CGC Trading Cards Grades Fifth Pokémon Illustrator Valued in the Six Figures

Posted on 12/20/2022

In just 20 months, CGC Trading Cards has certified five examples of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon card.

Among the billions of cards printed for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, there is but one that holds the title of rarest and most valuable: the fabled Pokémon Illustrator distributed by CoroCoro Comics in 1998. Only 41 examples are known to exist, with some of those realizing astronomical prices in recent years.

Last year, CGC Trading Cards had the honor of grading its first example of a Pokémon Illustrator. That Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comics Illustration Contest Promo received a grade of CGC 8.5 in April 2021. Another CGC-certified Pokémon Illustrator received a grade of CGC 8 in August 2022.

A 1998 Pokémon Illustrator graded CGC 8.5, the first Pokémon Illustrator certified by CGC Trading Cards.
Click images to enlarge.

Shortly afterward, CGC Trading Cards graded another Pokémon Illustrator card, dubbed “The Swirllustrator.” The Swirllustrator received a grade of CGC 9.5, the highest-graded example in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report, and went on to shatter the record for the highest price realized by a CGC-certified trading card at auction — an incredible $672,000 in a Goldin sale. It obliterated the previous record of $360,000 held by a Blastoise, Pokémon (1998) Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram graded CGC 8.5.


1998 Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comics Illustration Contest Promo graded CGC 9.5 and pedigreed as "The Swirllustrator."
Click images to enlarge.

Since the record-shattering auction in October, CGC Trading Cards has had the honor of grading two more Pokémon Illustrator cards. These both received grades of CGC 8.5, and are pedigreed as “Scooty Puff Sr.” and “I’m Seeing Double.” They are now the fourth and fifth examples in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report.

Top: Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest Promo graded CGC 8.5 and pedigreed as "Scooty Puff Sr."
Bottom: Pokémon Illustrator, Pokémon (1998) Japanese CoroCoro Comics Illustration Contest Promo graded CGC 8.5 and pedigreed as "I'm Seeing Double."
Click images to enlarge.

“Pokémon Illustrator is considered one of the rarest cards in the series, and for good reason,” said Matt Quinn, Vice President of CGC Trading Cards. “Its value to collectors is unparalleled by any other card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which is why it realizes such high prices in auctions. CGC Trading Cards is honored to have been chosen to grade so many fantastic examples of this rarity.”

Since its launch in 2020, CGC Trading Cards has graded over 2 million cards, including rarities from a variety of popular trading card games and series, including Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and more. The trust that collectors place in CGC Trading Cards’ expertise is reflected in high-value submissions, such as these Pokémon Illustrator cards, and lofty prices realized in auctions.

Would you like to have your collection graded by CGC Trading Cards? Submitting is easy; learn how to submit by clicking here.

To learn more about CGC Trading Cards, click here.

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