esgrading Sealed

Game

Grading Guide

esgrading Sealed

Sealed

Box (60%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Seal (40%)

The seal will be judged against dents, scratches, fading, yellowing, clouding, sticker residue, tearing, cuts, lifting, soiling, rub marks, tearing, factory cut and foreign items (ink mark or staple etc.).

Price stickers are generally not considered major flaws, but only become a factor if curling, tearing, staining, picking, etc. of the sticker has occurred. The location of the sticker is also a factor, though most are placed in an area such as a corner that does not detract from the overall appearance of the item.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor Defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

40 - 49

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

An extreme defect or multiple major defects

10 - 20

Extreme defects

esgrading CIB

CIB

Box (33.33%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Cartridge (33.33%)

The cartridge will be judged against, chips, discoloring, edge wear, ink or foreign markings, nicks, rust, scuffing, scratching and soiling.

The Sticker Label will be judged against creasing, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, Peeling, nicks, ink or foreign markings, tape repair, water damage, and bubbling.

Manual (33.33%)

The manual will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, ink or foreign markings, Spine and water damage.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor Defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

40 - 49

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

An extreme defect or multiple major defects

10 - 20

Extreme defects

esgrading Cartridge

Cartridge

Cartridge (50%)

The Cartridge will be judged against, chips, discoloring, edge wear, ink or foreign markings, nicks, rust, scuffing, scratching and soiling.

Sticker Label (50%)

The Sticker Label will be judged against creasing, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, Peeling, nicks, ink or foreign markings, tape repair, water damage, and bubbling.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor Defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

40 - 49

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

An extreme defect or multiple major defects

10 - 20

Extreme defects

esgrading Cartridge

CD

Case (50%)

The case will be judged against creasing, cracks, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, ink or foreign markings, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage and attached foreign objects.

CD (50%)

The CD will be judged against, chips, discoloring, ink or foreign markings, nicks, scuffing, scratching and soiling.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor Defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

40 - 49

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

An extreme defect or multiple major defects

10 - 20

Extreme defects

esgrading Grading scale

Grading scale

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Centering
Corners
Edges
Surface
Look at
The position of the card’s primary front and back designs within the frame of the cardstock in accordance with the original design.
The look and structural integrity of the corners of the card.
The look and structural integrity of the edges of the card.
The look and structural integrity of the surface of the card.
Condition
Description
10.0 GEM MINT
A virtually “flawless” card with 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. The card must be centered within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.
9.0 MINT
A superb condition card that exhibits four sharp corners, no imperfections or signs of wear. Cards straight out of the pack are not always considered Mint, they must still be reviewed for any imperfections such as centering, wax staining, or print flaws. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
8.0 NM/MINT
A high-end card that appears Mint 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.
7.0 NM
A near-perfect card with perhaps one minor imperfection, such as one blunt corner. No stains or scratches on face and no visible wear. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Most NM cards are the standard for which other grades are usually gauged. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
6.0 EX/NM
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.
5.0 EX
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.
4.0 VG/EX
Corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. 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.
3.0 VG
The card reveals obvious handling and some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. A VG card may have a crease and original gloss is most likely lost.
2.0 G
A good card’s corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. The card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases, discoloration, and original gloss may be completely absent.
1.0 P
The card’s corners will show extreme wear, with many major imperfections. 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 or tearing. Card may show noticeable warping.

Anything below 1 will be classified as damaged and will not be graded. 

10.0 GEM MINT

A virtually “flawless” card with 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. The card must be centered within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.

9.0 MINT

A superb condition card that exhibits four sharp corners, no imperfections or signs of wear. Cards straight out of the pack are not always considered Mint, they must still be reviewed for any imperfections such as centering, wax staining, or print flaws. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.

8.0 NM/MINT

A high-end card that appears Mint 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.

7.0 NM

A near-perfect card with perhaps one minor imperfection, such as one blunt corner. No stains or scratches on face and no visible wear. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Most NM cards are the standard for which other grades are usually gauged. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.

6.0 EX/NM

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.

5.0 EX

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.

4.0 VG/EX

Corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. 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.

3.0 VG

The card reveals obvious handling and some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. A VG card may have a crease and original gloss is most likely lost.

2.0 G

A good card’s corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. The card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases, discoloration, and original gloss may be completely absent.

