There's no single rarity in Yu-Gi-Oh that's more debated, or more controversial than Gold Rares.

They've been tweaked and reinvented with new foil tech literally more times than I can count, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. The sets they appear in have brought incredible cards to the masses, and at the same time, some of them had short printings so harsh that players up and left the game forever. Gold Series sets have ranged from essential and amazing, to downright frustrating.

People love Gold Rares! ….Aaaaand people hate them. Often at the same time.

In general, older Gold Rares drew a lot of hate just for their looks - a lot of them wound up being muddy and dark looking, obscuring the artwork and discouraging players from collecting them. That changed when Maximum Gold reinvented Premium Gold Rares last year; the new Premium Golds looked amazing and were distinctly different from other rarities, and the fact that Maximum Gold featured lots of alternate artworks in this new, art-forward format that complimented the colors of the cards instead of washing them out, really made the rarity a hit.

But at the same time, last year's Maximum Gold was riddled with printing errors, which brought a weird mix of responses. On one hand, lots of people were annoyed to pull messed up cards. But when mis-stamped and double-embossed Premium Gold Rares started selling for hundreds of dollars, it kicked off a frenzy of retailer buyouts for a set that was already loaded with useful tournament cards.

It felt like 12 years of Gold Rare history condensed down into one moment: surprises and social media sadness, pitfalls and profit, and a ton of people asking the question: "Hey, is this good that it's messed up, or… or is it just messed up?"

Gold Rares are never simple, and that complexity leads lots of players to kind of ignore them unless there's a current release. But if you take a look, there's actually a ton of lasting value in Gold Series sets, even those old ones nobody talks about. These releases have aged pretty well, especially last year's Maximum Gold. With product-hover id="246446" just a few days away, what better time to look at the most expensive Gold Rares today?

#10 Premium Gold Rare Nibiru, the Primal Being

Maximum Gold helped to democratize a ton of important tournament cards last year, and if you had to name the biggest one, you'd probably choose product-hover id="227427". It was a huge pick when the set first dropped, as players scrambled to get the copies they still needed, but it turns out that one year later, Ash Blossom's actually trumped by this card, Nibiru, the Primal Being.

While you might be hard pressed to say that Nibiru's quite on the level of product-hover id="227427", the demand's pretty close. It's supply that's become the real dealbreaker: while product-hover id="227427" had a total of eight printings, only one of which was a high rarity (the original Secret Rare), Nibiru's had only three printings, one of which is product-hover id="224642". Every competitive player needs three product-hover id="227427" and three Nibirus, but there are just way fewer Nibirus to go around. That's landed the Premium Gold Rare from 2020 solidly at Number 10 on the list of most valuable Golds.

#9 Ghost Gold Rare Gorz the Emissary of Darkness - Gold Series: Haunted Mine

At first I wasn't really sure if this list should include Ghost Gold Rares. Of all the different Gold Rare variants, Ghost Golds are definitely the most unique, and the one that kind of stands on its own in the history of the game. They only appeared once, in 2012's Gold Series: Haunted Mine, and they've never appeared since.

I personally see them more as Ghost Rares, but lots of passionate Ghost Rare collectors ignore Ghost Golds completely, and don't consider them part of the Ghost Rare "canon" per se. They're weird cards; no one loves them, no one out-and-out hates them, and everybody kind of wishes they were just normal Ghost Rares. Ghost Golds have this sort of weird, creepy-uncle-you-don't-talk-to-at-Thanksgiving kind of vibe.

But for all the weird emotions surrounding them, Ghost Gold Rares have aged nicely in the secondary market. They don't all make the Top 10: product-hover id="59760" falls short despite being a classic Duel Terminal Synchro, and product-hover id="59757" feels way undervalued, since it's got a starring role in Drytron.

But that said, product-hover id="59751" is just iconic enough to make the cut. This card may never see play again, but it defined competition when it did, and the artwork's still a huge fan-favorite. It's the first of four Ghost Gold Rares in the Top 10, and its price is still pretty approachable, at least for now. If these cards ever get some more respect, I could see this unique printing of Gorz easily gaining big value.

