Pokemon Card Value and Price Guide: Accurate Market Insights for Collectors

The recent surge in Pokemon card values has piqued the interest of both investors and former collectors considering rejoining the market. The original 1999 1st Edition Shadowless base set remains highly sought after, with record-breaking sales happening frequently. As nostalgic adults create increased demand, Pokemon cards continue to skyrocket in value. If you have old Pokemon cards stashed away, they might be worth anything from a few dollars to a small fortune. This article will help guide you through the process of determining the value of your Pokemon cards.

Key Takeaways

  • Original 1999 1st Edition Shadowless base set cards are highly collectible and valuable
  • Nostalgia-driven demand contributes to the rising value of Pokemon cards
  • Determining the value of a card involves identifying the set, name, year, and other attributes

What Makes a Pokemon Card Valuable?

Identify Type and Assess Rarity

The first aspect to consider when evaluating a Pokemon card’s value is its type and rarity. Rarity indicates how likely it is to come across a particular card in a booster pack or special event, and if it possesses any special characteristics, such as unique material or exclusive Pokemon types.

A marker near the card’s bottom or its name will signify its rarity: a circle means the card is common, a diamond indicates it’s less common, and stars represent a rare card. More stars or combinations of letters or symbols imply added rarity, particularly if they appear in the name or elsewhere on the card. Other factors that can increase rarity include:

  • A higher printed number than the set usually contains (e.g., 66/65)
  • Holographic or reverse holographic artwork
  • Artwork that occupies the entire card
  • Artwork where the creature doesn’t cast a shadow
  • Shining characteristics, not to be confused with holographic

Additionally, there are special types of cards, such as those awarded during tournaments or competitions. For instance, the highly sought-after Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card was exclusively given to competition winners in Japan and is considered priceless due to its scarcity. Another example, the Pikachu Illustrator card, awarded for a Pokemon award competition, reportedly sold for around $90,000 USD.

While rarity isn’t the sole factor determining value, it’s undeniably a significant contributor. Some of the highest-priced cards, worth tens of thousands of dollars or deemed “priceless” due to their limited availability, hold such price tags because of minor rarities such as misprints or typos.

For more common cards that don’t have these distinctive characteristics, the general advice is to sell them in bulk. Though individual cards may only be worth a few dollars at most, a complete collection can likely fetch a higher price. This can be a suitable strategy for those looking to discard a number of common cards and make a profit.

How to Find Out Pokemon Card Values

  1. Visit a local card shop: Experts can help assess your card’s value.
  2. Check online databases: Websites like CardMavin offer price guides.
  3. Browse Craigslist: Some collectors sell cards with their estimated values.

Pokemon Cards

Step 1: Find the name of the card

To identify a Pokémon card, simply check the top left hand corner of the card for the character’s name. For instance, in the example image provided, the card features the Pokémon Charmander.

Step 2: Find the year your Pokemon card was made

To determine the year your Pokemon card was made, examine the bottom of the card for the printed year. This is a crucial step in identifying your card, as different print runs may look almost identical[^1^].

For instance, Base Set Pokemon cards had four different print runs, and the UK 4th Print Base Set is distinguished by its 1999-2000 date[^1^]. Some well-known sets include Neo-Genesis, Aquapolis, and Sky Ridge[^1^]. The majority of valuable cards come from the 1999 1st edition base set, excluding some highly sought-after promo and trophy cards[^1^].

For an extensive list of every Pokemon trading card game set, refer to Bulbapedia.


Step 3: Find the set the card belongs to

To determine the set your Pokémon card belongs to, check for a logo on the right side of the card, just underneath and to the right of the illustration. If there is no logo, it is likely a Base set card. However, be aware of error cards without a symbol. Double-check the year to ensure it aligns with the set.

Card Set Logo

Step 4: Identify the card with the name and number in the set

Using the card’s name and number, look it up on eBay to confirm its identity. The name can be found in the top left corner above the illustration, while the card number is in the bottom right corner. This combination of name and number is unique for each card within a set and year.

For example, Charizard 101/108 refers to a specific Charizard card being the 101st card in a set of 108. In cases where you’re unsure about the particular card set, researching this name and number combination on eBay will help pinpoint the exact card you’re dealing with.

By incorporating the steps mentioned above, including this final step, you’ll be able to confidently identify any Pokémon card with ease.