1.0 P

The card’s corners will show extreme wear, with many major imperfections. 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 or tearing. Card may show noticeable warping.

esgrading Grading scale

Grading scale

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Condition
Description
10.0 GEM MINT
A virtually “flawless” card with 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. The card must be centered within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.
9.0 MINT
A superb condition card that exhibits four sharp corners, no imperfections or signs of wear. Cards straight out of the pack are not always considered Mint, they must still be reviewed for any imperfections such as centering, wax staining, or print flaws. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
8.0 NM/MINT
A high-end card that appears Mint 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.
7.0 NM
A near-perfect card with perhaps one minor imperfection, such as one blunt corner. No stains or scratches on face and no visible wear. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Most NM cards are the standard for which other grades are usually gauged. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
6.0 EX/NM
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.
5.0 EX
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.
4.0 VG/EX
Corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. 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.
3.0 VG
The card reveals obvious handling and some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. A VG card may have a crease and original gloss is most likely lost.
2.0 G
A good card’s corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. The card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases, discoloration, and original gloss may be completely absent.
1.0 P
The card’s corners will show extreme wear, with many major imperfections. 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 or tearing. Card may show noticeable warping.

Anything below 1 will be classified as damaged and will not be graded. 

10.0 GEM MINT

A virtually “flawless” card with 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. The card must be centered within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.

9.0 MINT

A superb condition card that exhibits four sharp corners, no imperfections or signs of wear. Cards straight out of the pack are not always considered Mint, they must still be reviewed for any imperfections such as centering, wax staining, or print flaws. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.

8.0 NM/MINT

A high-end card that appears Mint 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.

7.0 NM

A near-perfect card with perhaps one minor imperfection, such as one blunt corner. No stains or scratches on face and no visible wear. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Most NM cards are the standard for which other grades are usually gauged. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.

6.0 EX/NM

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.

5.0 EX

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.

4.0 VG/EX

Corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. 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.

3.0 VG

The card reveals obvious handling and some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. A VG card may have a crease and original gloss is most likely lost.

2.0 G

A good card’s corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. The card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases, discoloration, and original gloss may be completely absent.

1.0 P

The card’s corners will show extreme wear, with many major imperfections. 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 or tearing. Card may show noticeable warping.

esgrading Cartridge

Box (33.33%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Booster Packs (33.33%)

 Booster Packs are graded the same way as grading a single Booster Pack.

Cards (33.33%)

 Cards are graded the same way as grading a single card. Cards automatically get 33.33% out of 33.33% if the booster pack is sealed and have no damage.

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100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Cartridge

Box (60%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, weight, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Seal (40%)

The seal will be judged against dents, scratches, fading, yellowing, clouding, sticker residue, tearing, cuts, lifting, soiling, rub marks, tearing, factory cut and foreign items (ink mark or staple etc.).

Price stickers are generally not considered major flaws, but only become a factor if curling, tearing, staining, picking, etc. of the sticker has occurred. The location of the sticker is also a factor, though most are placed in an area such as a corner that does not detract from the overall appearance of the item.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Cartridge

Booster Box CIB

Box (33.33%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Booster Packs (33.33%)

 Booster Packs are graded the same way as grading a single Booster Pack.

Cards (33.33%)

 Cards are graded the same way as grading a single card. Cards automatically get 33.33% out of 33.33% if the booster pack is sealed and have no damage.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Cartridge

Box (60%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, weight, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Seal (40%)

The Seal will be judged against dents, scratches, fading, yellowing, clouding, sticker residue, tearing, cuts, lifting, soiling, rub marks, tearing, factory cut and foreign items (ink mark or staple etc.).

Price stickers are generally not considered major flaws, but only become a factor if curling, tearing, staining, picking, etc. of the sticker has occurred. The location of the sticker is also a factor, though most are placed in an area such as a corner that does not detract from the overall appearance of the item.

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.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Grading scale

