astounding considering there are around 100 when looking at graded pristine copies

However, Blastoise is indisputably one of the most popular Pokémon ever, and the same goes for Squirtle and Wartortle, which is the evolution path it follows.

In fact, it’s the second-most valuable card from the original 1999 set. 


3. 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Holo Blissey #2 (Buy on eBay)

Holo Blissey one of the most expensive pokemon cards

Another card from the 2001 Neo Revelation set, Blissey is the evolved form of Chansey, which takes the fifth spot on our list. 

Despite being released a couple of years after the base set, it still suffers from issues relating to the condition due to the white background and the yellow border. 

In terms of design, they’ve opted for a more realistic blob, but it’s still surrounded by silver holofoil which is damaged easily.

There are just 10 gem mint copies as of now, making for one of the rarest commercially available Pokémon cards ever produced. 


2. 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 (Buy on eBay)

rare and expensive pokemon 1st Edition Holo Lugia

Lugia appears on the box of Pokémon Silver, its remake Pokémon SoulSilver, and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, as a legendary god of the sea. 

As with Blissey and Chansey, it has a white background, and silver foil surrounds the image. 

Released as part of the 2000 Nintendo Neo Genesis set, a gem mint first-edition copy sold for $129,000 in 2020.

If you need an explanation for the price tag, it’s because there are only 42 gem mint copies, the Pokémon itself is exceptionally popular, and it was released a year after the original set.

(They are also seen as some of the toughest cards in the hobby, and always seem to get low grades.)


1. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Charizard #4 (Buy on eBay)

1st Edition Shadowless Holo Charizard most valuable pokemon 1st edition card

Never in doubt, the original holo Charizard was always going to take the top spot when looking at the most valuable first edition cards of all time. 

The prices always seem to amaze people when I show them, with the record broken again in March 2021. This time, a PSA 10 copy sold for $399,750. 

Pikachu might be the mascot for the franchise, but Charizard is the card that everyone seems to want. 

It’s also one of the most abundant cards you’ll find when looking at PSA 10 grades, with a pop of 122.

If any Pokémon card is going to break the $1m mark, this will probably be it. 


10 Rarest Pokemon Cards

Here are the 10 rarest Pokemon cards that also happen to be some of the most valuable as well.

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10. 1998 Tamamushi University Magikarp (Buy on eBay)

10 Rarest Pokemon Cards


9. 1999 Shadowless Charizard (Buy on eBay)

worlds 18 most rare and expensive pokemon cards


8. 2001 Japanese World Challenge Tropical Mega Battle (Buy on eBay)

super rare pokemon cards


7. 2010 Master’s Key Promo (Buy on eBay)

rare pokemon cards 2021


6. 1998 Kangaskhan Parent/Child Tournament Promo (Buy on eBay)

rare pokemon cards of all-time


5. Blastoise Presentation (Buy on eBay)

most unique pokemon cards


4. Tropical Wind  (Buy on eBay)

Tropical Wind one of the most rare pokemon cards


3. 1997 Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card (Buy on eBay)

rarest pokemon cards in the world


2. Gold Star Espeon and Umbreon (Buy on eBay)

rarest pokemon cards


1. Pikachu Illustrator Promo Card (Buy on eBay)

Pikachu Illustrator Promo rarest Pokémon card


Most Expensive Pokemon Card in the World

Opinions may differ but the most expensive Pokemon card in the world as of June 2021 in our opinion is the 1999 Base First Edition Chaziard Holo #4 “Logan Paul” Pokemon Card with a BGS 10 Pristine grade.

1999 First Edition Chaziard Holo Logon Paul Pokemon Card
The ever-popular 1999 First Edition Chaziard Holo #4 “Logon Paul” Pokemon Card. Paul purchased this card in December of 2020 and claims the card is worth 1 million dollars and he may not be far off.

The card was purchase by Paul in December of 2020 and was recently worn in his fight with Floyd “Money” Mayweather. He claims the card is worth 1 million dollars and we think he is actually pretty close.

We value the 1999 First Edition Chaziard Holo #4 “Logon Paul” Pokemon Card between $700,000 to $900,000.


Where to Buy Rare Pokemon Cards

Best place to buy rare Pokemon cards online: eBay 7 day auctions

Where to buy Pokemon cards near me: Local Estate Sales or Flea Markets are your best options when searching for a rare Pokemon card in your local area

How to buy Pokemon cards direct from the manufacturer: In the United States Pokémon products can be purchased directly from Pokémon Center at

– GoldCardAuctions 



Best Pokémon Card Value Scanner

TCGPlayer is the only legit service that allows a customer to scan Pokemon cards online to obtain values that a fairly accurate.

In our opinion, the best place to check the value of a Pokemon card is via eBay advance search. Simply click on sold listings and auction from the advanced eBay search menu. You will be presented with a list of recently sold Pokemon cards.

To obtain high-end/valuable Pokemon sales on eBay use the term “Pokemon PSA 10” via the advance search page.


The Most Valuable First Edition Pokémon Cards of All-Time: Summary

It’s amazing to think that a set that is barely 20 years old will sell for millions if you’re looking at a complete collection of pristine graded cards. 

The original 1999 release is definitely the pinnacle for now, and they look unlikely to be beaten anytime soon. 

There are a couple of decent options from 2000 onwards, but they just can’t compete with the popularity of the original 151.

The Charizard was always the chase card, but it’s still insane to think that it could be bought for less than $10,000 back in 2016. What will the value be in 2026?



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