Step 5: Use the Above Details to Identify Your Card

With the character’s name, set, year, and card number in hand, search for it on eBay and other websites specializing in Pokémon cards. Once you have found comparables, ensure that every detail on the cards matches.

  • Character’s Name: Confirm it’s the same Pokémon
  • Set: Make sure the set symbols match
  • Year: Check if the year of production is identical
  • Card Number: Ensure card numbers are the same

Keep in mind that even slight variations can greatly affect the value of your Pokémon card. It’s essential to double-check all these details and compare accurately to get a reliable estimation of your card’s worth.

Step 6: Look Up Your Card on eBay

Once you’ve identified an exact match for your Pokémon card, it’s time to determine its current market value. Visiting eBay provides a helpful starting point. Be aware that graded cards—those encased in plastic with a professional condition score—tend to hold more value than raw, ungraded cards, regardless of their apparent condition.

Here are some key points to consider when looking up your card on eBay:

  • Use relevant keywords to search for your specific card.
  • Check both active listings and completed sales to get a better understanding of current prices and trends.
  • Pay close attention to the condition of the cards being sold, as this can greatly impact the final selling price.
  • Consider seeking professional card grading services to authenticate and potentially increase the value of your card.

By following these guidelines, you will gain a more accurate understanding of your card’s worth in today’s market.

1. 1st Edition Base

1st edition

The 1st Edition Base Set is regarded as the holy grail in the Pokémon world. It boasts cards such as the iconic 1st Edition Charizard, which has even become a mainstream status symbol. The value of these cards continues to soar; for instance, a PSA 10 Charizard recently sold at Heritage Auctions for $192,000.

Sealed packs and boxes from this set are in high demand and fetch impressive prices. The limited graded population further fuels collectors’ interest. Key facts about the 1st Edition Base Set include:

  • Rarity: Low graded population
  • Demand: Astronomical
  • Value: High; sealed box auction ended at $408,000
  • Iconic cards: 1st Edition Charizard

2. Shadowless Base Set


Shadowless Base Set cards are extremely rare, similar to the 1st Edition cards but lacking the 1st Edition Stamp. With a lower population of gem mint Charizards, they command a significant price, around $80,000.00. Another unique feature of the Shadowless set is the presence of the Red Cheeks Pikachu Error card, found only in this set.

Obtaining a sealed box of Shadowless cards is quite challenging and can only be guaranteed by opening a case and one of the boxes within it. There is a possibility of finding 1st Edition cards in Shadowless boxes due to extra cards being included. However, 1st Edition Shadowless holos cannot be found. This uncertainty makes Shadowless boxes somewhat confusing, but a genuine Shadowless box is valued at over $70,000.

Useful Shadowless Base Set information to remember:

  • Rarity: Similar or even greater than 1st Edition cards
  • Gem Mint Charizard price: Approximately $80,000
  • Red Cheeks Pikachu Error: Exclusive to Shadowless set
  • Sealed box value: Over $70,000
  • Finding sealed box: Open a case and one of the boxes inside

3. Base Unlimited


The Base Unlimited set, released in 1999, has seen a significant increase in value over the years. Notably, the Unlimited Set boxes, which had a market value of around $3,000 in 2019, now fetch over $15,000. This increase can be attributed to the higher print runs (6-8 times) when compared to the single print runs of 1st Edition and Shadowless sets.

An iconic card in this set, the Gem Mint Charizard, is valued at around $8,500, showcasing an impressive growth of over 8x in value within the last 3 years—previously selling for just over $1,000 at the beginning of 2019.

4. Jungle Set

The Jungle Set is the second expansion set in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The 1st edition boxes are highly valued, with prices reaching around $13,000. It is unique as each holographic card also has a non-holo version. The set’s value is potentially underestimated due to the low graded populations and the chance to find rare error cards.

A notable pull from these boxes is the 1st Edition Black Star Pikachu, which has a PSA 10 value of over $10,000, making this set an exciting addition to any Pokémon collection.

5. Fossil Set

Fossil Set

The Fossil Set is the third expansion in Pokémon trading card world. Notable aspects include:

  • 1st Edition Boxes selling for over $10,700.
  • Distinct, edgier Fossil holograms compared to Jungle Set.
  • Increased popularity in recent times.
  • Each holographic card featuring a non-holographic counterpart.
  • Dragonite and Gengar being highly valued cards, with PSA 10 prices ranging from $2,000 to $4,500.

