Toy Corner

How to Tell the Rarity of a Pokemon Card

Jul 05, 2024

Pokemon how to tell rarity of card

When collecting Pokemon cards there is one thing that is very important to understand and that is determining a card's rarity is crucial. It's this factor that often dictates the value and desirability of a card among enthusiasts. But how can one tell? This article will guide you through the process.

Understanding Pokémon Card Rarity

To successfully determine the rarity of a Pokémon card, it's crucial to understand the types of rarity symbols and the significance of Holo and Reverse Holo cards. These elements play an integral part in identifying a card's rarity, thereby influencing its value.

Types of Rarity Symbols

Pokémon cards contain specific symbols that indicate their level of rarity. Each symbol holds significance and is typically located at the bottom right corner of the card.

  1. Common Cards: Denoted by a black circle, common cards are abundant in Poké​mon packs.

  2. Uncommon Cards: Identified by a black diamond, these cards appear less frequently than common ones but regularly nonetheless.

  3. Rare Cards: Marked with a black star, rare cards are harder to come across within Pokémon packs.

  4. Ultra-Rare Cards: These carry a shiny silver star; they're challenging to find due to their high demand among collectors.

Always remember, the rarer your card is based on these symbols, the higher its potential value becomes.

pokemon rarity chart

Significance of Holo and Reverse Holo Cards

When discussing Pokémon card rarities, one can't ignore Holo (Holographic) and Reverse Holo cards as they significantly contribute to a card's worth.

A standard Holo Card has an image that glistens or shines under light; this holographic effect only covers the artwork section on these type of cards. They're desirable among enthusiasts for their visually appealing designs.

On the other hand, Reverse Holo Cards possess this holographic shine on every part except for its artwork section – precisely opposite from standard holo cards. This unique aesthetic look increases their appeal among collectors thus adding more value.

Understanding how various factors such as rarity symbols or whether it’s a holo or reverse-holo affect your Pokemon card’s worth can greatly help you in discerning its actual rarity and value in the market.

pokemon holo card and pokemon reverse holo card

Key Features Determining Pokemon Card Rarity

In the world of Pokémon card collecting, several factors denote a card's rarity. It's not just about the Pokémon featured on the card, but also certain key elements that contribute to its scarcity and desirability in the market.

Indicator Symbols: Circle, Diamond, and Star

Every Pokémon card carries an indicator symbol located at the bottom right corner of its picture. These symbols serve as a quick reference guide for determining a card's rarity.

  1. Circle: This symbol signifies that it's a common card. For example, you'll find this icon on cards such as Pikachu or Bulbasaur.

  2. Diamond: If you spot this diamond-shaped icon, take note because it denotes an uncommon card like Gloom or Haunter.

  3. Star: The star is what every collector hopes to see – it represents a rare card such as Charizard or Blastoise.

Remember, these symbols combined with other features help determine whether it’s a standard rare or something more valuable.

Set Number and Print Date

The set number and print date provide collectors with crucial information about their cards' origin and age respectively.

  • A set number identifies which set your Pokémon card hails from within the vast array of available series. For instance, if your Charmander has "103/110" printed on it, that means it’s part of the 110-card Legendary Collection series.

  • Meanwhile, print dates indicate when the specific batch of cards was manufactured - older sets often hold more value due to their vintage status.

These two features play an integral role in understanding any given Pokémon’s place within history and can significantly impact its market worth.

Pokemon card details

Special Features: Full Art, Ultra Rare, and Secret Rare

There are special categories in Pokemon cards that surpass common rarity levels: Full Art cards (FA), Ultra Rare (UR), and Secret Rare (SR).

  • Full Art cards showcase a unique design where the Pokémon occupies the entire card, making them instantly stand out in any collection.

  • Ultra Rare cards are characterised by their holographic foil patterns, usually on more powerful and popular Pokémon like Mewtwo or Lugia.

  • Lastly, Secret Rare cards are hailed as the crème de la crème of Pokémon collectibles. They're easily identifiable due to a set number exceeding its series total - for example, "111/110."

These special categories not only add aesthetic appeal but also significantly increase a card's rarity and consequently its value in the collector's market.

Valuing Rare Pokémon Cards

Assessing the true value of a rare Pokémon card isn't solely about its rarity. A multitude of factors intertwine, painting the bigger picture. It's a symphony played by elements such as condition, market trends, collector demand and more.

Factors Influencing Value

When it comes to valuing rare Pokémon cards, a handful of significant elements come into play. First off, the card's condition takes centre stage. A mint-condition card fetches higher prices than one showing signs of wear and tear, showing the importance of protecting your Pokemon cards. Collector interest also plays a vital part in determining value; for instance, first-edition cards or those featuring popular characters like Pikachu often command greater attention.

The age of the card is another critical determinant. Older cards – especially those from original sets – tend to be more valuable due to their relative scarcity and nostalgic appeal among collectors.

Lastly but importantly, errors on cards can increase their worth exponentially. Misprints or deviations from standard designs make these 'error' cards unique pieces that many collectors seek out expressly.

Market Trends and Collector Demand

Market trends significantly impact the value of rare Pokémon cards too. Like any collectable market, supply-demand dynamics apply here as well - when there are fewer copies available of a sought-after card in pristine condition but high demand for it among collectors, its price rises accordingly.

Collector demand fluctuates based on various factors: new game releases can stir interest in certain characters or types; moreover, media hype around specific iconic cards can spur sudden spikes in their market values.

Staying abreast with these ever-changing trends could mean the difference between selling a card at an average price versus cashing in on peak demand periods.


Understanding Pokémon card rarity isn't just about knowing the symbols. It's also essential to recognise set numbers and print dates that point to a card's origin and age. Special categories like Full Art, Ultra Rare, or Secret Rare cards can heighten a collection's allure and value. Remember though, condition matters too, as does keeping an eye on market trends and collector demand.

Don't overlook the influence of factors such as age or misprints. These elements can significantly boost a card's worth. Particularly older cards or those with errors often command higher prices than their more pristine counterparts.

In the world of Pokémon card collecting, knowledge truly is power; it can make all the difference when you're looking to maximise returns from selling your treasured cards. So stay informed and keep honing your skills in assessing Pokémon card rarity!