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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?

Related: 10 Best Pokemon Booster Boxes to Buy | First Edition Pokemon Card Guide | Top 10 Charizard Pokemon Cards To Buy Now

Welcome to present-day Pokemon card mania. Pokemon cards have 20 and 30-year-olds worldwide racing to their parent’s houses to find a super rare 1st Edition Pokemon card in the back of their childhood closet. Today we’ll look at the most valuable and rarest Pokemon card money can buy (or Jake Paul can buy).

Read Most Rare Pokemon Cards Next

Nothing will beat the original 1999 Pokémon base set in terms of pure value if you’re looking at first-edition cards. After a slight 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 led to Pokemon cards collecting mania and kids that grew up in the 90s looking back, hoping their Pokemon cards are still around.

 

Most Valuable

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. 

 

1. 1998 P.M. Pikachu Illustrator Holo Japanese Promo

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1998 pikachu holo illustrator holo promo

The Pikachu Illustrator is the Holy Grail of Pokemon Cards and was originally given to winners of promo contests held in 1997 and 1998 by the Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic. This card sold for $900,000 in February of 2022.

Although expensive, we do not particularly like the card’s design and would never pay upwards of $900k for such an underwhelming design. The card’s words read: “We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illust Contest. Therefore, we declare that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”

 

2. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Charizard #4

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Although not officially the most expensive Pokemon card, it has not been sold. Still, the 1999 Base First Edition Charizard Holo #4 “Logan Paul” Pokemon Card with a BGS 10 Pristine grade would easily pass the million-dollar mark if sold today.

But since it has not been officially sold, we list it as number 2. A PSA 10 copy sold for $399,750 in March of 2021. Pikachu might be the mascot for the franchise, but Charizard is the card everyone seems to want. If anyone has a lead on this card for sale, email us at info@goldcardauctions.com, as we are in the market.

 

3. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram

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Blastoise!

We love Blastoise!

Blastoise is a significant number 2 to Charizard in the Pokemon world.

For some time, the 1998 Blastoise Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram was the all-time most valuable Pokemon card, selling for a mind-blowing $360,000 in January 2021. 

 

4. 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9

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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 was released a year after the original set. (They are also seen as some of the most rigid cards in the hobby and always seem to get low grades.)

 

5. 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Holo Blissey #2

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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 10 gem mint copies, making for one of the rarest commercially available Pokémon cards ever produced. 

 

6. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Blastoise #2

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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 astounding, considering there are around 100 when looking at graded pristine copiesHowever, 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.  It’s the second-most valuable card from the original 1999 set. 

 

7. 2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation 1st Edition Holo Houndoom #8

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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 standard types that had been seen before.

Houndoom is one example, with the card wrapped in a distinctive black background. You’ll see advancements in 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.

 

8. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Venusaur #15

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Now we’re getting somewhere. The final evolution of the starter Pokémon Bulbasaur, Venusaur, played a massive part 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 game version, although the Green edition was never released worldwide. 

With over 137 PSA 10 copies, the original holo Venusaur is clearly a coveted card. It may pale compared to Blastoise and Charizard, but it’s still a member of the original trio that players got to choose from. 

 

9. 2002 Pokémon Neo Destiny 1st Edition Shining Charizard #107

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A Charizard didn’t take long 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, 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 an example, finished in a muted silver foil that contrasts well with the rest of the card. According to the registry, there are 222 PSA 10 copies, but that hasn’t stopped values from rising due to the popularity of the fire-breathing lizard. Shining cards were initially inserted at a 300:1 rate. 

 

10. 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Raichu #14

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We begin the top 10 with the evolution for the most popular Pokémon. 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 Pikachu’s association has helped boost values recently. 

According to the registry, 87 gem mint copies are 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 prefer an Alakazam or a Mewtwo rather than a Pokémon. Most people disregard in favor of the base version.

 

 

Other Valuable Pokemon Cards

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Chansey #3

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Another Pokémon 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.

 

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

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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 new shadowless first edition versions, which makes sense as it wasn’t particularly sought after in the first place. 

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Gyarados #6

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This spot on the list could quickly have been taken by the likes of Zapdos or Poliwrath, 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 potent evolutions from the original trading card game. Evolved from the otherwise useless Magikarp, the blue foil surrounding the Pokémon gives a nice water effect. Currently, there are 86 gem mint copies on the PSA registry, so it’s not especially rare, even when looking at pristine copies.

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Ninetales #12

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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, inspired by the kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit. A cool blue holo background backs it, 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.

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Mewtwo #1

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One of the best hits from the original set, and the main antagonist from the first Pokémon movie, Mewtwo, is a man-made Pokémon created from Mew’s DNA. Psychic cards were also reasonably rare then, while Mewtwo is considered a legendary Pokémon-type. The holofoil looks like rays of power emanating from the genetic anomaly. This time, the number of gem mint copies appearing on the PSA registry is 81. It’s rarer and more expensive than any of the cards discussed above. That makes sense due to the sheer popularity. 

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Nidoking #11

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A dual-type poison and ground Pokémon that is the evolved form of Nidoran, Nidoking is classed as a grass-type for 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 initially released, but it’s one of the most valuable today. Just 90 have earned the elusive gem mint grade from PSA. 

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Ninetales #12

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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, inspired by the kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit. A cool blue holo background backs it, 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.

 

1999 Pokémon Jungle 1st Edition Holo Snorlax #11

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The 1999 Complete 1st Edition only covered about a third of the original Pokédex, with several heavy hitters left out.  One such Pokémon was Snorlax, who played a significant role in the first Game Boy games. 

64 cards were released in the Jungle 1st Edition series, which added several interesting holo shinies to the original collection.  These cards featured illustrators who brought their ideas to the fore when designing the images. Snorlax is found in the jungle expansion, 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. 

 

1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Hitmonchan #7

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Back to the 1999 base set, where we’re looking at one of the most wondrous 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 compared to many other holos. In any case, it’s deserving of a place on the list. 

 

2001 Pokémon Neo Revelation Holo 1st Edition Entei #6

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One of the few options released past the turn of the century to make a list, Entei is found as part of the 2001 Pokemon Neo Revelation set. As we look at the most valuable cards, we’re sticking with 1st Edition versions, although you won’t have to worry about shadows. 

Entei, also known as the Legendary Beast of Johto, first appeared in Pokémon Gold and Silver. His legend lives on as of 2021, even if the Pokémon only misses out on a space in the top 10. There are 30 gem mint first edition cards, making for a great pick that contends with the 1999 set.

 

Pokémon Cards: Terminology

Before we begin, it can get confusing if you’re unsure 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 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. 

 

Summary

It’s incredible to think that a set that is barely 20 years old will sell for millions if you’re looking at a complete collection of newly graded cards. The original 1999 release is 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 can’t compete with the popularity of the original 151. The Charizard was always the chase card, but it’s still insane to think it could be repurchased for less than $10,000 in 2016. What will the value be in 2026?

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