There are certain names that have become the icon of modern pop culture. One of those names is definitely Pokemon. It's a Japanese media franchise created in 1995, surrounding the fictional creatures called "Pokémon". The franchise is so popular that it has inspired numerous spin-off series, games, and even cards. You may think that they're just pieces of cardboard with a picture on them, but they might be worth a fortune. Here are the top 20 Pokemon Cards That Are Valuable.

History of Pokemon Cards

 As we have mentioned earlier, Pokémon was an unprecedented late 1990’s phenomenon. Pokémon, short for Pocket Monsters, took over the world and became the most iconic animated series on television at that time. Many third-party products were inspired by the series, one of which was Pokemon cards.

When Pokemon Cards Are Created?

The very first Pokemon cards were released in October 1996 in Japan by a company called Media Factory. In the US, however, the card game was initially released by a third-party company - Wizards of the Coast, before Nintendo took over the publishing.

Original Series Pokemon
Everything starts from the Original Pokemon Series

The rule of the game was simple. Each player, as a Pokemon trader, had to pick a set of cards from the deck and attack the other players. Once a Pokémon took enough damage, it would be knocked out of the game.

Each set of cards had to contain at least one basic Pokémon (a Pokémon that hasn’t gone through any evolution). Players can only start with these Pokémons. 

Modern Pokemon Cards
Pokemon Cards Are Huge Now

Since the first introduction of Pokemon cards in the late 90s, companies around the world have printed millions of these cards. However, only a few rarest ones could net thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars from collectors.

Pokemon Cards That Are Valuable

Out of hundreds of millions of cards, we have come up with the top 20 rarest and most expensive ones right here. These are Pokémon cards that are worth money, highly collectible, and sought-after by collectors. 

#20 Gold Star Espeon and Umbreon

There are very Gold Star cards out there. You can tell it directly by looking to the right of the card name. These cards are so rare because originally only members of the Pokemon Players Club can claim the Espeon card for 50,000 points! You're looking at $5,000 for the Umbreon card and $6,000 for the Espeon one.

Gold Star Espeon And Umbreon
Gold Star Espeon And Umbreon

#19 1999 Pokemon 1st Edition Venusaur

Since the Venusaur is one of the highly collectible and notable Pokemon, the first edition of the card may be worth a lot of money. If it's of good quality, this card can easily net up to over $8,000!

1999 Pokemon 1st Edition Venusaur
1999 Pokemon 1st Edition Venusaur

#18 Shining Charizard

Pokemon Shining cards were introduced alongside the second generation of Pokemon games. What makes the Shining Charizard valuable is that it was the first-ever shiny Pokemon found! The Charizard itself is holographic in this card, rather than just sitting in the background. This card is typically sold for around $5000 dollars, but there's one went for as high as $8,900!

Shining Charizard
Shining Charizard

#17 Pokemon Booster Box with Black Triangle Error

Next on our list of Pokemon Cards That Are Valuable, we have the Regular Pokemon booster boxes with a black triangle error on the cover! Recently, one was sold for $8,700! The black triangle indicates the first edition of the box, as they printed too many first edition boxes.

Pokemon Booster Box With Black Triangle Error
Pokemon Booster Box With Black Triangle Error

#16 Snap Cards

With the release of Pokemon Snap 64 DD, there was a promotion encouraging gamers to take snapshots, and the winners had their work printed on the trading cards! Buyers even place up to $11,000 on these cards. However, sadly, if you are trying to sell yours, most just go for considerably less.

Snap Cards
Snap Cards

#15 Tropical Mega Battle Cards

From 1999 to 2001, players could take part in the annual TCG tournament - The Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle, in Honolulu, Hawaii. For every event, there were only 50 TCG players. So whichever promotional cards that came out are now extremely rare. Some of these cards, such as the One Tropical Mega battle Trainer Card with Psyduck, can go as high as $10,000!

1999 Tropical Mega Battle Card
1999 Tropical Mega Battle Card

#14 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise

False or errored items are highly collectible and rare since the manufacturers do not produce them anymore. As for the Shadowless cards, they were the results of an error in production. This makes them super valuable! Blastoise is nowhere near the most valuable shadowless card, but one in mint condition can rack up $10,000.

First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise

#13 Charizard First Edition

First edition Charizard cards are some of the Pokemon cards rarest in the world. With that being said, pretty much all of them are valuable. Specifically speaking, the first edition German Charizard card, or Glurak, has recently gone for $9,400. If you have a first edition Charizard card in good condition, you're looking at more than 10,000 dollars!

Charizard First Edition
Charizard First Edition

#12 2010 Japan World Championship Master Key Trophy Card

The World Championships is where the best of the best Pokemon players meet and the battle for the title, money, and prizes every year. The 2010 Championship took place at the Hilton in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii saw just thirty-six contestants. Each of them received one Master Key Trophy Card card, making it one of the rarest finds out there! These cards are so valuable that they rarely go on auction. But once they do, they can net up to $10,000 with ease.