Grading scale

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.
Condition
Description
10.0 GEM MINT
A Gem Mint 10 pack is a virtually perfect pack that should exhibit pristine corners and edges, which are free of any holes, tears or wear of any sort (including not having any wear to the corner folds). The seal on the reverse must be virtually undisturbed and free of any soiling or toning. The sealed folds on the reverse must also lay flush to the pack and not exhibit any lift from the seal. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum in order to qualify for this grade. There may be an allowance made for a small printing imperfection as long as the pack still shows superb eye appeal.
9.0 MINT
A Mint 9 pack is a pack that appears to have all the attributes of a Gem Mint 10 but it may exhibit one of the following flaws: a slight touch of wear on one corner (absent a hole or tear in the wrapper), minor toning or soiling to the seal on the reverse or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum in order to qualify for this grade.
8.0 NM/MINT
A NM-MT 8 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a Mint 9 but it may possess one or more of the following technical imperfections upon close inspection: slight wear at one or two corners, a pin-sized hole at one of the corners, a wrinkle in the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapping, slight toning or soiling on the seal, very slight toning of the wrapper itself and/or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum to qualify for this grade.
7.0 NM
A NM 7 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a NM-MT 8 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: there may be slight wear on all four corners, a few pin-hole sized tears on the corners or edges, a very minor tear in the wrapper itself, light toning or soiling on the seal, and/or a small stain, possibly due to water or mildew damage. A small allowance may be made for very light gum bleeding or soiling through the wrapper, not to reach the size of the gum contained within.
6.0 EX/NM
An EX-MT 6 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a NM 7 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: wear may be present on all four corners and/or the pack may show light tearing on multiple corners. In addition, the pack may exhibit light tears on the edges of the wrappers, wrinkles on the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapper along with other types of small surface defects. The reverse seal may have soiling or toning as a result of water or mildew damage, as long as it is not deemed severe. The gum or wax wrapper can begin to show bleeding or soiling through the wrapper, but it must be limited to the size of the gum.
5.0 EX
A EX 5 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a EX-MT 6 but it may possess one of more of the following flaws: wear may be present on all four corners along with one or two clear corner tears and/or edge tears. Under this grade, a pack may exhibit staining or discoloration of the wrapper, possibly due to water or mildew damage. The surface of a cello pack may exhibit a large split through the protective wrapping. That wrapping may also be misaligned but, in order to qualify under this grade, a sizeable portion of the seal must remain secure. In addition, the surface of the wrapper may show soiling damage from the gum or wax.
4.0 VG/EX
A VG-EX 4 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a EX 5 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: wear will, most likely, be present on all four corners along with holes and/or tears on the corners and edges. A severe tear to one of the edges may be acceptable under this grade. The seal may be misaligned and partly raised but a somewhat sizeable portion of that original seal must remain intact. The surface of the pack may exhibit some discoloration, staining or soiling, possibly due to water or mildew damage. A cello pack may have a couple of severe splits through the protective wrapping as long as all the contained cards are held securely in their package.
3.0 VG
A VG 3 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a VG-EX 4 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws such as moderate tears on all four corners and along the edges. The seal may be heavily worn and the pack may be visibly soiled. The surface can be discolored, stained and have heavy mildew damage that begins to bleed from the surface of the wrapper into the edges of the pack.
2.0 G
A Good 2 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a VG 3 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws. Major tears may appear on all four corners and along the edges. The seal may have heavy soiling or even residue from a foreign source, which hinders the eye appeal substantially. The corners and edges of the contained cards may be exposed; however, the cards must still be held in place by the package and cannot show any evidence of removal.
1.0 P
P 1 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a Good 2 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws. Severe water damage may be present where it has seeped into the pack itself, affecting the cards contained within. In fact, the pack may show signs of warping as a result of the water damage. The wrapper may not be completely legible from staining, discoloration or other wear and tear but it must remain legible enough for the experts to determine authenticity. In addition, while the pack itself may be severely damaged, some portion of the original seal must be intact. At this time, packs will not receive half-point grades.

GEM-MT 10

A Gem Mint 10 pack is a virtually perfect pack that should exhibit pristine corners and edges, which are free of any holes, tears or wear of any sort (including not having any wear to the corner folds). The seal on the reverse must be virtually undisturbed and free of any soiling or toning. The sealed folds on the reverse must also lay flush to the pack and not exhibit any lift from the seal. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum in order to qualify for this grade. There may be an allowance made for a small printing imperfection as long as the pack still shows superb eye appeal.

9.0 MINT

A Mint 9 pack is a pack that appears to have all the attributes of a Gem Mint 10 but it may exhibit one of the following flaws: a slight touch of wear on one corner (absent a hole or tear in the wrapper), minor toning or soiling to the seal on the reverse or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum in order to qualify for this grade.

8.0 NM/MINT

A NM-MT 8 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a Mint 9 but it may possess one or more of the following technical imperfections upon close inspection: slight wear at one or two corners, a pin-sized hole at one of the corners, a wrinkle in the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapping, slight toning or soiling on the seal, very slight toning of the wrapper itself and/or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum to qualify for this grade.

7.0 NM

A NM 7 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a NM-MT 8 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: there may be slight wear on all four corners, a few pin-hole sized tears on the corners or edges, a very minor tear in the wrapper itself, light toning or soiling on the seal, and/or a small stain, possibly due to water or mildew damage. A small allowance may be made for very light gum bleeding or soiling through the wrapper, not to reach the size of the gum contained within.

6.0 EX/NM

An EX-MT 6 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a NM 7 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: wear may be present on all four corners and/or the pack may show light tearing on multiple corners. In addition, the pack may exhibit light tears on the edges of the wrappers, wrinkles on the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapper along with other types of small surface defects. The reverse seal may have soiling or toning as a result of water or mildew damage, as long as it is not deemed severe. The gum or wax wrapper can begin to show bleeding or soiling through the wrapper, but it must be limited to the size of the gum.

5.0 EX

A NM-MT 8 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a Mint 9 but it may possess one or more of the following technical imperfections upon close inspection: slight wear at one or two corners, a pin-sized hole at one of the corners, a wrinkle in the surface of the wax/cellophane wrapping, slight toning or soiling on the seal, very slight toning of the wrapper itself and/or a slight centering imperfection to the wrap. In addition, the pack must be “fresh” in appearance and free of any water or mildew damage to the wrapper or gum to qualify for this grade.