6. Base Set 2

base set2

Base Set 2, the fourth main expansion, skillfully combines the Base and Jungle sets, featuring 130 different cards and up to 20 holograms. With the timeless appeal of the original Charizard artwork, this set remains highly sought-after. Sealed boxes command prices over $8,000, while PSA 10 Charizards are valued at over $6,500.

7. Team Rocket

team rocket

Team Rocket, the 5th set in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, features Jesse, James, and Meowth. Collectors highly value this set, with 1st Edition boxes reaching prices of over $10,500. Notably, this set marks the first expansion containing the popular Charizard card.

8. Gym Heroes

The Gym Heroes set features the first four Gym Leaders: Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, and Erika. Notably, 1st Edition Boxes have a value of approximately $8,000. The set includes the valuable card: PSA 10 1st Edition Moltres, worth over $800.

9. Gym Challenge

The Gym Challenge set highlights the final four gym leaders: Sabrina, Koga, Blaine, and Giovanni. Collectors seek after the 1st Edition boxes valued over $11,869. A PSA 10 Charizard from this set is worth around $5,000.

10. Promo Cards

Pokémon promo cards, such as E3 promos, Black Star Promos, and Prerelease promos, have been in high demand due to their scarcity. These cards were available at events, magazines, via mail request, and even with a VHS film. The soaring demand is causing their value to increase rapidly.

  • Promo types: E3, Black Star, Prerelease
  • Sources: Events, magazines, mail requests, VHS film
  • Value: Skyrocketing due to scarcity

What Are My Pokemon 1st Edition Base Set Cards Worth?

1st ed

The worth of your 1st Edition Base Set Pokemon cards primarily depends on their condition. Mint cards with high PSA grades, such as 9’s and 10’s, have a higher value. The cards listed below reflect their worth as graded in mint condition. It is essential to keep in mind that cards that have been played with are less likely to achieve high grades. However, if your cards are still in reasonably good shape, it might be worthwhile to have them graded.

1. Squirtle First Edition $222 – $1225


As the first evolution of Blastoise, Squirtle holds significant Pokémon card value among the big three pre-evolutions. Despite a slowdown in grading and dipping prices in the Pokémon market, Squirtle remains an essential character for collectors. Assembling a Squirtle-Squad with its English Rookie card is highly recommended.

PSA Population:

  • PSA 10: 822
  • PSA 9: 1386

Current Pokémon Card Value:

  • PSA 10: $1225
  • PSA 9: $222

2. Charmander 1st Edition $300 – $979


Charmander’s value has experienced fluctuations over the past year. Despite a dip in price following record sales in summer 2020, this popular Pokémon card has potential to rebound due to Charizard’s influence on the market. The current Pokémon Card Value for a Charmander 1st Edition is as follows:

  • PSA 10: $979
  • PSA 9: $300

The PSA Pop count reveals there are 652 PSA 10 graded cards and 661 PSA 9 graded cards available.

3. Bulbasaur 1st Edition $258.80 – $1800


Bulbasaur, a highly popular Pokemon, has experienced a rise in value over time. It now surpasses Squirtle and Charmander in price when graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). The current Pokemon card values for a PSA 10 graded Bulbasaur stand at $1800, and PSA 9 cards are valued at $258.80. Given the low PSA populations of (10) 309 and (9) 814, collectors should prioritize Bulbasaur in their search.

4. Pikachu

Pikachu, the most well-known Pokémon and iconic mascot, has two variants in the set: red cheek and yellow cheek. The rarer red cheek variant is more valuable, while both have similar population reports. For collectors seeking the coveted non-holo Pikachu, the recent decline in prices offers a great opportunity.

Pikachu Red Cheeks $565.55 – $4150


PSA Grade Card Value
10 $4,150
9 $565.55

Pikachu Yellow Cheeks $294.73 – $1478.23


PSA Grade Population Current Value
PSA 10 460 $1478.23
PSA 9 783 $294.73

This Pikachu card features unique yellow cheeks and is highly sought-after in the Pokémon card collecting community.

5. Onix 1st Edition $60 – $230.50


The Onix 1st Edition Pokémon card features the massive rock snake Pokémon, which gained popularity when Brock used it in battles against Ash in the TV show. Known for its impressive design, the card has become a coveted addition to any collection. As its value steadily increases, collectors can expect to pay around $60 for a PSA 9 graded card and $230.50 for a PSA 10 one.

