Whether you invested in Pokemon cards or have been collecting them since you were young, you know that their value does not only rely on their age, but also on how well their conditions are kept. With that, you should know the basics of how to take care of these precious collectibles. You cannot just put them in a shoebox, toss them under your bed and expect them to look the same after 5 years – this is not a movie guys! 

So, how do you preserve your Pokemon cards? What materials do you need? Let’s find out!

 

Why You Should Take Care of Your Pokemon Cards

Pokemon cards are made from one of the most delicate materials in the world – paper. That makes them prone to being damaged by a lot of things. 

Whether you’re someone who invested money in buying rare Pokemon cards or you have a few collections from your childhood, taking care of your cards is always a good thing. 

For investors, It will make sure that their condition will be preserved until the time you are ready to sell them, which will make way for a nice deal.

For avid collectors, just imagine how cool your children will be when they show their classmates their 20-year-old Pokemon cards?

 

How to Take Care of Your Pokemon Cards

Maintaining a mint condition for your old Pokemon cards (and newly acquired ones) is not complicated at all. Compared to other collectibles, Pokemon cards (and collectible cards in general) require less time, effort, and space to store. Thanks for their small size and shape!

However, you still need to grab some items in the market that will help protect each card. Here is a quick guide on how you can protect your Pokemon cards.

 

Individual Cards

Collectors know the feeling whenever they look at their items one by one and see them in their full glory. If you decide on opening your deck and storing each card individually, some items in the market are dedicated to that. 

 

  • Penny Sleeves

Once you pull out your card from the box, you should immediately avoid its contact to air. Doing so will reduce the card’s exposure to humidity and help maintain its structure. Cards can get moldy and your Pokemon monsters won’t appreciate that. 

The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to use sleeves and slips. Sleeves are very common and affordable, you can get them from your local gaming store or online. They come in different sizes and Pokemon cards require the standard size to fit. 

There are even Pokemon-themed sleeves! They might be a bit more expensive for some but they are made to fit your cards perfectly. 

Remember, put it in a sleeve before even looking at it! So, if you are expecting a deck to be delivered, better check your sleeves inventory first and make sure there’s enough to house each card. 

Penny Sleeves

 

  • Top Loaders

If you want a more durable casing for your Pokemon cards that is sure to maintain their structure, then top loaders are the way to go. Sleeves and top loaders are perfect for making sure that cards won’t stick with each other when stored. 

We recommend casing your Pokemon cards with top loaders not only for storing purposes but also for grading, which we’ll talk about later. Grading companies often require you to have your cards enclosed with top loaders before shipping them. 

Top Loaders

 

Paul Logan’s Charizard Pokemon Card in a special Top Loader
© Logan Paul -YouTube 

 

  • Binders

The best way to show off your collection is by using binders. Plus, it saves time since you can look at nine cards at a time when you want to inspect your card inventory. Although binders are equipped with several sleeves per page, it’s much better to still use a single sleeve per card before putting them into the binder. 

Like the sleeves, there are Pokemon-themed binders in the market but a standard one that you can purchase in your local store will still do good. 

Binders

 

Deck Cards

While some people like seeing their cards laid individually in a binder, others prefer to see them together in a deck. Penny sleeves are also useful when storing your cards together in a deck since they are very thin. However, there are some more ways to store your Pokemon cards.

 

  • Tin Cans

Luckily, most Pokemon decks come in tins. They are durable and are made to fit your deck – no need to be worried about bending the cards as long as you do not overcrowd the tin by adding other cards. 

However, since they are made out of aluminum, you should be careful in storing your tins somewhere that is not humid, or else they might develop rust.

 

Pokemon TCG: Collector Chest (Fall 2018)
© PokemonCenter.com

 

  • Boxes

Like the tins, Pokemon decks can come in Elite Trainer Boxes. For these, we recommend wrapping them in plastic to avoid moisture getting into your cards. If you happen to have an old deck that came bare, you can always invest in metal boxes.

Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield-Battle Stylese Elite Trainer Box
© PokemonCenter.com

 

Protect Them From Elements 

Since Pokemon cards are made only from layers of paper or pasteboards, we can expect that they are vulnerable to elements. As we mentioned, humidity can affect the card’s structure and may even cause them to mold. 

When exposed to the sun, cards can fade and become brittle over time. That being said, you need to find the perfect spot in storing your cards. You do not want your cards to be lying around the house as they can get creased or worse, wet. 

 

Get them Graded and Have a Masterlist

Getting your cards graded will tell you how much they are worth, and you’ll know which card needs to be protected most. Plus, having a master list or inventory of all of your cards will help you determine what cards you have without pulling out each deck. This saves a lot of time and lessens the exposure of the cards to damage.

Read more about getting your cards graded here.

 

Consider Getting Insurance

If you are a serious investor and you have a very rare card, consider getting them insured if you have the money. Chances are, you paid a lot to get that card in hopes of selling it at a much higher price in the future. No one knows what can happen to that card, and getting them insured will protect your money and will somewhat give you peace of mind.

Finally, here’s a parting message from Pikachu:

 

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