4.0 VG/EX

A VG-EX 4 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a EX 5 but it may possess one or more of the following flaws: wear will, most likely, be present on all four corners along with holes and/or tears on the corners and edges. A severe tear to one of the edges may be acceptable under this grade. The seal may be misaligned and partly raised but a somewhat sizeable portion of that original seal must remain intact. The surface of the pack may exhibit some discoloration, staining or soiling, possibly due to water or mildew damage. A cello pack may have a couple of severe splits through the protective wrapping as long as all the contained cards are held securely in their package.

3.0 VG

A VG 3 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a VG-EX 4 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws such as moderate tears on all four corners and along the edges. The seal may be heavily worn and the pack may be visibly soiled. The surface can be discolored, stained and have heavy mildew damage that begins to bleed from the surface of the wrapper into the edges of the pack.

2.0 G

A Good 2 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a VG 3 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws. Major tears may appear on all four corners and along the edges. The seal may have heavy soiling or even residue from a foreign source, which hinders the eye appeal substantially. The corners and edges of the contained cards may be exposed; however, the cards must still be held in place by the package and cannot show any evidence of removal.

1.0 P

P 1 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a Good 2 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws. Severe water damage may be present where it has seeped into the pack itself, affecting the cards contained within. In fact, the pack may show signs of warping as a result of the water damage. The wrapper may not be completely legible from staining, discoloration or other wear and tear but it must remain legible enough for the experts to determine authenticity. In addition, while the pack itself may be severely damaged, some portion of the original seal must be intact.
At this time, packs will not receive half-point grades.

2.0 G

A Good 2 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a VG 3 but it may possess some additional, severe flaws. Major tears may appear on all four corners and along the edges. The seal may have heavy soiling or even residue from a foreign source, which hinders the eye appeal substantially. The corners and edges of the contained cards may be exposed; however, the cards must still be held in place by the package and cannot show any evidence of removal.

esgrading Cartridge

Booster Pack Opened

.
Booster Pack (50%)
Cards (50%)
Look at
– Same as Grading of a sealed booster pack with an exception of it being opened.
– An Opening area on the booster will not affect the grade unless there is a tear or cut.
– Same as Grading of individual cards.
– Missing contents will receive a lower grade.
– Incorrect contents will not be graded
esgrading Cartridge

Booster Box

Box (60%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Cellophane/Shrink-Wrap (40%)

The cellophane will be judged against dents, scratches, fading, yellowing, clouding, sticker residue, tearing, cuts, lifting, soiling, rub marks, tearing, factory cut and foreign items (ink mark or staple etc.).

Price stickers are generally not considered major flaws, but only become a factor if curling, tearing, staining, picking, etc. of the sticker has occurred. The location of the sticker is also a factor, though most are placed in an area such as a corner that does not detract from the overall appearance of the item.

.
.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Cartridge

Deck Box CIB

Box (33.33%)

The box will be judged against creasing, bending, rolling, tearing, scuffing, scratching, lifting, print marks, loss of gloss, soiling, discoloring, edge wear, nicks, punctures, ink or foreign markings, peg hole punch, tape repair, focus, price sticker, sticker tear, sticker residue, water damage, bubbling and attached foreign objects.

Cards (33.33%)

 Cards automatically get 33.33% out of 33.33% if the cards are sealed and have no damage.

Contents (33.33%)

.
.
100
Flawless
85 – 99
Minor defects
70 – 85
Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect
50 – 69
A moderate defect with minor defects
40 – 49
Multiple moderate defects or a major defect
30 – 39
A major defect with moderate and minor defects
20 – 29
An extreme defect or multiple major defects
10 – 20
Extreme defects

100

Flawless

85 - 99

Minor defects

70 - 85

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

50 - 69

A moderate defect with minor defects

30 - 39

A major defect with moderate and minor defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

