The 27 Rarest Pokemon Cards And What They're Worth, Ranked (2023)

If you were a Pokemon fan back in the 1990s, you probably have a fair few old Pokemon Trading Card Game cards stashed somewhere in the back of your closet. We all had a few Caterpies and Rattattas lying around from this trend, and if you managed to collect a coveted card like a holographic Charizard, you were the talk of the school playground and truly got lucky.

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New Pokemon cards are still being produced to this day, making many of the oldest Pokemon cards even harder to find. As long as Pokemon remains a popular video game franchise, the Pokemon Trading Card Game will keep on producing new types of cards, but none of them can reach the heights of the rarest and most valuable Pokemon cards in the history of the franchise.

Updated February 5, 2023 by Quinton O'Connor: Howdy there, trainers. We've added three more cards for a cool 30 total. We've also reorganized the list so that it properly ascends from lowest cost to highest, just for kicks.


30 Trade Please!: $1900

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It wouldn't be unreasonable to think this was a prank or a fake card, but nope. This is a real card that was part of 1998 promotion for the Pokemon-themed album Trade Please by Suzukisan. By sending in the flier that came with each album, entrants could receive an evolved Kanto starter of their choice (Venusaur, Blastoise, or Charizard) as well as this… uniquetrainer card.

The starter Pokemon that came with are also quite rare and valuable cards, but sites like PSA Card show that the original Trade Please card can reach prices as high as $1900 if it’s been preserved at a high enough quality. This card actually did get a reprint just a few years ago for a similar event in Japan during Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary, but these were printed in much higher amounts and aren’t nearly as high-value.

29 Misprinted Fossil Krabby: $2,200

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While misprints might be irritating for the normal player or casual collector, for the hardcore they can be very big money. If a card runs through the printer wrong, is miscut, has a typo on it, or anything else, it can increase the value significantly. One great example of that is this Fossil Krabby,

The difference between these multiple miscuts and a normal card is that part of a fossil symbol to the bottom-left of its art is missing. This seemingly minor difference has driven up the price of these cards immensely, and despite going for under two dollars in its normal state, Pokemon Prices has the card record of a misprint selling for over $2200 dollars.

28 PSA 10 Southern Islands Reverse Holo Mew: $5950

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When the second Pokemon movie was released in Japan, the makers of the Trading Card Game decided to release a special edition set of cards to mark this occasion. The Southern Islands card series was born, featuring just two sets of nine cards apiece that were unique to any other set in the game.

Full sets of these cards can sell for a lot (which is annoying considering my dad bought two of them for £20 a piece at the time, and then I lost them because I was seven…), but the absolute highest value is undoubtedly the Southern Islands Mew, which has a rare reverse foil treatment where the frame around the art is the only part that’s shiny. In 2020, PWCC Auctions sold a copy of it for $4,155, and more recent auctions push it up as high as almost $6000. There have only ever been 19 copies given the PSA 10 grade, though other conditions are slightly more common.

27 Pre-Release Raichu: $10,500 (unconfirmed)

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Selling for a large amount of money doesn’t necessarily make a card the rarest in the game. Consider pre-release Raichu, a first generation card that wasn't even meant to exist. It was printed by mistake during the production of Jungle, the game's second expansion, and all but an alleged ten of them were destroyed. Those remaining ten were then given to certain Wizards of the Coasts employees, though exactly who owns them isn't known.

As far as anyone is aware, this card has never seen the light of day, and at time of writing, a legitimate version of the card has never been auctioned (though one was allegedly sold in 2009 for around $10,500... on April 1.)

That being said, many collectors speculate one could reach record-high prices if it was ever verified and put up for auction, with a Yahoo Finance slideshow from 2013 claiming it could reach around $10,000.

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This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.

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Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means it’s incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at ¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.

25 Master’s Key: $21,201

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The Master Key is another prize card that's seriously sought after in Pokemon card collector circles. This card was only produced in Japan, and had a very limited release: only 36 actually exist. The Master Key card was handed to those competitive Pokemon players who managed to reach high ranks in the 2010 Japan World Championship held in Honolulu, Hawaii, meaning no new copies can ever come into the market.

