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Hidden Gem Pokemon Cards Worth More Than You Thought

If you grew up in the '90s or just love all things Pokémon, you've probably collected or played the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The all-ages TCG launched in 1996 and became an instant success with players of all ages. If you managed to hold onto your old cards all these years instead of having them stolen by your classmates (thanks a lot, Shane) you might be hoarding some valuable collectibles that could earn you cold, hard cash. But when it comes to Pokémon cards, you need to be aware of their condition and what edition they come from. To identify yours, we recommend Professor-Oak, and you can determine your card's condition with help from PokémonCardMarket. The values in this story are accurate as of November 2017, but you should double-check them on TCGPlayer before setting your price.

Charizard – Base Set Shadowless ($100-$1000)

This Charizard comes from the first set produced by Wizards of the Coast. "Shadowless" means the gold frame around the Pokémon has no shadowed border, as was the case for the first and second printings of the base set. A shadowless holofoil Charizard from that set averages around $100 for a card with moderate wear, and over $800 if it's in mint or near-mint condition. If you're lucky enough to own a first printing of this card (as indicated by a "1st Edition" symbol on the left side), the value skyrockets to well over $1000.

Umbreon – Gold Star POP Series 5 ($400-$900)

POP Series 5 is a promo set that was handed out to players at organized play events or through booster packs in 2007. Umbreon is one of the Eeveelutions, and it had previously not been available on a card in English. The star indicates an alternate color variation for the Pokémon species, and all gold star cards are usually valuable. This Umbreon with a gold star is ultra rare, and If you have one, you could get at least $400 to $500 for it, with pricing for mint and gem examples climbing over $900.

Shining Charizard – Neo Destiny ($50-$2000)

The Neo Destiny set from 2001-2002 is the last Wizards of the Coast set to include a "1st Edition" symbol for cards from the first print run. A later printing of the Neo Destiny Shining Charizard will run $50 to $100 depending on condition. If you have a 1st edition Shining Charizard, that price can skyrocket to $1000-$2000.

Ultra Ball – Plasma Freeze ($150-$200)

The Ultra Ball card from the 2012-2013 Plasma Freeze set is a "secret" card, which means it has a higher number than those in the regular set. In this case, Ultra Ball is card No. 122 (out of 116). If you have a holofoil version of Ultra Ball from this set, you can expect to make anywhere from $100 to $200 by selling it.

Champions Festival – BW Promo ($30-$100)

This card–part of the Black & White promo set–was given to fans at the 2013 World Championships. It's in very high demand for both its collectability and playability. Additional versions were made for the contest's top finishers, with specific foil accents that say things like "Top Sixteen" or "Quarter-Finalist." If you own a Champions Festival card, it's worth between $30 and $100 in lightly played or near-mint condition, depending on what (if any) foil text is on it.

Ho-oh – Skyridge ($75-$100)

Ho-Oh is a legendary Pokémon that promises eternal happiness to anyone who sees it. This card from the 2002-2003 Skyridge set is the last to feature the incorrect capitalization (it reads "Ho-oh" instead of "Ho-Oh"). While we can't promise eternal happiness, you should be pretty glad if you have this card, which is worth between $50 to $100 for a reverse holo foil or $100-$200 for the much-rarer standard holo foil. If you can't tell the difference, check out this eHow guide.

Blastoise – Base Set Shadowless ($150-$600)

Just like the Charizard card we mentioned, a shadowless Blastoise from either the first or second printings of the base set is worth a lot. If you have a shadowless Blastoise holofoil from the second printing, it's worth up to $150, depending on the condition. If you're lucky enough to have the rare 1st edition printing, the value jumps to at least $200, and can go as high as $600.

Lugia – Aquapolis ($90-$600)

Lugia, a legendary flying/psychic-type Pokémon, first appeared in the TCG with the Neo Genesis expansion set. Later, Lugia was featured in the Aquapolis set from 2002-2003—the first to be compatible with Nintendo's e-Reader. A Lugia card from this expansion is worth anywhere from $90 to well over $600, based on the grade.

