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How to Store and Organize Your Pokémon Cards Collection

How to Store and Organize Your Pokémon Cards Collection

Although Pokémon cards can be a fun pastime, as the most popular trading card to buy, these cards can also be a major moneymaker. 

Many collectors will buy large quantities of Pokémon booster packs in hopes of pulling a rare card. If you have jumped on the Pokémon bandwagon, you may find yourself with hundreds of cards to keep track of. 

Are you looking for new ideas on how to store your Pokémon cards? If so, we've got you covered with the best way to keep your cards protected. 

History of Pokémon Cards 

Friends Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori created the original Pokémon game. Satoshi first wrote about gaming in a magazine but realized his passion was creating games. 

Satoshi enjoyed exploring nature and woodlands as a child. He designed a game based on this passion, which he dubbed Pocket Monsters. He submitted this idea to Nintendo, who were hesitant at first but eventually accepted it.

Nintendo then entrusted Pocket Monsters to Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer of Mario and other popular titles. Under his direction, Nintendo produced the original edition of Pocket Monsters for Gameboy.

Players would create characters and engage in combat. The participants could even swap Pokémon via a tether cable. 

By the late 90s, this game found its way to the UK and US and saw great success. It was around this time that its name switched to Pokémon. 

Physical Pokémon cards first came about in 1996, but by 1999, they took off. By the turn of the century, people had Pokémon tournaments, and the cards turned into a collectible. 

Types of Pokémon Cards 

Pokémon cards are so fun to collect because you don't know which ones you will pull from a pack. Rarer cards fetch a higher price and are more collectible. 


Each Pokemon card has its own level of rarity. This is one of the reasons why collecting Pokémon cards is so much fun. The rarer a card is, the harder it is to find and the more valuable it becomes. 

Identifying Rarity

After tearing open your pack, take out your first card and look at the bottom right corner. A symbol on this corner will tell how uncommon it is.

Common cards have a black circle symbol. An uncommon card has the black diamond symbol. If your card has a black star, it is the rarest type of card. 

You can further separate rare cards into various categories depending on their rarity level. 

Holo Rare 

These uncommon cards include a holographic image. You'll know you have a holo rare if the artwork on the front sparkles and shines. 

Reverse Holo 

When you look at a reverse holo, everything is shiny except the image. A reverse holo version of a card can sell for more than a conventional rare version of the same card.

EX/GX/V Half Art/Half Body

Pulling one of these cards will make any collector very excited. The distinct artwork on these ultra-rare cards covers half of the card's face.

Full Art 

You'll know you have a full art card if a detailed picture takes up the whole card. The writing is hard to read on these cards. These cards are some of the rarest and most valuable you can pull. 

Secret Rare 

Finally, you might get a secret rare card. You'll know you have this type of card by glancing at the number on the bottom. A secret rare is a card that has a higher number than the number of cards in the set that the card is part of. If your card number is "117/115," it's a secret rare. 

What Is a Graded Card 

It's good to have a card professionally graded if you pull a particularly rare and expensive card. When you grade a card, you send it to a professional who will examine it for flaws. Your card is worth more money if it has a higher grade.

A card grader will examine your Pokémon card from several angles. The items listed below exemplify what your card grader will look for.

  • scratches to the surface of the card
  • off-center image
  • dull corners
  • solid and even edges
  • dings or dents
  • discoloration 

A graded card might be anything from a 1 (poor) to a 10 (perfect). Your grading will include a complete report to help you sell your card.

Some of these imperfections are out of your control, like damage from shipping. If you do pull a valuable card, handling and storing them the right way can help keep the value high. 

When your card is graded, it will come back to you in a hard shell case. These cases are the most secure way to store your card. You can sell these cards or show them off in a card display. 

Most Valuable Cards 

It's hard to believe that a card from a five-dollar pack can be worth many thousands of dollars. The price of the following cards will make you want to dig through your attic to see if you're sitting on a gold mine. 

2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer

This trainer card, given to the winner of the Battle Road Spring tournaments in Japan, is worth over 31,000$. Its high price comes from its rarity and the fact that the artwork is from Sugimori himself. 

1991 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard 

While most first edition Pokémon cards are collectibles, the holographic Charizard is one of the most valuable. 

This particular card was missing a shadow on the picture. Although this was an error, it increased its rarity, and its price skyrocketed. 

