Pokémon trading cards are much more than a child’s game – the rarest cards of the trading card game are coveted and are traded on the market for sometimes high sums. Influencers and Youtubers who have helped Pokémon cards gain popularity have also caused prices to rise. Videos of Youtube stars opening boxes and boosters of the game in order to get hold of one of the rare and particularly valuable cards in treasure hunter style made the rounds. For some of the cards, the prices now go into the hundreds of thousands. But which are the most valuable cards? And which rarity levels of cards are there? This text explains that.
The rarity levels of Pokémon cards – they determine their value
The grading of Trading Cards, that is, the rating of cards in rarity levels, is roughly divided into three categories: Common, Uncommon, and Rare. While Common cards can be found in every booster, Uncommon cards require a bit more luck. They are considered rarer, but still do not resemble the main prize. This is the very special Rare cards, whose copies fetch top prices on the market. One thing can be said about the Rare category: It is divided into several subcategories. In order to recognize which category a card belongs to, one can refer to several characteristics. Even a small sign on the card.
Signs on the Pokémon card tell you its rarity level
Common cards always have a small black circle on the bottom left side of the card. Just like the Uncommon cards, they do not have a hologram effect. Interestingly enough, the different rarity levels are also characterized by the corresponding Pokémon. Therefore, the Common cards usually feature base Pokémon at the lowest evolution level. A small black hash mark on the bottom left of the card indicates their Uncommon status. The motifs of Uncommon cards: mostly Pokémon evolved in the first stage, plus Trainer cards. Almost all Rare cards, on the other hand, feature a small, usually black star at the bottom left edge. Quite often they also have a hologram effect.
Rare cards – a rarity category with different subcategories
There are several subcategories of Rare cards: Ultra Rare, Rainbow Rare, Secret Rare, Amazing Rare, Shiny Rare, Rare Prism Star, and different types of Promo cards. Some of the different Rare categories only appear in certain expansions. For example, the Rare Prism Star cards are part of the Sun & Moon expansion – these cards have a holographic prism as a special design feature. Also, the special character P next to the black star. Special characters exist for almost all cards in the Rare category. An exception are promo cards, of which often only very small editions were issued for special occasions.
Estimate the value of the card and get lucky!
Because of the many different characteristics that make up a Pokémon card’s rarity value, it’s a good idea to do some research to get an idea of its value. Characters and hologram effects can provide some guidance. The special first edition cards are often in high demand, especially if they are in good condition and are part of an English edition. A first edition Glurak card, for example, sold for a remarkable $369,000. The likelihood of owning or grabbing a card with that kind of value is small, of course. But that doesn’t stop the collecting fever – because value increases in moderate amounts are not rare!