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Top 5 Rarest Pokemon Cards

Like most trading card games, Pokemon cards have made their mark as a cultural icon of the late 90's/early 2000s. The Pokemon Trading Card Game was first released in Japan in October 1996. By 1998, the Pokemon Trading Card Game made it to the United States and was published by Wizards of the Coast. Wizards of the Coast printed Pokemon cards until June 2003, when Nintendo took over the reigns. The object of the Pokemon TCG was for fans to collect different cards containing Pokemon, items, and other boosters. They would then take these cards and play in “trainer battles” such as they would see on TV in the show Pokemon. Fans could buy the cards in “starter sets” which usually came with a deck of cards and a rule book and they could also buy smaller packs of cards which they could use to build on their starter decks. Hobby shops and other venues would often hold Pokemon TCG tournaments in which players could meet from all over and compete against each other in return for a prize. While many Pokemon fans collected the cards in order to play against their friends and in tournaments, many other fans collected the cards just for the sake of collecting. Not only were cards available to buy in packs but many special cards were printed for promotions and special occasions. Some cards were even misprints. As the popularity of Pokemon faded over time, many fans eventually threw their cards away, gave them away, or otherwise lost them. However, more than 10 years later, some of these Pokemon cards have become very rare and in turn, worth a lot of money.

The fifth rarest Pokemon card is one that you were probably after when you collected the cards. Number five on the list is the First Edition Holographic Charizard card. The First Edition Holographic Charizard was printed in 1999 during the first edition of the game. Back when Pokemon was at its height, this card was one of the most sought cards and still proves to be very valuable today. The price range that sellers are asking for this card is as low as $600 and can be as high as $4,000, depending on the condition of the card. Mint condition versions of this card are worth more than cards that have wear and tear. Charizard may be a Pokemon that everyone knows and loves but only few have had the opportunity to find a First Edition Holographic Charizard.

The fourth rarest Pokemon card actually comes in a set. During the Spring of 1999, Pokemon Snap was released for the N64. As a way of promoting the game, a contest was held where players snapped pictures of Pokemon in the game and winners got the photos reprinted into cards. These cards are unique in the fact that they have unique Japanese markings on them as well as a camera icon. All in all, there were five winning entries. The number of cards that were printed is unknown. However, the Snap Contest Pikachu alone is valued between $8,000 and $12,000.

The third rarest Pokemon card also comes in a set. They are known as the Number 1, 2, and 3 Trainer Cards. These cards were given out through tournaments and eventually become prizes for the winners of the Pokemon World Championships. Winners who possessed these cards were enabled to gain entry to the next year's world championship. The first version of these cards were printed in 1997 and feature a Pikachu holding either a gold, silver, or bronze trophy.

The second rarest Pokemon card is what is known as Pre-Release Raichu. Pre-Release Raichu is a rare error card and is often referred to as the “Holy Grail” of Pokemon cards. This card came into existence when Wizards of the Coast were printing Pre-Release Clefable cards and some Raichu cards got mixed in. Only 8 Pre-Release Raichu cards came out. These 8 cards were given out to employees of Wizards of the Coast and were never included in any packs. Its estimated value is at $10,000.

The top rarest card in the Pokemon TCG is called Illustrator Pikachu. Not only is it the rarest Pokemon card but it is also the most expensive one in the world. There are only 6 copies known to have been made, each one with a value of at least $20,000. Due to its high price, only 4 copies have been sold so far. The Illustrator Pikachu card was given out as a prize to winners of a Pokemon drawing contest, which occurred when Pokemon was still so new that it was only out in Japan. These cards are only in Japanese because Pokemon had not yet made it to the United States. There are also several other factors that make the Illustrator Pikachu card stand out. Instead of saying “trainer” like most cards it says “illustrator” and there is a message to the winner of the contest in the area where the attack information would usually be printed. In the right hand corner of the card, there is an icon of a brush.