CGC Trading Cards Grades Five Early Shining Pokémon Cards a Pristine 10

Posted on 11/29/2022

Among these CGC Pristine 10 cards is the elusive Shining Charizard from Neo Destiny.

The grading team at CGC Trading Cards® was blown away by a recent submission containing several high-grade Shining Pokémon cards, including a valuable Shining Charizard. All five cards received a grade of CGC Pristine 10 — the second-highest grade that a card can receive from CGC Trading Cards — with the Shining Charizard, Pokémon (2002) Neo Destiny — Unlimited — 107/105 as the highest-graded example in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report.

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Shining Pokémon cards were introduced in the Neo Revelation expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game in 2001, with Shining Magikarp and Shining Gyarados. These Shining series cards were the first cards to depict Pokémon in their shiny forms — a rare, alternate color that every Pokémon has a very slim chance of appearing with in the franchise’s games and other media. Neo Destiny’s 2002 release saw the introduction of eight more Shining Pokémon cards, including these five CGC Pristine 10 examples.

Click images to enlarge.

Shiny Pokémon would not appear in the Pokémon TCG again until two years later, with the release of Gold Star cards in EX: Team Rocket Returns in late 2004. Later sets only featured sporadic appearances of Shiny Pokémon, and they wouldn’t appear as a dedicated set again until Sword and Shield’s Shiny Vault.

In addition to their limited set appearances, Shining, Gold Star and Shiny Vault cards have a history of having extremely low pull rates. Collectors have reported pulling one Shining Pokémon card for every 11 packs they open.

Since Shining Pokémon are the original appearances of Shiny Pokémon in the card game, they are considered by collectors to be some of the rarest and most valuable cards from early sets. Additionally, since the Shining series cards are over 20 years old, they’re hard to come by in the Pristine condition of these examples.

Shining Charizard, especially, holds a tremendous amount of value to collectors. Recently, a Shining Charizard graded CGC 9 sold for $3,600 in a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2022. A Japanese Shining Charizard graded CGC 9 realized $2,640 through the same Heritage sale just a day later.

Cards certified Pristine 10 by CGC Trading Cards must have perfect centering and no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects. Corners must appear perfect to the naked eye and Gem Mint under 10x magnification. Meanwhile, the surface of the card must be free of print spots while displaying perfect gloss. A CGC Pristine 10 grade isn’t easy to accomplish, especially for cards that are over 20 years old. To learn more about the CGC Trading Cards Grading Scale, click here.

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