Fossil is the third trading card set released by Pokémon in the final months of 1999. This set completed all of the first 100 Pokémon as the Base Set and Jungle sets did not have cards for all of them.
This set famously printed all of the pre-historic, ancient, and dinosaur-esque Pokémon, hence its title of “Fossil.” This theme was further emblemized by a fossilized dinosaur foot logo that appears to the right of the main card image. Just as Base Set and Jungle, Fossil was printed in two waves. The first earned the 1st Edition stamp and the other wave was “Unlimited,” or non-1st Edition. In this article, we will look at the most expensive 1st Edition Fossil cards that have been sold in the last 60 days in a PSA or CGC 10 format.
1st Edition Dragonite
By far, one of the prettiest early Pokémon cards ever printed was the Fossil set Dragonite, due to its rainbow holographic foil. Up and until this card, most Pokémon cards acquired the generic gold holographic foil. Others had a foil that matched the primary color of the card (see hologaphic Fossil set Haunter). Dragonite appears to be the first card to have acquired this “rainbow” holographic foil. This is currently all of the rave with modern Pokémon cards.
Modernly, extremely rare Pokémon cards are highlighted as “rainbow rare” with their illustrious holographic foil. One could argue the Fossil set Dragonite was “the original rainbow rare.” Due to how pretty this card is and the cute artwork of Dragonite itself, it has maintained a steady value of $5,000 in a PSA/CGC 10. This, however, is a drop from a record sale in November of 2020 for approximately $9,000. As you will learn throughout all of these articles, November 2020 appears to be the highest price point for all Pokémon cards, including this Fossil set Dragonite.
1st Edition Gengar
Unlike its early evolutions of Gastly and Haunter, Gengar had not been printed in either the Base Set or Jungle sets. What made this evolutionary tree unique was that all three Pokémon were printed in the Fossil set. They even acquired new rarities. Oddly, both the Haunter and Gengar cards were holographic rares. Of the two, Gengar is the most expensive. This could be due to the difficulty to acquire in high grade.
In a PSA 9, Gengar’s overall population in the market is 800+ graded cards. However, in a PSA 10, only 100+ graded cards exist. This large of a disparity is an indication that this card is difficult to acquire in high grade. Due to this, a PSA/CGC 10 Gengar has maintained a value of $2,500-$3,000, and even peaked to nearly $4,000 with a sale in early January of 2021.
1st Edition Articuno
Articuno is one of the three legendary bird Pokémon that were printed in the Fossil set. Despite not being as popular as Zapdos, Articuno still carries the higher value due to how beautiful the card is overall. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, vintage blue holographic rares are some of the most eye-catching Pokémon cards. This could be due to how well the holographic image “pops” between blue and gold borders. This adoration is reflected in the market with the value of Articuno steadily rising, without dramatic spikes and dips. Since December of 2020, PSA/CGC 10s sold for a little over $2,000, steadily increasing into January of 2021 with sales around $3,000-$3,300.
Many of the other holographic rares in the Fossil set have similar values. Some honorable mentions are Lapras, Zapdos, and Moltres, all floating between the $1,500-$2,000 range. Fossil was the final Pokémon card set of the 90s. As such, as collectors complete their Base Set and Jungle collections, they will begin moving into Fossil. The Dragonite card has had the biggest fluctuation in the set. This is because it was the most sought-after card of the set. All other Fossil card values are less volatile. If you are able to acquire the Gengar and Articuno in high grades, now may be the time to do so. At least, before their prices possibly spike again with another November Rush in 2021.
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