#8 Gold Secret Rare The Winged Dragon of Ra - Premium Gold

Gold Secret Rares debuted in Premium Gold in 2013, and while players were pretty wary of what the new rarity would look like, the sheer audacity of the foil tech led to them being pretty well received. Premium Gold revisited a ton of big classic cards, including product-hover id="81708", product-hover id="81664", product-hover id="81664", product-hover id="81662" and one more card that you'll see later on in the list. But save that final entry, the Gold Secret product-hover id="81663" was the set's biggest hit.

In many releases that feature the Egyptian God Cards, Winged Dragon Ra's the least popular. But the Gold Secret format really worked well with the character's color scheme, making it a pretty well-loved (and valuable) addition to the set.

#7 Gold Rare Mirror Force - Gold Series 2008

product-hover id="32227"! Seriously! When the first Gold Series set hit in 2008, players were mildly positive about the look of Gold Rares, but nobody was really seeking them out. That release was anchored by a short printed chase card emblematic of its time, while the rest of the set kind of felt like filler. By the time 2008 rolled around product-hover id="32227" wasn't seeing tremendous play and wasn't tough to get your hands on. People were most interested in Bottomless Trap Hole, as Special Summons became more and more prominent. Nobody cared that this card was in the set.

But fast forward to now, and well, there's probably a bunch of you running to check old binders and card boxes in your closet as you read this. Look at that Market Price! It's no joke, and it makes you wonder how many copies of this card are sitting in bulk across the globe. It's a really good chunk of change, for a relatively unpopular printing of a card that's been reissued 32 times and counting.

#6 Gold Ghost Rare MST - Gold Series: Haunted Mine

Meanwhile four years later, another card that's seen dozens of reprints got a notable Gold Series printing. product-hover id="59765" still sees pretty frequent play these days, Cosmic Cyclone, and it's still a bit of a debate as to what the "true" maximum rarity version of MST really is.

The product-hover id="59765" a strong runner-up, but product-hover id="107519" is the clear winner in terms of sheer Market Price, at about four times the value. That said, some players prefer the Secret Rare printings from product-hover id="66862" and product-hover id="71723", since while those cards are dirt cheap, they're still just drop-dead gorgeous and feel great snapping to the field.

#5 Gold Rare Dark Magician Girl - Premium Gold

Narrowly eking out product-hover id="59765", Gold Rare product-hover id="81665" the single most valuable pull from Premium Gold, and it's not even a Gold Secret Rare. While I understand that someone made the decision that new cards would get priority for Gold Secret status, that decision led to this dumb situation where cards like product-hover id="81639" and Gimmick Puppet Shadow Feeler got a higher rarity than freaking product-hover id="81665".

Seriously. F***ING JUNK PUPPET? I get angrier every time I have to type it. Like, I get the logic, making all the new stuff Gold Secrets. But someone should've stepped in and been like, "Nah bruh, maybe product-hover id="81636" doesn't need the rub over DMG here."


#4 Ghost Gold Rare Solemn Judgment - Gold Series: Haunted Mine

Okay okay, so, back in the land of stuff that makes sense... However you may feel about Ghost Gold Rares, I think you can probably agree that Ghost Gold product-hover id="59772" looks rad. It's neck-and-neck in value with product-hover id="78115", which is only valuable because everything from Retro Pack 1 is, and it's only really beaten by product-hover id="205790".

I really think it's the best-looking card from Haunted Mine, and it's not surprising to see people picking up playsets on the reg, for Advanced Format and Goat Format play. They're really cool.

#3 Gold Rare Dark Magician of Chaos - Gold Series 2008

It's hard to explain just how hyped the first Gold Series release was back in 2008. New rarities were a bigger deal back then, people were really excited for Gold Rares, and the reprint of product-hover id="32215" - at the time, solely available as a Championship Prize Card - was massive. Before it was errata'd, product-hover id="32215" could win games on Turn 1. And while it didn't always spell doom, it was so powerful that highly competitive players attending SHONEN JUMP Championships would commonly pay hundreds of dollars just to rent one for the weekend.

So imagine the ire of players everywhere, when it turned out that Gold Series 2008 had brutal short printings, and that product-hover id="32215" was vastly more rare than most other cards in the set. Everyone expecting a budget reprint from a fun new type of set got WHOMPED, with Gold Rare Crush Card Virus still costing hundreds of dollars.

