Pokemon Card Rarity

How to determine the rarity of your Pokemon cards. Learn about the three rarity symbols and the many variations of Ultra and Secret Rare cards.

Pokemon rarity symbols

This article tells you how to determine a Pokemon card’s rarity, and therefor value. We’ll cover the 3 rarity symbols and how to identify the many variations of Ultra and Secret Rare cards.

There are only 3 Rarity Symbols!

Every Pokemon card has a rarity symbol (with exceptions… like Promo cards). The symbol is found at the bottom of the card… next to the set symbol and card number. There are 3 rarity symbols:

  • Common Pokemon card rarity symbolCommon
  • Uncommon Pokemon card rarity symbolUncommon
  • Rare Pokemon card rarity symbolRare

There are some cards that have no rarity symbol. Usually these are from a Promo set (indicated by the set symbol Promo Pokemon card rarity symbol).

Common Pokemon card rarity symbol – Circle Symbol – Common

Basic Pokemon cards with circle symbol

Uncommon Pokemon card rarity symbol – Diamond Symbol – Uncommon

Uncommon Pokemon cards with diamond symbol

Rare Pokemon card rarity symbol – Star Symbol – Rare

Rare Pokemon cards with star symbol

Not all cards with the rare symbol are equally rare! Some rare cards are more rare than others. They all have the star symbol, but other characteristics of the card such as holofoil vs non-holofiol or cards with special abilities can make it more rare and more valuable.

Holo, Reverse Holo, Full Art Holo…

Perhaps an easier way to find valuable Pokemon cards is to look for “holo” cards… these are also called holofoil, holographic, shiny, or foil cards. There are several types of holo Pokemon cards:

  • Holo – The Pokemon image is holofoil
  • Reverse Holo – The frame around is holofoil, but not the actual Pokemon image
  • Full Art Holo – The entire card is covered in holofoil graphics

Ultra Rare Cards

Ultra Rare cards have the star symbol, but they also have some extra powers or unique game mechanic. The following are considered Ultra Rare:

  • Pokemon GX – These cards will have the capital letters “GX” after their name. They were introduced in the Sun & Moon sets.
  • Pokemon EX – These cards will have the capital letters “EX” after their name. They were first introduced in the Next Destinies and appeared in subsequent sets in the Black & White series and XY series.
  • Pokemon Prime – These are powerful Pokemon cards that have a unique design. They have a holographic border and Pokemon name and usually feature a close-up of the Pokemon’s face bursting out into the character window. Pokemon Prime cards can be found in sets in the HeartGold & SoulSilver series.
  • Pokemon LEGEND – These cards come in pairs… a top half and a bottom half. Both the top and bottom will have the word “LEGEND” after their names. These cards can be found in sets in the HeartGold & SoulSilver series.
  • Pokemon LV.X – These cards will have the designation “LV.X” after their name. These cards can be found in sets in the Diamond & Pearl series and in the Platinum series.
  • Pokemon Star – These cards have a shining star symbol like Pokemon Star card symbol next to their name. They were first released in the EX Team Rocket Returns set and then in subsequent EX series sets.
  • Pokemon ex – These cards will have the lowercase “ex” after their name… it stands for “extra” because they have extra attack capabilities. These cards can be found in all of the EX series sets.

Secret Rare Cards

Secret Rare cards have the star symbol, but are unique in their numbering… they always have a card number that is beyond the standard set. For example, this Secret Rare card is numbered 112/111.

Secret rare Pokemon card number 112/111

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