10 - 20

A moderate defect with minor defects

10- 20

Extreme defects

20 - 29

Multiple minor defects or a moderate defect

esgrading Grading scale

COMICS

Grading scale

Condition
Description
10.0 GEM MINT
• An exceptional example of a given book – the best seen.
• Only the slightest bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.
• No interior autographs or owner signatures.
9.9 MINT
• Near perfect in every way.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, generally centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.
9.8 NEAR MINT/MINT
• Nearly perfect in every way with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, generally centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.
• Only the slightest interior tears are allowed.
9.6 NEAR MINT+
• Nearly perfect with a minor additional virtue or virtues that raise it from Near Mint.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• No bindery tears are allowed, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/8″ have been noted.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading.
• One corner may be almost imperceptibly blunted, but still almost sharp and cut square.
• Almost imperceptible indentations are permissible, but no creases, bends, or color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat. Staples must be original, generally centered, with only the slightest discoloration.
• Paper is off-white, supple and fresh.
• Only the slightest interior tears are allowed.
9.4 NEAR MINT
• Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade.
• Subtle bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Bindery tears must be less than 1/16″ on Silver Age and later books, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/4″ have been noted.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted. A 1/16″ bend is permitted with no color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Slight foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples are generally centered; may have slight discoloration.
• Almost no stress lines.
• Paper is off-white to cream, supple and fresh.
• Slight interior tears are allowed.
9.2 NEAR MINT-
• Nearly perfect with only a minor additional defect or defects that keep it from Near Mint.
• A limited number of minor bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with only the slightest dimming of reflectivity.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted.
• A 1/16-1/8″ bend is permitted with no color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Slight foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Almost no stress lines.
• Paper is off-white to cream, supple and fresh.
• Slight interior tears are allowed.
9.0 VERY FINE/NEAR MINT
• Nearly perfect with outstanding eye appeal.
• A limited number of bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is almost flat with almost imperceptible wear.
• Inks are bright with slightly diminished reflectivity.
• An 1/8″ bend is allowed if color is not broken.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted but no creases.
• Several lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable.
• Very minor foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Only the slightest staple tears are allowed.
• A very minor accumulation of stress lines may be present if they are nearly imperceptible.
• Paper is off-white to cream and supple.
• Very minor interior tears may be present.
8.5 VERY FINE+
• Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
8.0 VERY FINE
• An excellent copy with outstanding eye appeal.
• A limited accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Cover is relatively flat with minimal surface wear beginning to show, possibly including some minute wear at corners.
• Inks are generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity.
• An unnoticeable 1/4″ crease is acceptable if color is not broken.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• Minor foxing.
• Spine is almost completely flat with a possible minor color break.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Very slight staple tears and a few almost insignificant stress lines may be present.
• Paper is cream to tan and supple. Centerfold is mostly secure.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.
7.5 VERY FINE-
• Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
7.0 FINE/VERY FINE
• An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with outstanding eye appeal.
• A small accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Minor cover wear beginning to show, possibly including minor creases.
• Corners may be blunted.
• Inks are generally bright with a moderate reduction in reflectivity.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• Minor foxing.
• The slightest spine roll may be present, as well as a possible moderate color break.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Slight staple tears and a small accumulation of light stress lines may be present.
• Slight rust migration.
• Paper is cream to tan. Centerfold is mostly secure.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.
6.5 FINE+
• Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
6.0 FINE
• An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with no significant creasing or other serious defects.
• Some accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Minor cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases. • Inks show a significant reduction in reflectivity.
• Blunted corners are more common, as is minor staining, soiling, discoloration, and/or foxing.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• A minor spine roll is allowed. There can also be a 1/4″ spine split or severe color break.
• Staples may show minor discoloration.
• Minor staple tears and a few slight stress lines may be present, as well as minor rust migration.
• Paper is tan to brown and fairly supple with no signs of brittleness.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose.
5.5 FINE-
• Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
5.0 VERY GOOD/FINE
• An above-average but well used comic book. An accumulation of bindery/printing defects is allowed. Minor to moderate cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases and/or dimples. Inks have moderate to low reflectivity. Blunted corners are increasingly common, as is minor to moderate staining, discoloration, and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. A minor to moderate spine roll is allowed. A spine split of up to 1/2″ may be present. Staples may show minor discoloration. Minor staple tears and minor stress lines may also be present, as well as minor rust migration. Paper is tan to brown with no signs of brittleness. Centerfold may be loose. Minor interior tears may also be present.