Nowadays we kind of expect some cards to be short printed in certain types of sets. But at the time, the concept was virtually unheard of; short print slots were reserved for commons nobody wanted, or that had confusing game text, stuff like Broken Bamboo Sword and Gift Card.

To make matters worse, product-hover id="32218" was short printed to some degree too. It was a true Upper Deck moment, and the result still echoes in the secondary market 13 years later, placing this card well above the $50 mark. Yowch.

#2 Ghost Gold Rare Blue-Eyes White Dragon - Gold Series: Haunted Mine

The fact that product-hover id="59728" already had a Gold Ghost Rare is probably why it didn't get a regular Ghost Rare in Ghosts From the Past, instead represented in that set by Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon (Ghost Rare). I've always felt this card was way undervalued, but whenever it spikes in price the market gets rushed with more copies and the value dips again. It's not exactly what people wanted from a Blue-Eyes White Dragon Ghost Rare, and as a result it has this weirdly fluctuating price month to month.

That said, it's still the most valuable Ghost Gold Rare going, and the second-most valuable Gold Rare of any rarity. It loses out only to the grandpappy of them all, the heartbreak kid of Gold Series 2008. The one. The only.

#1 Gold Rare Crush Card Virus - Gold Series 2008

I think I still have nightmares about this card's release. Like I mentioned above, the worst part about product-hover id="32215" first mass printing was that we were all still so innocent, and didn't see it coming. Players preordered a ton of Gold Series expecting to get Crush Card at a reasonable drop rate. And then they'd crack multiple displays, not get any, and immediately head to the internet for a totally justifiable rage session.

Even today, it's tough to recall a time when the community's pitchforks have ever been so sharp and pointy. Players were pissed, retailers were confused, prices soared overnight, and some people quit the game over it. It felt like the biggest bait-and-switch in Yu-Gi-Oh history.

Fast forward to now and product-hover id="32215" still a big collector's item, even though it's been errata'd to the point of devastation. The Gold Rare still costs hundreds of dollars since it's an absolute icon of Duel Monsters era Yu-Gi-Oh, a piece of tournament history, and at the end of the day just a really scarce card; one that lots of players who maybe couldn't get their hands on one a decade ago, are going back to collect.

96902 || 32113

Those are the Top 10 most expensive Gold Rare cards right now, but there are lots of Gold Rares that have actually managed to gain or keep serious value.

product-hover id="32113" carried Gold Series 2009, as another Prize Card reprint in the vein of product-hover id="32215", but one year later the philosophy shifted and this card was a much easier pull. Still, many of us just have these kicking around in old binders - I know I've got a few - and it can be surprising to find out that it's well above the $20 mark.

product-hover id="96902" has been seeing niche play in recent tournaments, and that's driven the price up on the reprint from Premium Gold: Return of the Bling. That card's only been printed three times in the last even years, it hasn't been reprinted since 2015, and the Market Price just keeps going up.

Looking ahead to Friday's release of product-hover id="246446", it's a good idea to look back at some of the singles from last year's Maximum Gold. Because wow, that set has aged surprisingly well across the board.

227414 || 227428|| 227419 || 227476

As one of the set's few short prints, product-hover id="227414" is still pretty strong. But there's a wealth of tournament cards that have held or gained value over the past year, especially the alternate arts: product-hover id="227428", product-hover id="227419", product-hover id="227476", and even product-hover id="227463", there's a lot of cards that are in the $12+ range.

product-hover id="246446" loaded with alternate arts too, many of which are either long-needed reprints or tournament-viable cards. And if it's anything like Maximum Gold last year, those cards may prove to be surprising performers for what's kind of supposed to be a budget reprint set. I think one of the bad-feels about Yu-Gi-Oh is putting money into reprints that just bleed value over time, and Maximum Gold didn't wind up doing that last year. Food for thought.

Love 'em or hate 'em, Gold Rares continue to evolve as the years go on, and they've become a staple of the game. If you've got a bunch of Gold Rares in your bulk, or just sitting in a binder somewhere, go look them up! You might be surprised at how valuable some of those cards have become.