Pikachu Illustrator 

The most expensive Pokémon card is this card from 1997. This card was part of a promotion given to winners of a contest held by the Japanese magazine CoroCoro. What makes this card stand out is that it says illustrator instead of trainer at the top. 

Ways to Store Your Pokémon Card Collection 

Trading and collecting your Pokémon cards takes time, patience, and money. You'll want to protect your investment to help increase the card's values and keep them safe. 

There are many different ways you can store your cards. 

Penny Sleeves 

These plastic sleeves are inexpensive and a must-have for any Pokémon collector. You can buy these sleeves in large packs, which usually cost about a penny each. 

A penny sleeve is made from thin plastic. You put your card into an opening at the top of the sleeve. Many people who use these sleeves double them up for added protection. 

People use these sleeves to keep scratches and fingerprints off the front of the card. Another use for these sleeves is to store several cards together. For example, if you have four of the same basic card, you can keep all four in one sleeve. 

These sleeves are an excellent choice for a basic card storage option. If you have a very valuable card, you should try another method. 


The next level of Pokémon card storage is the toploader sleeve. These are more durable than penny sleeves but still affordable. A toploader is made from more rigid plastic than a penny loader sleeve. 

When storing cards, you'll want to first place your card in a penny sleeve before putting it into a toploader. This form of storage keeps the corners of your card from getting bent or scratched. 

You'll want to take extra care when putting your card into a toploader. Forcing the card in could cause unnecessary bending. 

If you are getting your card graded, most companies will have you send your card in a toploader. This step will keep your card protected during shipping. 

Semi-Rigid Card Holder 

Finally, the toughest of card holders is the semi-ridge case. This card holder has a tighter fit than a toploader. 

Although these card holders can be tricky to get your cards into, many people find their cards more protected in this case. There is less wiggle room, which can lead to fewer chances for your card to get damaged. 


A very popular way to store your Pokémon cards is by keeping them in a binder. You can buy binders with sleeves made specifically for storing cards. 

Using a card binder will help keep your cards organized and easy to find. If you use this method, double sleeve your cards to keep them extra safe. 

Card Tins 

You can buy many Pokémon card sets in collectible tins. Reuse these tins by putting your card collection in them. 

Tins are a great option because of their durability. Your cards will stay well protected if you don't overfill your tin. Keep your tins in a place with no moisture, or they could rust! 

How to Organize Your Pokémon Cards 

Organizing your Pokémon cards collection is a personal preference. Because of the volume of cards, you will pull, you'll want to create an easy system to find the cards you're looking for. 

Colors and Energy 

One way to organize your cards is by energy type. Pokémon energy comes in nine different colors. You can sort your cards into these colors to find a type of Pokémon card in no time. 


If you are someone who aims to sell the more popular cards, you may want to sort by rarity. Look at the rarity symbol at the bottom of your card. Sort them by this symbol so you can find them when you are ready to sell. 


Each Pokémon card has a number that corresponds to where it falls in each set. Organize your binder by ordering them by this number. This type of card organization takes a little longer than the other methods. 

Pokémon Storage Tips 

Putting your cards in sleeves and storage is only the first step towards keeping them safe. There are several other tips you can follow to get the highest level of protection for your cards. 

Handle With Care 

As soon as you open your pack of Pokémon cards, you are subjecting them to damage if you don't handle them correctly. 

Always make sure to wash your hands before you open your packs. The dirt and oil can transfer to the cards if your hands are dirty. You can also wear gloves for even more protection. 

Open your cards in a clean environment. Clean a table and open your cards on this freshly washed surface. 

Location Matters 

Once you have stored your cards, you don't want to keep them in any location. Sunlight, dust, and moisture can do significant damage to your cards. Keep your cards off the floor and out of places that collect dust and grime. 

Your cards should also stay away from extreme temperatures. Keep your cards safe by storing them on a raised shelf in an airtight container. 

Keep Packs Unopened 

Ripping packs open is most of the fun of collecting Pokémon cards. Sometimes, though, keeping them closed is a better idea. 

If you know that a pack will get more valuable, don't open it! Store it with your cards and sell it once the value has increased. 

Store Your Pokémon Cards for Years of Play 

Pokémon cards are one of the most popular collectibles in the world. They are loved by young and old, rich and poor, and people in every corner of the globe. Storing and displaying your Pokémon cards means you'll keep your cards safe for years to come. 

If you have Pokémon cards you want to display, Breaking Bangers has the cases for you! Check out our card storage supplies today and keep your cards damage free. 

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