CGC Trading Cards Grades "No Rarity" Charizard a CGC 9.5

Posted on 2/9/2023

This is only the second No Rarity Charizard to receive a grade of CGC 9.5, which is the highest-graded example in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report.

CGC Trading Cards® recently certified an impressive Charizard from the first printing of Japan’s Base Set. The Charizard, Pokémon (1996) Japanese Base Set Holo with No Rarity Symbol received a grade of CGC 9.5 with sub-grades of 10 for Centering, 9.5 for Surface, 9 for Corners and 9.5 for Edges. This Charizard is the second example graded CGC 9.5 in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report, tying for the highest-graded example.

Click images to enlarge.

In international releases of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the first prints of early Pokémon sets released to the public included cards that were marked with a 1st Edition symbol in the bottom left-hand corner underneath the Pokémon’s box art. This symbol indicated that the cards were part of the first print of the set and generally command a higher premium than their unlimited counterparts.

In Japan, however, the first print release of Base Set didn’t include a 1st Edition symbol. Instead, this early print run included cards that lacked a rarity symbol in the bottom right-hand corner of the card. These cards are extremely scarce due to their short print run. Additionally, children who owned these cards rarely stored them in protective sleeves, resulting in damage over time.

A grade of CGC 9.5 is only awarded to cards that exhibit negligible handling and manufacturing defects. For this Charizard to receive such a grade over 25 years after production is a testament to the care put into preserving it. Examples of this card in this condition are easily worth thousands of dollars. For more information on the CGC Trading Cards Grading Scale, click here.

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