What is the 1st rarest Pokemon card?

What is the 1st rarest Pokemon card?

What is the 1st Rarest Pokemon Card?

Pokemon, the popular franchise created by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori, has captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. The franchise, which began as a video game, has expanded into various forms of media, including trading cards. Pokemon cards have become highly sought after by collectors, with some cards reaching astronomical prices in the secondary market. In this article, we will explore the first rarest Pokemon card and delve into the reasons behind its rarity and value.

The Holy Grail: Pikachu Illustrator Card

When it comes to rare Pokemon cards, the Pikachu Illustrator card stands at the top of the list. Released in 1998 as a prize for the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest, this card is considered the “holy grail” of Pokemon cards. Only 39 copies of the Pikachu Illustrator card were ever produced, making it extremely rare and highly coveted by collectors.

The Pikachu Illustrator card features a unique illustration of Pikachu by Atsuko Nishida, one of the original Pokemon character designers. The card is also distinguished by its special “Illustrator” holofoil stamp, which sets it apart from other cards in terms of design and rarity.

Value and Rarity

The Pikachu Illustrator card is not only rare but also incredibly valuable. In fact, it holds the record for the most expensive Pokemon card ever sold. In 2019, a PSA-graded Gem Mint 10 Pikachu Illustrator card was sold for a staggering $195,000 at auction.

The card’s value can be attributed to several factors:

  • Rarity: As mentioned earlier, only 39 copies of the Pikachu Illustrator card were ever produced, making it an incredibly scarce item.
  • Historical Significance: The card’s association with the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest adds to its desirability. It represents a piece of Pokemon history and holds sentimental value for many fans.
  • Unique Design: The Pikachu Illustrator card’s distinct artwork and holofoil stamp make it visually appealing and highly sought after by collectors.
  • Condition: The value of any collectible item, including Pokemon cards, is heavily influenced by its condition. PSA-graded Gem Mint 10 cards, like the one sold for $195,000, are incredibly rare and command premium prices.

Other Rare Pokemon Cards

While the Pikachu Illustrator card holds the title of the first rarest Pokemon card, there are several other cards that are also highly sought after by collectors. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Charizard First Edition Shadowless: This card, released in the Base Set of the Pokemon Trading Card Game, is highly prized by collectors. The Shadowless version, lacking the shadow beneath the illustration, is particularly rare and valuable.
  • Shining Charizard: From the Neo Destiny expansion, this card features a unique “shining” holofoil pattern and is considered one of the most iconic and valuable Pokemon cards.
  • Pikachu Trophy Card: Awarded to winners of the Pokemon World Championships, this card is extremely rare and can only be obtained through competitive play.


The Pikachu Illustrator card holds the distinction of being the first rarest Pokemon card, with only 39 copies in existence. Its rarity, combined with its unique design and historical significance, has propelled its value to unprecedented heights. However, it is important to note that rarity and value are subjective, and different collectors may prioritize different cards based on personal preferences and interests.

Whether you’re a Pokemon card collector or simply fascinated by the world of Pokemon, understanding the rarity and value of these cards adds another layer of appreciation for the franchise. The Pikachu Illustrator card serves as a reminder of the enduring popularity and cultural impact of Pokemon, captivating fans of all ages.

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