6. Blastoise Holo 1st Edition $4150 – $31,334


The final evolution of Squirtle, Blastoise holds its value as the 2nd most valuable card in the set, making it one of the most powerful cards in the game. As collectors continue to recognize its potential, its value will rise due to a lower graded population compared to the top card.

PSA Graded Populations:

  • PSA 10: 100
  • PSA 9: 622

Current Pokemon Card Values:

7. Charizard Holo 1st Edition $20,000 – $192,000


The 1st Edition Charizard Holo is a highly sought-after collectible in the world of Pokémon cards. Known for setting massive records, it is considered the pinnacle of Pokémon collecting. This card is the rarest in the set and holds the title of being the most graded hologram among 1st Edition Shadowless holos.

  • Notable features:
    • The Charizard card dominates the playground regardless of condition
    • Its PSA population: 121 in PSA 10 and 704 in PSA 9
    • Current card values: $192,000 for PSA 10 and $20,000 for PSA 9

8. Venusaur Holo 1st Edition $2595.37 – $12,299


Venusaur, the final evolution of Bulbasaur, remains the 3rd most valuable card in the set. As one of the key cards in any Pokemon collection, acquiring it might become challenging when prices increase.

Current Pokemon Card Value:

  • PSA 10: $12,299
  • PSA 9: $2595.37

PSA Population:

  • 10: 142 cards
  • 9: 603 cards

9. Mewtwo Holo 1st Edition $1841 – $13,100


Often considered an underrated hologram, the Mewtwo Holo 1st Edition is the 4th most valuable card in the set. As the most powerful and smartest original Pokémon, Mewtwo holds a unique position, having been engineered in a lab and being the first major Poke-villain in the Pokémon Movie Mewtwo Strikes Back.

Some notable information about this card:

  • Mewtwo evolved from Ancient Mew.
  • PSA Population:
  • Current Pokémon Card Value:

10. Lass $147.50 – $1690

Lass Card

The Lass card holds significance as the first female Pokémon card and remains one of the rarest trainer cards. Its low graded population adds to its rarity and value. Collectors have sought Lass for years, with its PSA 10 sales outpacing other trainer cards in the set for over five years, making it a must-have for them. The card’s current value stands at $1,690 for PSA 10 and $147.50 for PSA 9.

11. Raichu $982.41 – $9,577


Raichu, the evolved form of Pikachu, is considered undervalued. It gained prominence initially as a top Pokémon for Lt. Surge in the animated series. Raichu evolves from Pikachu using a Thunder Stone and can store over 100,000 volts of electricity. Below are the Raichu Pokémon card values based on their grading:

Grade Card Value
PSA 10 $9,577
PSA 9 $982.41

These values emphasize the rarity and potential worth of the Raichu card.

12. Chansey $1905 – $27,412


Chansey, originally known as Lucky, assists Nurse Joy in Pokémon Centers in both the show and video games. This card’s popularity among gamers, coupled with production challenges, makes it one of the hardest to receive PSA 10 grades, with only 47 current examples. Chansey’s current Pokémon Card Value:

  • PSA 10: $27,412
  • PSA 9: $1,905

PSA Populations:

  • PSA 10: 48
  • PSA 9: 417

13. Dugtrio $107.50 – $250


Dugtrio, the evolved form of Diglett, is a triple-headed angry mole Pokémon. As one of the most valuable non-holo cards in the set, it is a bargain with only 137 PSA 10 examples. This mole Pokémon is known for its ability to create tunnels at 60 MPH, occasionally causing earthquakes.

Current Pokemon Card Value:

  • PSA 10: $250
  • PSA 9: $107.50

PSA Population:

  • (10) 155
  • (9) 416

14. Dratini $102.50 – $631


Dratini, an adorable dragon Pokemon, holds significant value among card collectors. It reached a peak price of over $4,000 in PSA 10 grade early in 2020. Despite the market adjusting since then, Dratini cards are expected to gradually appreciate over time, especially low-population PSA 10 rookie cards.

Worth noting, Dratini later evolves into Dragonair and eventually Dragonite.

PSA Pop: (10) 170 – (9) 561

Current Pokemon Card Value: PSA 10 $631, PSA 9 $102.50

15. Machamp $422 – $7500


Machamp’s value highly depends on its edition and grading. Be cautious, as many listed as 1st Edition are actually the Unlimited version. To verify your card’s edition, inspect the font, year(s) listed on the card, or consult the Ultimate Pokemon Guide.

