Over 20 years after their original release, Pokémon cards have now become staple investment items for collectors and speculators. What is important to know before you jump into investing in Pokémon cards is the difference between all of the cards and, of course, their values. Most collectors may think their old collection is worth a lot of money after hearing about the recent spikes in value. However, the most common mistake people make is to confuse shadowless and shadow bordered Base Set Pokémon cards.
Though the difference is subtle, the shadowless borders are a true first printing. They were released prior to the Base Set Unlimited cards. BSU cards are the shadowed borders most people have in their collection. The value difference between shadowless and shadow bordered cards rises even higher in the case of “first edition” stamped cards. The following list is an examination of the current market trends of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards in existence: first edition shadowless cards.
First Edition Shadowless Charizard
Just as we saw in the previous article here, 2020 was the year Charizard’s value spiked through the roof with two record sales. The second sale defeated rapper Logic’s purchase in an auction in November of 2020. The sale ended at $295,300 in a PSA 10, gem mint condition. Charizards in even lower conditions saw major spikes in value. In late December of 2020, a PSA 9 sold for approximately $47,000.
First Edition Shadowless Blastoise
Of the Big 3 of Charizard, Blastoise and Venusaur, Blastoise is easily the 2nd most liked among fans and collectors. Like all other Pokémon cards, and particularly Charizard, the value is based both on rarity and popularity. Though not nearly as valuable as the Charizard, the stark difference in price simply illuminates how much fans love Charizard. In a PSA 10, Blastoise sold in 2020 for approximately $45,000. In late December, a PSA 9 sold for a little over $9,000.
First Edition Shadowless Chancey
Although a very pretty and pleasant looking card, Chancey’s value is less based on fan popularity and more on rarity and the fact that it is difficult to grade. Though not as valuable as the Blastoise, fewer perhaps exist of the Chancey card. In 2020, a PSA 10 sold for almost $37,000. Meanwhile, a PSA 9 is valued at approximately $2,000.
First Edition Shadowless Venusaur
The last of the Big 3 does not carry as much value as the others but is still very valuable on its own. In 2020, a PSA 10 sold for approximately $22,600. At the beginning of December of 2020, a PSA 9 sold for over $5,000. That value slightly dipped by the end of the month with an auction ending at $4,300.
First Edition Shadowless Alakazam
Finishing off our list is the Alakazam, which has a beautiful purple hue that separates it from the other holo rares of the same set. In 2020, a PSA 10 sold for over $15,000. An Alakazam in a slightly lower grade of a PSA 9 sold in late December of 2020 for almost $3,000. It is worth mentioning that the next most valuable card is also the purple-hued Mewtwo. It has a similar valuation as the Alakazam, except a thicker first edition stamp. It sold for almost $20,000.
When hearing about major sales in Pokémon cards, it is most often with these first edition shadowless cards. They are the rarest and the true first printing of the cards. Though many would expect the Big 3 of Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur to make the list, other cards like Chancey and Alakazam show the breadth and scope of Pokémon card collecting and speculating. The data used for this article are real-time eBay auctions and sales within the last 60 days of this article.