4.5 VERY GOOD+
• Fits the criteria for Very Good but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
4.0 VERY GOOD
• The average used comic book. Cover shows moderate to significant wear, and may be loose but not completely detached.
• Cover reflectivity is low.
• Can have moderate creases or dimples.
• Corners may be blunted. Store stamps, name stamps, arrival dates, initials, etc. have no effect on this grade.
• Some discoloration, fading, foxing, and even minor soiling is allowed.
• As much as a 1/4″ triangle can be missing out of the corner or edge; a missing 1/8″ square is also acceptable.
• Only minor unobtrusive tape and other amateur repair allowed on otherwise high grade copies.
• Moderate spine roll may be present and/or a 1″ spine split.
• Staples may be discolored.
• Minor to moderate staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as some rust migration.
• Paper is brown but not brittle. Minor to moderate interior tears may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple.
3.5 VERY GOOD-
• Fits the criteria for Very Good but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
3.0 GOOD/VERY GOOD
• A used comic book showing some substantial wear.
• Cover shows significant wear, and may be loose or even detached at one staple.
• Cover reflectivity is very low. Can have a book-length crease and/or dimples. Corners may be blunted or even rounded.
• Discoloration, fading, foxing, and even minor to moderate soiling is allowed.
• A triangle from 1/4″ to 1/2″ can be missing out of the corner or edge; a missing 1/8″ to 1/4″ square is also acceptable.
• Tape and other amateur repair may be present.
• Moderate spine roll likely.
• May have a spine split of anywhere from 1″ to 1-1/2″.
• Staples may be rusted or replaced. Minor to moderate staple tears and moderate stress lines may be present, as well as some rust migration.
• Paper is brown but not brittle.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple.
• Minor to moderate interior tears may be present.
2.5 GOOD+
• Fits the criteria for Good but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
2.0 GOOD
• Shows substantial wear; often considered a “reading copy.” • Cover shows significant wear and may even be detached. • Cover reflectivity is low and in some cases completely absent. • Book-length creases and dimples may be present. • Rounded corners are more common. • Moderate soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing may be present. • The largest piece allowed missing from the front or back cover is usually a 1/2″ triangle or a 1/4″ square, although some Silver Age books such as 1960s Marvels have had the price corner box clipped from the top left front cover and may be considered Good if they would otherwise have graded higher. • Tape and other forms of amateur repair are present. • Spine roll is likely. • May have up to a 2″ spine split. • Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing. • Moderate staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration. • Paper is brown but not brittle. • Centerfold may be loose or detached. Moderate interior tears may be present.
1.8 GOOD-
• Fits the criteria for Good but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.
1.5 FAIR/GOOD
• Shows substantial to heavy wear. Books in this grade are commonly creased, scuffed, abraded, soiled, and possibly unattractive, but still generally readable.
• Cover shows considerable wear and may be detached.
• Almost no cover reflectivity remaining.
• Book-length creases, tears and folds may be present.
• Rounded corners are increasingly common.
• Soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing is generally present.
• Up to 1/10 of the back cover may be missing.
• Tape and other forms of amateur repair present.
• Spine roll is common.
• May have a spine split between 2″ and 2/3 the length of the book.
• Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing.
• Staple tears and stress lines are common, as well as rust migration.
• Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges. Acidic odor may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached.
• Interior tears are common.
1.0 FAIR
• Shows heavy wear.
• Some collectors consider this the lowest collectible grade because comic books in lesser condition are usually incomplete and/or brittle.
• Cover may be detached, and inks have lost all reflectivity.
• Creases, tears and/or folds are prevalent.
• Corners are commonly rounded or absent.
• Soiling and staining is present.
• Books in this condition generally have all pages and most of the covers, although there may be up to 1/4 of the front cover missing or no back cover, but not both.
• Tape and other forms of amateur repair are present.
• Spine roll is more common; spine split can extend up to 2/3 the length of the book.
• Staples may be missing or show rust and discoloration.
• An accumulation of staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration.
• Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges but not in the central portion of the pages.
• Acidic odor may be present.
• Accumulation of interior tears.
• Chunks may be missing.
• The centerfold may be missing if readability is generally preserved.
• Coupons may be cut.
0.5 POOR
• Sufficiently degraded to the point where there is little or no collector value; easily identified by a complete absence of eye appeal.
• Brittle almost to the point of turning to dust with a touch, and usually incomplete.
• Extreme fading may render the cover almost indiscernible.
• May have extremely severe stains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion to the point that some cover inks are indistinct/absent.
• Covers may be detached with large chunks missing.
• Can have extremely ragged edges and extensive creasing.
• Corners are rounded or virtually absent.
• Covers may have been defaced with paints, varnishes, glues, oil, indelible markers or dyes, and may have suffered heavy water damage.
• Can also have extensive amateur repairs such as laminated covers.
• Extreme spine roll present.
• Can have extremely ragged spines or a complete, book-length split.
• Staples can be missing or show extreme rust and discoloration.
• Extensive staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as extreme rust migration.
• Paper exhibits moderate to severe brittleness (where the comic book literally falls apart when examined).
• Extreme acidic odor may be present. Extensive interior tears. Multiple pages, including the centerfold, may be missing that affect readability. Coupons may be cut.