However, one copy did sell through PWCC for $21,201. It came in pristine condition, complete in the case and frame it came with.

24 PSA 10 Poliwrath Holo No Rarity Symbol: $25,015

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This Poliwrath combines multiple card-value-raising qualities into one card. It's from the original 1996 Japanese Base Set, complete with the lack of a rarity symbol that identifies it as being one of the first printings. It's also holo, and it's verified mint condition by the PSA.

Despite being a card that was released to the public, a staggeringly small number of them have ever been identified by the PSA and given that holy PSA 10 rating. As of 2021, only three have ever been found, and only one of those was ever put up for auction. When PWCC sold it in 2020, it fetched an impressive $25,015.

23 PSA 10 Charizard Gold Star Delta Species Holo Dragon Frontiers: $25,400

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The first of three Gold Star cards on this list, and surprisingly only one of two Charizards. Dragon Frontiers' Charizard Gold Star was one of the first times it was seen in its iconic black shiny coloring, which alone is usually enough to make a card shoot up in value.

In February of 2021, PWCC Auctions sold a PSA 10-graded Charizard Gold Star for a massive $25,400. Other sales tend to come a bit lower, although copies have sold for as much as $60,000 in unverified Ebay auctions.

22 Gold Star POP Series 5 Umbreon: $27,000

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The Japanese version of the Shining Umbreon Pokemon card is pretty highly desired, with its unique coloring and gorgeous frame-piercing artwork making it fittingly beautiful as one of the first shiny Pokemon to appear on a card.

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However, its price is so high because of much more than just its looks and popularity. The Shining Umbreon card only saw a very limited release through the Japanese Pokemon Players' Club for hitting the maximum number of experience points through attending organised play events between 2005 and 2006, making it one of the rarest cards out there. In 2020, PWCC Auctions sold a PSA-10 copy of it for $20,000, showing just how in-demand it is. Notably, this card was reprinted for the first time ever in 2021, as part of the 25th Anniversary Celebrations set. Though that version is worth way, way less, it's still the third most valuable card in the expansion.

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No. 1 Trainer promo cards are almost always valuable, thanks to them only being printed in limited quantities and being awarded to finalists in World Championships. What makes the Battle Road Spring 2002 promo special, though, is that every card is unique.

Each one has the name of its owner, and the region they were the champion of, printed in the card's text. As there were seven regions for the tournament, it can be assumed that there were at least seven produced.

It's so rare that PSA doesn't have an appraised value for it, however it has sold at auction in the past for $31,000.

20 Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer Trophy: $34,100

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Back in 2002, in the bustling town of Sapporo, top players in Japan dueled it out for prizes. Winning second place in a division nabbed you this card. Thus, there are only a few in circulation. One sold as recently as two years ago in early 2021 for a cool $34,100. More impressive than the price, however, is the card's one-of-a-kind nature. Its print specifically cites Fukunishi Tomoki as the second-place victor - Fukunishi, if you're out there, how rad is it to have a card that's just... you?

19 PSA 10 Holographic Shadowless First Edition Chansey: $35,000

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Despite not being one of the iconic starters or legendaries, Chansey is still one of the most valuable cards from Pokemon's Base Set. Like every other base set card, the Shadowless version gets a much higher price at auction.

There are 48 PSA 10-graded holo, shadowless Chanseys verified by the PSA. Despite that, they don't tend to fetch as high a price as their slightly more common expansion mates, like Charizard, probably because it is a less popular Pokemon. The last verified auction sale of a PSA 10 Chansey was in 2022, when PWCC Auctions sold one at $36,877.

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In late 2004, the Pokemon Daisuki Club opened up operations in Japan. It's a fan club, more or less, the regional version of the Pokemon Trainer Club group seen abroad. For several years, the Daisuki Club thrived. One of the organization's limited-time promotions revolved around the Pokemon Trading Card Game in 2010. Needless to say, it was one of their more popular efforts.

The most difficult-to-obtain promotional reward by far was the Daisuki Club Holo Masters Scroll. Only a few fans were able to complete enough objectives to turn in the high number of club points necessary for the card. November 2021 saw the sale of one of these rare gems for just north of $35k.

