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Professional Grading Company Standards
   
 PSA Card Grading Standards
 
SGC Grading Standards
 
GAI Card Grading Standards

GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint.
A PSA Gem Mint 10 card is a virtually perfect card. Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus and full original gloss. A PSA Gem Mint 10 card must be free of staining of any kind, but an allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection, if it doesn't impair the overall appeal of the card. The image must be centered on the card within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.


MINT 9: Mint.
A PSA Mint 9 is a superb condition card that exhibits only one of the following minor flaws: a very slight wax stain on reverse, a minor printing imperfection or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.


NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint.
A PSA NM-MT 8 is a super high-end card that appears Mint 9 at first glance, but upon closer inspection, the card can exhibit the following: a very slight wax stain on reverse, slightest fraying at one or two corners, a minor printing imperfection, and/or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 65/35 to 70/30 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.


NM 7: Near Mint.
A PSA NM 7 is a card with just a slight surface wear visible upon close inspection. There may be slight fraying on some corners. Picture focus may be slightly out-of-register. A minor printing blemish is acceptable. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.


EX-MT 6: Excellent-Mint.
A PSA EX-MT 6 card may have visible surface wear or a printing defect which does not detract from its overall appeal. A very light scratch may be detected only upon close inspection. Corners may have slightly graduated fraying. Picture focus may be slightly out-of-register. Card may show some loss of original gloss, may have minor wax stain on reverse, may exhibit very slight notching on edges and may also show some off-whiteness on borders. Centering must be 80/20 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.


EX 5: Excellent.
Excellent On PSA EX-5 cards, very minor rounding of the corners is becoming evident. Surface wear or printing defects are more visible. There may be minor chipping on edges. Loss of original gloss will be more apparent. Focus of picture may be slightly out-of-register. Several light scratches may be visible upon close inspection, but do not detract from the appeal of the card. Card may show some off-whiteness of borders. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.


VG-EX 4: Very Good-Excellent.
A PSA VG-EX 4 card's corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. The card may have light scuffing or light scratches. Some original gloss will be retained. Borders may be slightly off-white. A light crease may be visible. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.


VG 3: Very Good.
A PSA VG 3 card reveals some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. Focus may be somewhat off-register and edges may exhibit noticeable wear. Much, but not all, of the card's original gloss will be lost. Borders may be somewhat yellowed and/or discolored. A crease may be visible. Printing defects are possible. Slight stain may show on obverse and wax staining on reverse may be more prominent. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.


GOOD 2: Good.
A PSA Good 2 card's corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. A good card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases. Original gloss may be completely absent. Card may show considerable discoloration. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.


PR-FR 1: Poor to Fair.
Poor to Fair A PSA PR-FR 1 card's corners will show extreme wear, possibly affecting framing of picture. Surface of card will show advanced stages of wear, including scuffing, scratching, pitting, chipping and staining. Picture will possibly be quite out-of-register and borders may have become brown and dirty. May have one or more heavy creases. A Poor card may be missing one or more small pieces, have major creasing and extreme discoloration or dirtiness throughout. Card may show noticeable warping. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.


QUALIFIERS:
PSA will grade nearly every card submitted. Cards having significant flaws will receive "qualified" grades as follows:

OC (Off Center):
When the centering of the card falls below the minimum standard for that grade will be designated "OC." PSA determines centering by comparing the measurements of the borders from left to right and top to bottom. The centering is designated as the percent of difference at the most off-center part of the card. A 5% leeway is given to the front centering minimum standards for cards which grade NM 7 or better. For example, a card which meets all of the other requirements for PSA MINT 9 and measures 60/40 off-center on the front automatically meets the PSA front centering standards for MINT 9. If a card meets all of the other requirements for PSA MINT 9 and measures 65/35 off-center on the front, it may be deemed to meet the PSA front centering standards for MINT 9 if the eye appeal of the card is good.
ST (Staining):
Cards with staining below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "ST."
PD (Print Defect):
Cards with significant printing defects will be designated "PD."
OF (Out of Focus):
Cards with focus below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "OF."
MK (Marks):
Cards with writing, ink marks, pencil marks, etc. will be designated "MK."
MC (Miscut):
Cards with a factory miscut, such as a diamond cut, or when another card's image is on the original card will be designated "MC."

   These grade descriptions are guidelines, designed to outline the evaluation process of the SGC grading team as they establish a specific physical condition grade. Other factors that may or may not contribute to the final assigned grade might not be specifically noted in these descriptions.

100 PRISTINE: A "virtually flawless" card. 50/50 centering, crisp focus, four sharp corners*, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear under magnification.

98 GEM 10: 55/45 or better centering, sharp focus, four sharp corners*, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear. A slight print spot visible under close scrutiny is allowable if it does not detract from the aesthetics of the card.

96 MINT 9: 60/40 or betting centering, sharp focus and four sharp corners*. A minor flaw may exist upon close examination. A minor flaw may be, but is not limited to: a slight nick to one corner, a small gloss break or surface scratch, a minor print line or minor refractor line, a minor focus or color imperfection, or a small print spot.

92 NM/MT+ 8.5: 65/35 or better centering, four sharp corners*. A few minor flaws may exist upon close examination. A minor flaw may be, but is not limited to: a slight nick to one corner, a small gloss break or surface scratch, a minor print line or minor refractor line, a minor focus or color imperfection, or a small print spot.

88 NM/MT 8: 65/35 or better centering, corners sharp to the naked eye but may exhibit slight wear under closer examination. A few small flaws may exist upon close examination. A small flaw may be, but is not limited to: very minor wear on one corner, a gloss break or surface scratch, a print line or refractor line, a focus or color imperfection, or a print spot.