10.0 GEM MINT

• An exceptional example of a given book – the best seen.
• Only the slightest bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.
• No interior autographs or owner signatures.

9.9 MINT

• Near perfect in every way.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, generally centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.

9.8 NEAR MINT/MINT

• Nearly perfect in every way with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples must be original, generally centered and clean with no rust.
• Paper is white, supple and fresh.
• Only the slightest interior tears are allowed.

9.6 NEAR MINT+

• Nearly perfect with a minor additional virtue or virtues that raise it from Near Mint.
• Only subtle bindery or printing defects are allowed.
• No bindery tears are allowed, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/8″ have been noted.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading.
• One corner may be almost imperceptibly blunted, but still almost sharp and cut square.
• Almost imperceptible indentations are permissible, but no creases, bends, or color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Spine is tight and flat. Staples must be original, generally centered, with only the slightest discoloration.
• Paper is off-white, supple and fresh.
• Only the slightest interior tears are allowed.

9.4 NEAR MINT

• Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade.
• Subtle bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Bindery tears must be less than 1/16″ on Silver Age and later books, although on Golden Age books bindery tears of up to 1/4″ have been noted.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with high reflectivity and a minimum of fading.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted. A 1/16″ bend is permitted with no color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Slight foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples are generally centered; may have slight discoloration.
• Almost no stress lines.
• Paper is off-white to cream, supple and fresh.
• Slight interior tears are allowed.

9.2 NEAR MINT-

• Nearly perfect with only a minor additional defect or defects that keep it from Near Mint.
• A limited number of minor bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is flat with no surface wear.
• Inks are bright with only the slightest dimming of reflectivity.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted.
• A 1/16-1/8″ bend is permitted with no color break.
• Small, inconspicuous, lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable as long as they are in an unobtrusive location.
• Slight foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Almost no stress lines.
• Paper is off-white to cream, supple and fresh.
• Slight interior tears are allowed.

9.0 VERY FINE/NEAR MINT

• Nearly perfect with outstanding eye appeal.
• A limited number of bindery/printing defects are allowed.
• Cover is almost flat with almost imperceptible wear.
• Inks are bright with slightly diminished reflectivity.
• An 1/8″ bend is allowed if color is not broken.
• Corners are cut square and sharp with ever-so-slight blunting permitted but no creases.
• Several lightly penciled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptable.
• Very minor foxing.
• Spine is tight and flat.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Only the slightest staple tears are allowed.
• A very minor accumulation of stress lines may be present if they are nearly imperceptible.
• Paper is off-white to cream and supple.
• Very minor interior tears may be present.

8.5 VERY FINE+

• Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

8.0 VERY FINE

• An excellent copy with outstanding eye appeal.
• A limited accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Cover is relatively flat with minimal surface wear beginning to show, possibly including some minute wear at corners.
• Inks are generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity.
• An unnoticeable 1/4″ crease is acceptable if color is not broken.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• Minor foxing.
• Spine is almost completely flat with a possible minor color break.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Very slight staple tears and a few almost insignificant stress lines may be present.
• Paper is cream to tan and supple. Centerfold is mostly secure.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.

7.5 VERY FINE-

• Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

7.0 FINE/VERY FINE

• An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with outstanding eye appeal.
• A small accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Minor cover wear beginning to show, possibly including minor creases.
• Corners may be blunted.
• Inks are generally bright with a moderate reduction in reflectivity.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• Minor foxing.
• The slightest spine roll may be present, as well as a possible moderate color break.
• Staples may show some discoloration.
• Slight staple tears and a small accumulation of light stress lines may be present.
• Slight rust migration.
• Paper is cream to tan. Centerfold is mostly secure.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.

6.5 FINE+

• Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

6.0 FINE

• An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with no significant creasing or other serious defects.
• Some accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed.
• Minor cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases.
• Inks show a significant reduction in reflectivity.
• Blunted corners are more common, as is minor staining, soiling, discoloration, and/or foxing.
• Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present.
• A minor spine roll is allowed. There can also be a 1/4″ spine split or severe color break.
• Staples may show minor discoloration.
• Minor staple tears and a few slight stress lines may be present, as well as minor rust migration.
• Paper is tan to brown and fairly supple with no signs of brittleness.
• Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose.

5.5 FINE-

• Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

5.0 VERY GOOD/FINE

• An above-average but well used comic book. An accumulation of bindery/printing defects is allowed. Minor to moderate cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases and/or dimples. Inks have moderate to low reflectivity. Blunted corners are increasingly common, as is minor to moderate staining, discoloration, and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. A minor to moderate spine roll is allowed. A spine split of up to 1/2″ may be present. Staples may show minor discoloration. Minor staple tears and minor stress lines may also be present, as well as minor rust migration. Paper is tan to brown with no signs of brittleness. Centerfold may be loose. Minor interior tears may also be present.

4.5 VERY GOOD+

• Fits the criteria for Very Good but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

4.0 VERY GOOD

• The average used comic book. Cover shows moderate to significant wear, and may be loose but not completely detached.
• Cover reflectivity is low.
• Can have moderate creases or dimples.
• Corners may be blunted. Store stamps, name stamps, arrival dates, initials, etc. have no effect on this grade.
• Some discoloration, fading, foxing, and even minor soiling is allowed.
• As much as a 1/4″ triangle can be missing out of the corner or edge; a missing 1/8″ square is also acceptable.
• Only minor unobtrusive tape and other amateur repair allowed on otherwise high grade copies.
• Moderate spine roll may be present and/or a 1″ spine split.
• Staples may be discolored.
• Minor to moderate staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as some rust migration.
• Paper is brown but not brittle. Minor to moderate interior tears may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple.

