5 valuable Pokemon cards you may actually own
The recent $55,000 sale of an ultra-rare Pokemon Illustrator card has kick started the market for Pokemon cards in a way we haven’t seen since the heady days of the early 2000s.
But before you race back to your parents’ house to frantically dig through the attic, you’ll want to know what to look for.
All of the following are from the base set issued in the US in 1999 that were traded in playgrounds far and wide. Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to find them in good condition.
We’ve based our prices on 1st edition issues, which can be identified by looking for the symbol to the left of the picture. All are graded PSA Gem Mint 10 (as this is what collectors pay top dollar for).
Here are 5 valuable Pokemon cards you may actually own.
While it’s far from the rarest card in the series, Pikachu was easily the most popular character. This means that demand for this first edition card was (and remains) extremely high.
While it's relatively common, Pikachu is among the most sought after cards in the series - Image: Flickr
Gem Mint 10 specimens go for around the $170 mark, impressive given that this is not a particularly scarce card.
The value is driven by the fact there are only a small number of Gem Mint cards available.
Another popular character, this Machamp holo regularly hits $600 on the secondary market.
All Machamps are listed as first edition - Image: eBay
All examples of this card were issued with the first edition symbol as it was introduced with the two-player set.
Cards in average condition sell for less than $10. However, it’s still rare at Gem level - meaning you could have a valuable piece on your hands if you were careful when you were younger.
This is the most common of the big three classic “elemental” cards (Blastoise and Charizard being the other two).
Venusaur is one of the big three rarities of the 1999 series - Image: eBay
There are around 66 examples of it at PSA 10.
While it’s the easiest to find of the three, it’s a foundational card for most serious collectors and you’ll often see Venusaurs sell for around $700 as a result.
With 55 cards graded PSA 10, Blastoise is the second most valuable in the series.
First edition Blastoise cards in mint condition are very rare - Image: eBay
With demand at an all-time high, they’re selling for around the $2,000 mark.
First edition Charizards remain the most coveted card in the series.
Charizard remains the most sought after Pokemon card from the original series - Image: eBay
While there are a sizeable 95 cards graded at PSA 10, they are in huge demand – even among non-collectors.
That’s part of what drives the value of these cards. They have enormous appeal as pieces of nostalgia, in much the same way as vintage baseball cards do.
So how much could your first edition Charizard be worth?
How does $3,000-5,000 sound?