The Pokémon franchise boasts 122 video games on various consoles, with over 380 million units sold as of March 2021. According to Statista, Pokémon Red, Green and Blue is the franchise’s most successful game, with more than 31 million units shipped worldwide.
As of July 2022, there were 905 unique Pokémon. There were also over 9,000 unique English-language Pokémon cards, according to Bulbapedia, creating substantial work for any collector trying to “catch ’em all.”
Although you don’t need to purchase rare cards at auction in order to build a deck and battle other players, there are collectors willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the rarest cards.
How many Pokémon are there?: We counted every generation of Pokémon, including Arceus.
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What is the most expensive Pokémon card?
As of August 2022, the most expensive Pokémon card is a Professional Sports Authenticator grade 10 Pikachu Illustrator card that social media personality and boxer Logan Paul purchased for $5.275 million, according to Guinness World Records.
A PSA grade of 10 means the card was in perfect condition. There is only one known PSA grade 10 Pikachu Illustrator card in the world, according to Guinness.
In June 2021, Paul purchased a PSA grade 9 Pikachu Illustrator card for $1.275 million. He traded this card, along with $4 million, to obtain the PSA grade 10 card he now owns.
According to Guinness, Paul wore his PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator card on a chain around his neck to his April 2022 appearance at WrestleMania 38, where he was presented with a certificate for the world record.
Most expensive Pokémon cards
Here are some of the rarest and most expensive Pokémon cards, according to Dicebreaker:
1. Pikachu Illustrator
In April 2022, it was confirmed that Logan Paul paid $5.275 million for a PSA grade 10 Pikachu Illustrator card. The Illustrator card, given out to 39 winners of the 1997 and 1998 Pokémon illustration contests, is extremely rare. Only 23 have been certified by the PSA, and only one has been given a PSA rating of 10.
2. 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
This card sold for $420,000 at auction in March 2022, after breaking numerous records in the past. According to Dicebreaker, only 121 copies of the card have been rated as Gem Mint 10 by the PSA.
3. Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
In January 2021, this card was sold at auction for $350,000, making it the most valuable card at the time. This card is only two of a kind, created in 1998 by Wizards of the Coast, a company seeking a contract for the card game’s English-language release, for a sales pitch with Nintendo executives from Japan.
4. Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
This customized card featuring the Pokémon Company’s president, Tsunekazu Ishihara, was given to Pokémon employees to celebrate the executive’s 60th birthday in 2017. A copy of the card signed by Ishihara himself sold for $247,230 in April 2021.
5. Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card
This rare card sold for $150,100 in October 2020. Only three copies of the card have been sold in the last two decades, making it hard to come by. The card, given to participants in a Japanese parent/child tournament in 1998, is one of the rarest promotional cards in existence.
6. 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
In May 2021, this card sold for $144,300. Only three of these cards, which feature the legendary cover Pokémon from the Pokémon SoulSilver game, have a PSA rating of 10.
7. 2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer
This card sold for $110,100 in February 2021. The card was given as a trophy to Pokémon World Championship finalists in August 2006. Today, only three copies are said to exist.
8. 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer
This rare card, given to finalists in an elite tournament held in a secret location in 1999, sold for $90,000 in July 2020.
9. 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
This card sold for $65,100 in October 2020. Only 12 copies were produced, given out as prizes at the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament.
10. 1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur
This card was sold at auction for $55,000 in November 2021. This Japanese language card is missing a stamp in its bottom-right corner, making it an extremely rare find.
11. 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer
Each copy of this 2002 Pokémon World Championship prize card was printed with the name of its recipient, making each card one-of-a-kind. A copy sold for $31,200 in April 2021.
12. Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series 5
These alternate-color “Eeveelution” cards, featured in an exclusive rewards program that required players to earn points at tournaments to exchange for Japanese-language versions of these cards, have both gone for over $20,000 at auction. In February 2021, an Espeon Gold Star card was bought for $22,000.
13. Master’s Key
The Master’s Key card, given to competitors in the 2010 World Championships in Hawaii, was sold at auction for over $21,000 in November 2019.
14. Prerelease Raichu
Raichu was released in a 1999 card game expansion. Before its release date, copies of the card with a “Prerelease” stamp were accidentally printed. Although most copies were destroyed, some Wizards of the Coast staff reportedly received copies. Dicebreaker, reports the card was sold for $10,500 in April 2009 — though some speculate the card’s existence is nothing but an April Fools’ joke.
15. 20th Anniversary 24-karat Gold Pikachu
In 2016, to celebrate the card game’s 20th anniversary, winners of a lottery were given the exclusive chance to buy this golden recreation of the original Pikachu card for $2,081.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the most expensive Pokémon card? The 15 priciest collectables.
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