One of the most popular anime/mangas that began the trend of the trading cards epidemic during the late ’90s was Yu-Gi-Oh! The Japanese series that was created in 1994 by Kazuki Takahashi, followed the adventures of a young, shy boy named Yugi Mutou. Yugi completes the Millennium Prize, one of the seven Millennium items and Egyptian artifact that will grant Yugi’s wish of gaining friends. After Yugi wins, his body becomes taken over by a mysterious spirit that has the traits of a gambler and comes to Yugi’s rescue whenever he is threatened by people with evilness in their hearts. This other Yugi challenges these villains to the “Shadow Games,” which unveil the true nature of somebody’s heart and are punished if they lose.
The duels required the opponents to use certain cards while battling one another. Due to the success and popularity of the show, these cards became available for fans to purchase, selling over 22 billion cards worldwide. The manga has a franchise, including two anime shows, numerous video games, and multiple films, making Yu-Gi-Oh! one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. If anyone began collecting the cards that came from the manga, it wouldn’t be a surprise to know that some are worth a significant amount, but which ones are the most valuable?
Here are 10 incredibly expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! cards!
10 Chinese Dark Magician - Price: $1,050
The Chinese Dark Magician card has been published in various languages, and when the card was created in 1999, only 100 copies were made. This makes the Dark Magician very valuable, as it was in high demand at the time. Yu-Gi-Oh! fans during the late '90s may have gotten ahold of it, though, so it could just be lying around in anyone's home.
The character, Dark Magician, that is based on this card made its debut on the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh anime series and is a well-known fan-favorite that served Yugi's mysterious counterpart during his past.
9 Dark Magician Girl - Price: $1,100
Another magician that graced the manga and anime series was the Dark Magician Girl. This card also made its international debut in 1999 and was given to tournament participants and winners.
If anyone can nab the first Japanese prototype of this card, they may receive a good price for it as well. If anyone happened to be a tournament participant back in their Yu-Gi-Oh! days, this card may well be hiding in their attic.
8 Shrink - Price: $1,200
The Shrink card can be easily purchased online, but only the real first run of this card will be worth a good value. This can become tricky, as it will be hard to determine whether the card a person may own is one of the first run's cards.
It's definitely worth it to give your cards a quick perusal to make sure, though! The rare version of this card was also awarded during the Shonen Jump Championships in 2006.
7 Gold Sarcophagus - Price: $1,400
The Gold Sarcophagus has 20 copies that were created between 2005-2006 and were presented to the champions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments. The championships were Pharaoh's Tour Championship and the Shonen Jump Championship.
Following this, two more copies were released for the 50th Shonen Jump Championship that took place in Costa Mesa. These cards can be identified by the code hidden below the card's art, so make sure to double-check any of your old cards!
6 Des Volstgalph - Price: $1,500
The Des Volstgalph is also an extremely rare card that has only 20 copies in existence. The card also has connections to the 2005 Pharaoh Tour that only took place in 5 countries: Belgium, the U.S., Germany, Greece, and The Netherlands. If you happened to be in any of those countries at the time, give your Yu-Gi-Oh! collection a once-over to see if you nabbed a copy of this card!
The winners from this tournament were given promo cards that contain a code (G6-01) that distinguishes from any other similar cards. The Des Volstgalph is also highly sought after, which is why its price is close to $2,000.
5 Crush Card Virus - Price: $2,500
The Crush Card Virus was awarded as a promo card to the winners of the Shonen Jump Championship and has the code SJCS-EN004 on it to make it stand out from others like it. This card is a special one for many fans of the series, as it was one of the only cards featured on the animated show.
Because of its exposure, its value increased throughout the years. Digging through your old cards doesn't sound too bad if it can score you a price like this!
4 Cyber-Stein - Price: $3,400
This valuable card reportedly only has 18 copies that exist, which makes it a rare treasure to obtain. The Cyber-Stein card was given to the winners of the Shonen Jump Championship, and like its previous tournament counterparts, has a rare code on the back, SJC-EN001, that will prove its authenticity.
Scan your cards extra carefully, as this card was also rumored to have been sold from $7,000 to $23,000.
3 Skuna, The Leonine Rakan - Price: $6,000
Skuna, The Leonine Rakan doesn't have many details about it. However, it's a very rare card to come by.
Reportedly, only six versions of this card exist and two have somehow appeared on eBay over the course of the past few years. Maybe you've got ahold of one at some point, too! This card was given to the winners of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship in 2009.
2 Armament of the Lethal Lords - Price: $8,000
“On December 29th, 2007, this card sold on eBay for $1,200,000, making it the most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! card ever sold," a report stated about the Armament of the Lethal Lords. Unfortunately, this turned out to be false, but this card is still the second-most expensive Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card to own.
Given to the champions of the World Championship series in 2006, this card attracted a lot of attention due to the misleading information. The card was sold for $9,000 in the past, making its value of $8,000 to be reasonable. It's definitely a reasonable amount to get for an old card you might have lying around!
1 Tournament Black Luster Solider - Price: $10 Million
The most expensive and valuable card is the Tournament Black Luster Card. This card is truly unique and was given out during the 1999 Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship in Japan.
What makes this card so valuable is that it was created and printed on stainless steel instead of the usual card stock. The person who owns this card allegedly asked for $10 million for this rare card, making it the most valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! card anybody can own. Who knows—maybe there's a metal card hiding in one of your card boxes!