Pokémon Illustrator Card Certified by CGC Trading Cards Realizes $672,000 in Goldin Sale

Posted on 11/4/2022

"The Swirllustrator" nearly doubled the record for the highest price realized by any card certified by CGC Trading Cards.

A Pokémon Illustrator card recently certified by CGC Trading Cards® realized an incredible $672,000 in a Goldin sale, shattering the record for the highest price realized by any card certified by CGC Trading Cards. The Goldin auction ended on October 29, 2022.

Click images to enlarge.

This record of $672,000 nearly doubles the previous record for the highest price realized in an auction by any card certified by CGC Trading Cards. That record was previously held by a Blastoise, Pokémon (1998) Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram graded CGC 8.5, which realized $360,000 in a Heritage Auctions sale in 2021.

This Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comics Illustration Contest Promo card, lovingly dubbed “The Swirllustrator” for its coveted double-swirl, received a grade of CGC 9.5, with sub-grades of 9.5 for Centering, 9 for Surface, 9.5 for Corners and 9.5 for Edges. It is the highest-graded example of the four in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report.

The Gem Mint example was submitted to CGC Trading Cards by Blake Martinez, a well-known NFL linebacker who just signed with the Las Vegas Raiders after playing previously for the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. Martinez is also an avid Pokémon collector and dealer who runs constant streams on Whatnot and has an Instagram account devoted to trading cards called Blake’s Breaks.

Only 39 Pokémon Illustrator cards were released to the public in 1998 as prizes for three illustration contests hosted by CoroCoro Comics in Japan. Since then, two more examples have been discovered, bringing the total in circulation to 41. Very few of these cards are still in exemplary condition, making this grade of 9.5 all the rarer and more valuable.

In just two years, CGC Trading Cards has graded nearly 2 million cards, including rarities from Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and other popular games and trading card series. The trust that collectors place in CGC Trading Cards’ expertise is reflected in ever-increasing prices realized in auctions, which is re-affirmed by the result for this Pokémon Illustrator.

In addition to this stunning example, CGC Trading Cards has graded three other Pokémon Illustrator cards. One example graded CGC 8.5 was just finalized this month. It is the second CGC 8.5 example and is surpassed in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report only by the one just sold by Goldin.

Click images to enlarge.

To learn more about CGC Trading Cards, click here.

Prices realized include buyer’s premium.

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