Which Pokemon cards are worth money in 2023? Most collectors are hoping to make a profit from their most valuable cards, but what would we advise to look for from an investment perspective?
The vast majority of Pokémon cards are hardly worth anything in 2023. Unless it’s a vintage card, or a popular secret rare, expect to make a loss on almost every modern pack you open. It’s a disappointing truth, but it’s something every collector should be aware of.
If you’re wondering which Pokemon cards are worth money in 2023, we’ve come up with a guide explaining exactly what to look for, as well as what to avoid.
What makes a Pokemon card valuable?
As with most cards, value is derived from demand exceeding supply. It also helps if it’s a popular Pokémon, or if it’s a card that has proven to be hard to locate. Pristine graded copies are the versions that tend to sell for a lot of money, although that isn’t always the case.
For example, let’s look at the Blastoise Holo from the 2021 Celebrations collection. A total of 8,100+ have been sent off for grading to PSA at the current time of writing. Of those 8,100, roughly 5,400 are PSA 10 copies. It works out to disappointing values when looking at recent sales:
The same goes for ungraded copies, while PSA 9’s are actually cheaper than the cost of grading.
In other words, the supply is far too high, and everyone interested in Pokemon is likely to have a copy or two of the Celebrations Blastoise lying around somewhere. (I think I have three back from when I was ripping boxes regularly.)
In terms of more expensive options, it’s best to look for the rarest cards from modern sets, or to stick with vintage Pokémon cards. Don’t expect to see massive profits if the card is readily available at a low price.
Which Pokemon Cards Are Worth Money in 2023: Examples
That’s not to say that some Pokémon cards aren’t worth large amounts of money.
Here are some examples of high-end Pokemon cards that are likely to retain their value in the long term:
1999 1st Edition Pokemon cards (eBay)
1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon cards are legendary amongst Pokémon card collectors. It helped to kick off the craze around the world, which is still going strong as of 2023.
Any of the shiny cards are worth a lot, especially if they happen to have a 1st Edition stamp below the artwork. Charizard tends to get most of the attention, but there are numerous premium holo cards to chase.
1st Edition cards help to create separation from the normal base versions, and graded copies are the Pokémon cards you’ll see selling for major money in the news.
Check prices of 1999 1st Edition Pokémon cards on eBay
PSA 10 Pokemon cards (eBay)
On the subject of graded copies, PSA 10 graded cards are always popular, especially if it’s one of the more memorable Pokémon like Charizard or Pikachu.
The US-based grading company tends to see the highest sale prices, and is seen as the best in the industry if you’re hoping for profits. (For example, some collectors solely stick to PSA cards.)
Personally, I’d generally prefer a PSA 10 compared to equivalent grades from other companies. The majority of buyers feel the same way, although BGS is decent competition.
Check prices of PSA 10 Pokémon cards on eBay
Gold Star Pokémon cards (eBay)
Gold Star Pokemon cards are undoubtedly some of the rarest and most interesting copies found within the hobby. They have a unique look thanks to the monsters spilling out of the card border. They were also the first to introduce the design to collectors back in the mid 2000’s.
It’s another example of a vintage collection which is hard to come by. This has led to some impressive sales in recent years.
Check prices of Gold Star Pokémon cards on eBay
Pokemon Promo cards (eBay)
Promo cards are always popular, and tend to have a limited release compared to anything found in packs. That’s not true of some newer cards like the Special Delivery Charizard that came out in 2022, but the ‘Zard still sells for over $200 if you’re looking at PSA 10 graded copies. Once again, older Promo cards will be more valuable than anything released in recent years.
Check prices of Pokémon promo cards on eBay
Why are so many Pokémon cards worthless?
The Pokémon company has mass produced sets in recent years to meet an ever increasing demand for sealed products. As such, I’d be wary if you’re looking at new boxes. Sealed Pokémon products are always tempting as a fun rip, but it’ll be worth more if you don’t open it, and sell the box on at a later date.
The majority of modern cards are printed to insane amounts. Then there’s the fact that there are only one or two Holos per pack, so there’s always a ton of base versions that you’ll struggle to sell unless you settle for bulk rates.
Which Pokémon cards to avoid?
Any newer releases tend to be a bust if you’re ripping packs, so it’s arguably better to stick with vintage options. However, older packs and boxes are more expensive, so there is a trade-off to consider.
If you’re hoping to maximise profits, it’s arguably best to stick with PSA 10 versions. In any case, take a look at the pop reports on grading websites, and see just how many copies there are if you’re tempted to buy a card or two.
Are Pokémon cards a safe investment?
Not necessarily. Prices have shot up in recent years, and could drop back down just as easily. Anyone who says that investing in Pokémon cards is a sure thing is misrepresenting the situation.
With that being said, older cards are far rarer than any modern release, and offer a hit of nostalgia for anyone of a certain age.
Who knows what the future of the hobby will hold? For now, it looks like there will be lots of fans, given Pokémon’s popularity with the current generation.
Not every Pokémon card is going to be valuable in the long run. That’s true for the vast majority of cards in modern sets. If you don’t believe me, take a look at recent sale prices via sites like eBay, or check out local groups on social media.
We’d stick with PSA graded vintage Pokémon cards if you’re hoping to start a collection which should increase in value if you’re looking at holding long term. If that’s too pricey, you could always look at sending cards off for grading yourself.
There are some exceptions to the rule in terms of avoiding modern sets. Consider the biggest hits from recent collections. Some Secret Rare cards sell for hundreds of dollars, given they’re so difficult to find in packs.
What are the most valuable Pokémon cards as of 2023? Anything released over two decades ago is probably the best place to start.