CGC Trading Cards have graded a Pikachu Illustrator, the first of its kind to be graded through their grading services.
The “Holy Grail” of Pokemon TCG from 1998 received a Near Mint/Mint+ 8.5 on CGC’s grading scale.
There are rumoured to be 39 Pikachu Illustrators in circulation, having been released as a prize for an illustration contest in the Japanese magazine, CoroCoro Comic.
The card is incredibly rare and valuable, with a raw copy selling for $420,000 in February, this meant that CGC had to conduct further testing to ensure authenticity when grading the Pikachu Illustrator. According to CGC’s website, “extensive tests were conducted to ensure its authenticity. Utilizing advanced technology, including multi-spectral imaging and X-ray fluorescence analysis, CGC Trading Cards graders were able to conclusively identify the card as authentic. The card perfectly matches regular cards from the same era as well as two old-back Trophy Cards, which were also recently graded by CGC Trading Cards.”
Mark Salzberg, CGC Chairman, said, “Our team of trading cards experts is increasingly grading rare and one-of-a-kind Pokémon cards. We look forward to what collectors have in store for us and proving CGC’s unmatched professionalism and expertise in the trading card certification industry.”
PSA has 18 graded versions of this card on their population registry, this means that due to the sheer rarity of the card a copy passing through the CGC network is immense validity to their grading services. In February, we reported a Prototype Blastoise selling for a then-record price at auction. CGC has a great reputation when it comes to grading misprints and prototype cards, including this Growlithe printed on Magic The Gathering! Stock.
With the closure of PSA value, regular, and express services until July, will we see more examples of higher value cards passing through the CGC network?
For further information, check out CGC’s Pikachu Illustrator article here.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief