Pokémon cards have marks that show their rarity and ultimately how valuable they are based on a tiny symbol on the bottom right-hand corner. A circle on the card means it is common, a diamond indicates that the card is uncommon, and a star means it is rare. In fact, for Pokémon cards, first editions and misprints also affect the value. Heritage Auctions has listed the five most valuable Pokémon cards as follows:
1. Pikachu Illustrator has an estimated 20-39 copies issued to winners of an illustration contest in 1998 and was one of the earliest cards to come out of the franchise. One was sold for almost US$60,000 in 2016 and in October 2019 another sold for a whopping US$224,000.
2. Pikachu Trainer Card has an estimated value of $75,000 - $100,00. It was awarded at the first official Pokémon tournament in Japan in 1997 to the first, second, and third-place finishers in their respective divisions; making these cards exceedingly rare. The documentation states that just four copies were given to the top contestants.
3. 1999 First Edition Holographic Charizard Card was sold in August 2017 for $55,650. It appeared on the cover art of the Pokémon Red video game that was released in the mid-90s and has been the most desirable of all the First Edition Pokémon cards.
4. 2010 Japan World Championship Master Key Trophy Card was presented to the 36 contestants in that year's tournament, and each received a copy of this beautiful foil card in a special case. With so few ever produced, they command huge prices at auctions. One sold for over $21,000 in November 2019.
5. When it sold for almost $21,000, the 1996 Japanese “No Rarity” Charizard earned its way onto the list of most valuable Pokémon cards. Holographic cards in the set feature a star symbol, therefore, if one is found without this symbol, then it is a rarer, first-print “no rarity” Charizard’s, and worth a whole lot.
Passionate collectors are willing to pay big bucks to land any of the prized possessions on this list.