Charizard – Gold Star Delta Dragon Frontiers ($100-$500)

True, this is the third Charizard on this list, but people love Charizard and the cards usually do well. This particular one comes from the Dragon Frontiers expansion set of 2006. Like the Umbreon Gold Star previously mentioned, this card is marked with a star to indicate an alternate coloration—in this case, the Delta species of Charizard. The prices for it range from $100 to $500 or more.

Tropical Beach – BW Promo ($50-$200)

Like the Champions Festival card from the 2013 World Championships, Tropical Beach is a promo card issued for both the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Both versions are sought after, but the one from 2012 is worth more. While the cards handed out for round winners (like "Top Thirty-Two") are valuable, the version that went to volunteers and staff at these events (as indicated by the "Staff" holo text) are the most valuable. If you were one of the thousands of folks who helped at the event, you most likely got one. The 2012 round qualifier cards are worth $50 to $200, while staff versions commonly go for $200 and up.

Rayquaza - Gold Star Deoxys ($150-$850)

Rayquaza is a legendary Dragon/Flying type Pokémon which debuted in the EX Dragon expansion of the TCG in 2003. Since then, Rayquaza has appeared on over 30 other cards—but the most valuable of these is the Rayquaza Gold Star variant found in the EX Deoxys expansion. While a normal Rayquaza is green with red and yellow accents, the example seen on this card is primarily gray, like the Shiny version of Rayquaza. If you've got a Rayquaza Gold Star hiding in your binder or deck box, keep it safe—it could be worth anywhere from $150 to over $800 depending on condition. 

Computer Search - Boundaries Crossed ($40-$60)

While certain ultra-rare Pokémon are usually found on the most valuable cards, there are also a handful of expensive Trainer or Item cards that players and collectors desire because of their attributes or rarity. The Computer Search card from the Boundaries Crossed expansion fits both of those criteria. While Computer Search was first introduced in the Base Set in the late '90s, it was re-released in 2012 for Boundaries Crossed—with one major difference. The new Computer Search has additional text and is part of the rare "Ace Spec" classification, which is reserved for very powerful Item cards that also have a special drawback. You can only have a single Ace Spec card in your deck, and as of this writing, only 13 cards have that designation—which makes Computer Search highly sought after. If you happen to have one, you could expect to sell it for between $40 and $60 on eBay.  

Tapu Lele GX Rainbow - Guardians Rising ($50-$100)

Tapu Lele GX is a Psychic-type Pokémon first introduced in May 2017 as part of the Guardians Rising expansion. This expansion features Pokémon of the Sun & Moon series. Without getting too deep into the mechanics of the Pokémon trading card game, a GX Pokémon is more powerful and has higher HP than usual. They also get a special GX attack move which can be used once per game. Tapu Lele GX has three different cards in the Guardians Rising expansion: a regular card, one with full art, and a Secret Rare full art card which also has a special rainbow coloration. The Tapu Lele GX Rainbow is in high demand for such a new card, and is worth anywhere from $50 to more than $100 depending upon the condition.

N Supporter Full Art - Noble Victories ($50-$100)

In the Pokémon TCG, Supporter cards are a class of Trainer cards that you can play before an attack—but you can only play one Supporter card per turn. These cards have various effects that can sometimes change the direction of a game, and N is no exception. N forces both players to shuffle their hand into their deck, and then redraw cards based on how many prize cards they each hold. Because the N Supporter card has proven so popular among players, it has been reprinted a number of times with different artwork. The most valuable one is the Full Art version from the Noble Victories expansion. If you have one of these, it's worth about $50 to $100. 

Celebi - Skyridge ($50 to $650)

Like the previously-mentioned Ho-oh, certain Celebi cards found in Skyridge expansion packs can be worth a pretty penny. You can find two variants of Celebi in Skyridge: a reverse holofoil and a standard holofoil. However, since booster packs almost always contain at least one reverse holofoil, those are not quite as valuable as their standard holofoil counterparts. This Colorless-type Pokémon could make you some serious cash if you have one in your deck box—the reverse holofoil runs anywhere from $50 to $120, while the standard holofoil goes from $250 all the way up to $650 or more for a card in mint condition.