Machamp’s various editions and their PSA populations:

  • 1st Edition: PSA Pop: (10) 373 – (9) 4054
  • 1st Edition Shadowless: PSA Pop: 181 – (10) 8 – (9) 191

Current Shadowless Value: PSA 10 $7500, PSA 9 $422

Machamp’s ranking among the Most Powerful Pokemon is also noteworthy.

Pokemon Just Had Their 25th Anniversary!

Celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise took place on February 27th, 2021. As part of this milestone, fans enjoyed the release of several new games exclusively available on the Nintendo Switch™ system. These titles included Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl in late 2021, followed by Pokémon Legends: Arceus in early 2022.

Also worth mentioning is the 2021 release of New Pokemon Snap, in which players act as photographers in the Lental region, collaborating with Professor Mirror on an ecological survey. Photos captured in this game receive ratings based on the rarity of the Pokémon behavior displayed, with scores ranging from one to four stars. Competing with others globally, players can share their pictures and partake in ranking systems.

What’s Ahead for Pokémon?

pokemon crown zenith

Currently, Pokémon enthusiasts can enjoy the Sword & Shield Silver Tempest set with the Elite Trainer boxes retailing around $50. These boxes boast 10 booster packs, 130 card sleeves featuring Lugia or Alolan Vulpix, 45 energy cards, a players guide, dice, and more.

In January 2023, the Pokémon community can look forward to the release of Pokémon Crown Zenith, which includes:

  • Over 160 cards
  • 3 brand-new Radiant Pokémon
  • 5 colossal Pokémon VMAX
  • 8 shining Pokémon VSTAR
  • 17 powerful Pokémon V
  • 70 cards with special artwork in the Galarian Gallery

January 2023 also marks the debut of the Pokemon Paldea Collection, featuring:

  • 3 foil promo cards starring Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly
  • 1 foil oversize card with Koraidon ex or Miraidon ex
  • 1 collector’s pin showcasing Sprigatito, Fuecoco, or Quaxly
  • 4 Pokémon TCG booster packs
  • A code card for Pokémon TCG Online or Pokémon TCG Live

The highly-anticipated Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Base set, the Pokémon TCG’s 9th generation, is set to launch on February 17th, 2023.

Shortly afterward, on March 3rd, 2023, the 2022 World Championship Decks will be released — the first since 2019. Each 60-card deck will come with a Worlds 2022 pin, deck box, booklet, and code card.

Lastly, congratulations to Ash Ketchum for finally becoming the Pokemon Grand Champion after 25 years of training and battling. Ash exemplifies the very best of what it means to be a Pokémon Trainer, according to Taito Okiura, vice president of marketing for The Pokémon Company International.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I determine the value of my Pokemon cards?

To determine the value of your Pokemon cards, you need to consider factors such as rarity, condition, and demand. You can look up card values on websites like CardMavin or TCGplayer. eBay is also a popular platform to compare the selling prices of similar cards.

What are the most valuable Pokemon cards as of 2023?

Some of the most valuable Pokemon cards in 2023 include:

  • First-edition holographic Charizard
  • Pikachu Illustrator
  • Pre-release Raichu
  • Southern Islands promotional cards
  • Gold Star Pokemon cards

Note that values can change based on market trends and demand for particular cards.

Which websites provide reliable Pokemon card price guides?

There are several websites offering reliable price guides for Pokemon cards, including:

Always cross-reference prices among different sources to get the most accurate evaluation.

How do I use eBay to price check my Pokemon cards?

To use eBay for price checking, follow these steps:

  1. Search for your card by name, set number, or key card characteristics.
  2. Filter search results by “Sold items” or “Completed listings” to see actual selling prices.
  3. Compare the prices of cards in similar conditions to estimate the value of your card.

What factors influence the price of a Pokemon card?

The price of a Pokemon card is influenced by factors like:

  • Rarity: Cards categorized as rare, ultra-rare, or secret rare are typically more valuable.
  • Card condition: The closer to mint condition, the more valuable the card.
  • Popularity: Popular Pokemon, like Charizard or Pikachu, may have higher demand and greater value.
  • Set and release date: Older, out-of-print sets or limited-release cards can command higher prices.

Are there any mobile apps that can check prices of Pokemon cards?

There are mobile apps, such as TCGplayer, Pokellector, and CardPrice, that can be used to check Pokemon card prices. These apps typically pull data from popular marketplaces and price guides to give you up-to-date and accurate valuations.