86 NM+ 7.5: 70/30 or better centering, a few small flaws may exist upon close examination. A small flaw may be, but is not limited to: very minor wear on one corner, a gloss break or surface scratch, a print line or refractor line, a focus or color imperfection, or a print spot.

84 NRMT 7: 70/30 or better centering, slight wear on some corners, minor scratching, some print spots or speckling, and print lines or refractor lines are acceptable. Card may exhibit a slightly skewed (diamond) cut.

80 EX/NM 6: 75/25 or better centering, slight fuzzing of corners may be evident, skewed cut may be more evident, focus or register may be off, and slight notching of edges may exist.

70 EX+ 5.5: A 60 EX 5 card with higher grade centering or corners.

60 EX 5: 80/20 or better centering, minor rounding or fuzzing of corners, roughness or chipping along edge (no layering), one VERY slight surface or "spider" crease may exist on one side of the card, gloss may be lost from surface with some scratching that does not detract from the aesthetics of the card.

50 VG/EX 4: 85/15 or better centering, corners are slightly rounded with modest surface wear. Light hairline crease may show on one or both sides. A light tear or surface break may exist.

40 VG 3: 90/10 or better centering, corners more rounded--but not excessive, stronger creasing may exist. Poorer focus, registration, and discoloration, and staining are more noticeable.

30 GOOD 2: Centered 90/10 or better. This card usually exhibits one or more of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tear, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss.

20 FAIR 1.5: Centered 90/10 or better. This card usually exhibits several of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tears, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss, a small portion of the card may be missing.

10 POOR 1: This card usually exhibits many of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tears, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss, small portions of the card may be missing.

*Cards with round corners (ie. Pokemon, Playing Cards, etc.) should exhibit clean, flat corners with the corner arc unencumbered.

DEFINITIONS:

CENTERING: Tolerances are allowed for centering but must be within 5% of the standard and should not detract from the overall eye-appeal of the card. Back centering is less critical than front centering and a tolerance of upto 10% in excess of the front standard is allowed.

BLEACHED: Generic term for the chemical process of cleaning or removing stains or dirt.

BORDERS: The framing style used for most cards.

ERASURE: Removal of portions of the text or print from the card.

FULL BLEED: Cards that do not have borders. Implied centering is used to determine centering characteristics for these issues.

GLOSS: The original surface coating or surface material.

IMPLIED CENTERING: Centering determination made on full bleed cards utilizing various aspects of the card's production.

REBUILT: Addition of material to recreate card structure. Usually used to recreate worn or missing corners.

RESURFACING: Addition of glaze or other substances to recreate surface structure.

SKEW: Characteristic of a mis-cut card. The card is not squarely cut, resembles more of a diamond shape. Opposite edges are parallel, but the corners are not 90 degrees.

SURFACE: May be affected by scratches, impressions, incomplete embossing of foil, or misaligned finish or embossing.

  Global Perfect (10)
This superior example exhibits no wear or blemishes. This card must possess four perfectly sharp corners and superb print quality. Approximate centering of 50/50 on the front.


Global GEM-MT (9.5)
This superior example exhibits no wear or blemishes. This card must possess four perfectly sharp corners and no chipping. One minor print imperfection may be allowed. Approximate centering of 55/45 on the front.


Global MINT (9)
Appears to have all the attributes of a Global GEM-MT 9.5. Under close examination one minor flaw, such as a small print mark, slight registration problem or minor surface problem may be evident. Approximate centering of 60/40 on the front.


Global NM-MT+ (8.5)
Appears to be very similar to a Global NM-MT card but will have a superior characteristic.


Global NM-MT (8)
A near flawless card. While the corners appear sharp to the naked eye, light “touches” of wear may be seen on the tips of one or more of the corners under closer examination. A few minor flaws, including light surface wear or a small wax stain may be evident. Approximate centering of 65/35 on the front.


Global NM+ (7.5)

Appears to be very similar to a Global NM card but will have a superior characteristic.


Global NM (7)
While the corners still appear square, light wear at their tips may be evident. The card may exhibit a few minor flaws. Approximate centering of 70/30 on the front.


Global EX-MT+ (6.5)
Appears to be very similar to a Global EX-MT card but will have a superior characteristic.


Global EX-MT (6)
This card may have one or more corners displaying light corner fraying and a light amount of stock enamel missing on the edge. May exhibit several minor flaws, including light surface scratching. Approximate centering of 75/25 on the front.


Global EX+ (5.5)
Appears to be very similar to a Global EX 5 card but will have a superior characteristic.


Global EX (5)
May exhibit a few flaws including very light rounding of the corners, loss of surface gloss and a very light surface wrinkle may be evident. Approximate centering of 80/20 on the front.


Global VG-EX+ (4.5)
Appears to be very similar to a Global VG-EX 4 but will have a superior characteristic.


Global VG-EX (4)
May exhibit several flaws, including light corner rounding, a light crease, surface wear and print imperfections. Approximate centering of 85/15 on the front.


Global VG+ (3.5)
Appears to be very similar to a Global VG 3 but will have a superior characteristic.


Global VG (3)
May have several flaws, including more noticeable rounding of the corners, multiple creases, chipping and print imperfections. Approximate centering of 90/10 on the front.


Global GD-VG (2.5)
May exhibit several flaws, including rounded corners, a small amount of back damage, staining and surface wear. Approximate centering of 90/10 on the front.


Global GOOD (2)
May exhibit a few major flaws, including heavy creasing, accelerated corner wear, poor registration, a pinhole, writing and tape.


Global FAIR (1.5)
May exhibit several major flaws including tears and missing surface stock.


Global POOR (1)
May include many major flaws such as missing pieces and similar, obvious defects.

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