17 PSA 10 Holo Rayquaza Gold Star EX Deoxys: $40,400

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If Charizard is the king of Pokemon, Rayquaza is definitely up there in the royal family. It tends to value highly in any set it appears in, but none are as rare as EX Deoxys' Rayquaza Gold Star, which only has 56 verified PSA 10 quality cards in circulation, putting it on par with the famous Holo Base Set Shadowless Charizard.

The PSA values PSA 10-grade Gold Star Rayquazas at an incredibly high $40,400. Auctions can swing wildly either side of that price, too. In 2021 alone, there were three up for sale by Goldin Auctions, with the highest selling for $40,400.

16 PSA 10 Torchic Gold Star Holo EX Team Rocket Returns: $50,000

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In the early-to-mid 2000s, popularity in Pokemon was waning. "Pokemania" was on the way out, and that meant a lot of the Pokemon TCG expansions at the time suffered from lower sales and smaller print runs. With Pokemon back on top again now, cards from that era often see higher values than cards older than them. A great example of this is the Gold Star Torchic from EX Team Rocket Returns.

Gold Star Pokemon showcase Pokemon in their shiny forms and have the Pokemon breaking out of the frame as an early example of the many alternate styles the TCG would later experiment with. Why Torchic specifically is worth so much is anyone's guess, but with only 17 verified PSA 10 grade copies out there, the PSA values them at $50,000 each. Actual auction prices are a bit lower though, as in 2020 PWCC Auctions sold a copy for $25,400.

15 Japanese Base Set, No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur, Signed: $55,000

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In English-language cards, collectors look for the first edition stamp. In Japanese cards, though, you look for the complete lack of a rarity symbol. These "No Rarity" cards are much more valuable, but none of them are as rare as this signed, holo, no-rarity base set Venusaur.

First, the card itself is graded 10 by the PSA, making it verifiably mint condition. There are other PSA 10s of this card, though. What makes this specific card so rare is the case being signed by artist Mistuhiro Arita. Arita is a legend in the Pokemon TCG, having illustrated many of the game's most iconic cards. It sold for $55,000 in November 2021.

14 Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy: $60,000

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The aforementioned Neo Summer Battle Road came years after the original Summer Battle Road way back in 1998. The biggest take-home prize was the Mew Victory Orb Trophy card. 27 were doled out in total. We've got to be honest. $60,000 is a ton of money, and while we'd probably be willing to part with a piece of cardboard for that level of profit, it's still hard to fathom parting with something created specifically for you in honor of a feat that fewer than 30 people ever achieved.

13 Tamamushi University Magikarp: $66,100

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Produced as a promotion for magazine publisher Shogakukan's Celadon University campaign, this Magikarp card was awarded to those who successfully became "Pokemon Professors". By mailing in the Entrance Test, Professor Test, Super Professor Test, and Hyper Professor Test (all found in different magazines aimed at schoolchildren published by Shogakukan), 1000 Magikarps were up for grabs.

Though so many were printed, only 91 have been identified by the PSA so far. PSA 10-graded cards fetch a much higher price than any other condition, getting $66,100 at auction.

12 1998 Silver Trophy Pikachu: Never Sold; $84,000 for 1997 Card

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Coming from the same Pokemon Lizardon tournament as the Gold and Bronze Trophy Pikachu, the second place Silver Trophy Pikachu is even rarer. According to PSA, only three copies of it have ever emerged, and only one of those is PSA10. Though the PSA has no record of any auctions, the 1997 edition has been sold before, raking in over $84,000 in 2020.

11 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer: $90,000

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These cards were so cool. Awarded to regional champions in 1999, they served as both the prize for winning a regional heat and as the ticket to enter the Super Secret Battle finals held in an undisclosed location in Tokyo on August 22, 1999.

There are estimated to only be seven of these cards in existence, all of which have been graded by the PSA. A PSA 10 copy of the card sold at auction in 2020 for a massive $90,000, but the seller is hoping to get even more for it, as it is now up for offers from a starting price of $198,000.

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