2010 Japan World Championship Master Key Trophy Card
2010 Japan World Championship Master Key Trophy Card

#11 Kangaskhan Parent/Child Tournament Promo

There was a special Parent/Child Mega Battle Tournament in May 1998. Here, only elite contestants received a unique promotional card, making them ultra collectible. Many collectors consider them as the holy grail of TCG cards. They are willing to pay more than $10,000 for one!

Kangaskhan Parent Child Tournament Promo
Kangaskhan Parent Child Tournament Promo

#10 Pre-Release Raichu Cards

Originally, there were only between 10 and 15 Raichu cards made available worldwide. That explains why they're extremely hard to come by and ridiculously expensive. In a stellar condition, one could easily bring over $10,000 at minimum.

Pre Release Raichu Cards
Pre Release Raichu Cards

#9 2002 Expedition For Position Only Charizard Card

The Pokemon Company gave out these cards exclusively to their employees. And somehow, these got out to the market and ended up in the hands of the general public. Because no one really knows how many of them have been printed, they are highly collectible and valuable cards. There was one that went for just over $11,000.

2002 Expedition For Position Only Charizard Card
2002 Expedition For Position Only Charizard Card

#8 20th Anniversary 24K Gold Ginza Tanaka Japanese Pikachu Card

These are the next Pokemon Cards That Are Valuable. The 20th Anniversary 24K Gold Ginza Tanaka Japanese Pikachu Card cards were only on the shelves for a brief 20 days. It means you won't find that many of them out there. Each card is made from 11g of 24k gold. The sole purpose was for decoration, not technically playing. Though the gold is only worth around $600, the true value of these cards can go up to over $12,000!

20th Anniversary 24k Gold Ginza Tanaka Japanese Pikachu
20th Anniversary 24k Gold Ginza Tanaka Japanese Pikachu

#7 Black Star Promo Holo Ishihara GX Card

To celebrate his 60th birthday, Tsunekazu Ishihara gave out around 30 of these cards at the party. And needless to say, these rarely go on the market. If you happen to come across one, it will bring at least $13,000.

Black Star Promo Holo Ishihara Gx Card
Black Star Promo Holo Ishihara Gx Card

#6 Japanese Promo Summer Battle Road Holo Victory Orb Card

Only the top 3 players of each age division at the 2005 Battle Road Summer Tournament received one of these cards. The fact that they came out exclusively at this competition during that year,  makes it one of the most desirable pieces. People have recently sold one for over $15,000!

Japanese Promo Summer Battle Road Holo Victory Orb
Japanese Promo Summer Battle Road Holo Victory Orb

#5 2005 EX Deoxys #107 Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Card PSA 10 Gem

Fans of Pokemon will know that Rayquaza is one of the most powerful Pokemon there is. Hence, it really pushes the value of the card. Since the Pokemon itself was used as the mascot for the Pokemon Emerald video game, the popularity skyrocketed. If you are lucky enough to have one of these cards with the gold star, you can sell it for $19,000!

2005 Ex Deoxys 107 Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Card Ps
2005 Ex Deoxys 107 Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Card

#4 Numbers 1, 2, 3 Trainer Cards

At the annual Worlds Finals TCG, only the winners receive trainer cards. Having one of these cards was a guarantee that you would join the next year's championship. And since there is only one of each card that came out each year, they are extremely rare to find. In fact, they are so rare that no one can put a fixed price on them. However, you can surely expect to earn top dollars for one.

Number 3 Trainer Cards
Number 3 Trainer Cards

#3 Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card

Coming in at number three, it's a Magikarp card. Now, when it comes to the franchise, the Magikarp is nowhere near the most powerful Pokemon. But due to the fact that there are only between 30 and 100 of these cards on the market, they're some of the Pokemon cards rarest in the world! Originally given out in 1998 at a Japanese Pokemon conference, they now worth up to $27,000.

Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card
Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card

#2 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard

Welcome to the top 2 most expensive Pokemon card collections! These error cards cause the shadow to be missing on the right of the image, hence the name, Shadowless. And since this error did not last very long, these cards are valuable. Specifically, the first edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard can bring you up to $50,000 or more in pristine condition!

First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard

#1 Pikachu Illustrator Cards

The Pikachu Illustrator cards are by far the Pokemon cards most valuable. Why? Because they're the rarest card in circulation. These Holy Grails of Pokemon cards were only ever given out to the winners of the 1998 CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest. That means there are only a few of them in the entire world!

Pikachu Illustrator Cards Most Expensive
The Pikachu Illustrator Card Cost $233,000

These cards can cost $50,000 at the least. Some even went for well more than $200,000. In fact, in 2020, it was the card that broke a world record for the world's most expensive Pokémon card ever! It sold for a groundbreaking $233,000!

There you have it! Our list of the top 20 Pokemon Cards That Are Valuable. By far, these are the rarest and most expensive Pokemon cards any collector can find on the market. The most valuable piece is worth $233,000! Who would have thought anyone was willing to pay such a premium for a card. If you like this article, visit our website at GuruGamer.com for more!