3.5 VERY GOOD-

• Fits the criteria for Very Good but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

3.0 GOOD/VERY GOOD

• A used comic book showing some substantial wear.
• Cover shows significant wear, and may be loose or even detached at one staple.
• Cover reflectivity is very low. Can have a book-length crease and/or dimples. Corners may be blunted or even rounded.
• Discoloration, fading, foxing, and even minor to moderate soiling is allowed.
• A triangle from 1/4″ to 1/2″ can be missing out of the corner or edge; a missing 1/8″ to 1/4″ square is also acceptable.
• Tape and other amateur repair may be present.
• Moderate spine roll likely.
• May have a spine split of anywhere from 1″ to 1-1/2″.
• Staples may be rusted or replaced. Minor to moderate staple tears and moderate stress lines may be present, as well as some rust migration.
• Paper is brown but not brittle.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple.
• Minor to moderate interior tears may be present.

2.5 GOOD+

• Fits the criteria for Good but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

2.0 GOOD

• Shows substantial wear; often considered a “reading copy.”
• Cover shows significant wear and may even be detached.
• Cover reflectivity is low and in some cases completely absent.
• Book-length creases and dimples may be present.
• Rounded corners are more common.
• Moderate soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing may be present.
• The largest piece allowed missing from the front or back cover is usually a 1/2″ triangle or a 1/4″ square, although some Silver Age books such as 1960s Marvels have had the price corner box clipped from the top left front cover and may be considered Good if they would otherwise have graded higher.
• Tape and other forms of amateur repair are present.
• Spine roll is likely.
• May have up to a 2″ spine split.
• Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing.
• Moderate staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration.
• Paper is brown but not brittle.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached. Moderate interior tears may be present.

1.8 GOOD-

• Fits the criteria for Good but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

1.5 FAIR/GOOD

• Shows substantial to heavy wear. Books in this grade are commonly creased, scuffed, abraded, soiled, and possibly unattractive, but still generally readable.
• Cover shows considerable wear and may be detached.
• Almost no cover reflectivity remaining.
• Book-length creases, tears and folds may be present.
• Rounded corners are increasingly common.
• Soiling, staining, discoloration and foxing is generally present.
• Up to 1/10 of the back cover may be missing.
• Tape and other forms of amateur repair present.
• Spine roll is common.
• May have a spine split between 2″ and 2/3 the length of the book.
• Staples may be degraded, replaced or missing.
• Staple tears and stress lines are common, as well as rust migration.
• Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges. Acidic odor may be present.
• Centerfold may be loose or detached.
• Interior tears are common.

1.0 FAIR

• Shows heavy wear.
• Some collectors consider this the lowest collectible grade because comic books in lesser condition are usually incomplete and/or brittle.
• Cover may be detached, and inks have lost all reflectivity.
• Creases, tears and/or folds are prevalent.
• Corners are commonly rounded or absent.
• Soiling and staining is present.
• Books in this condition generally have all pages and most of the covers, although there may be up to 1/4 of the front cover missing or no back cover, but not both.
• Tape and other forms of amateur repair are present.
• Spine roll is more common; spine split can extend up to 2/3 the length of the book.
• Staples may be missing or show rust and discoloration.
• An accumulation of staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as rust migration.
• Paper is brown and may show brittleness around the edges but not in the central portion of the pages.
• Acidic odor may be present.
• Accumulation of interior tears.
• Chunks may be missing.
• The centerfold may be missing if readability is generally preserved.
• Coupons may be cut.

0.5 POOR

• Sufficiently degraded to the point where there is little or no collector value; easily identified by a complete absence of eye appeal.
• Brittle almost to the point of turning to dust with a touch, and usually incomplete.
• Extreme fading may render the cover almost indiscernible.
• May have extremely severe stains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion to the point that some cover inks are indistinct/absent.
• Covers may be detached with large chunks missing.
• Can have extremely ragged edges and extensive creasing.
• Corners are rounded or virtually absent.
• Covers may have been defaced with paints, varnishes, glues, oil, indelible markers or dyes, and may have suffered heavy water damage.
• Can also have extensive amateur repairs such as laminated covers.
• Extreme spine roll present.
• Can have extremely ragged spines or a complete, book-length split.
• Staples can be missing or show extreme rust and discoloration.
• Extensive staple tears and stress lines may be present, as well as extreme rust migration.
• Paper exhibits moderate to severe brittleness (where the comic book literally falls apart when examined).

• Extreme acidic odor may be present. Extensive interior tears. Multiple pages, including the centerfold, may be missing that affect readability. Coupons may be cut.

COVERLESS COMICS (CL)

The exception to the “not collectible in Poor” rule. Many collectors want clean, readable, coverless comics that are priced fairly. Coverless copies of key and/or rare comics are often in demand by collectors. These enthusiasts also seek coverless comics to retrieve centerfolds, first wraparounds, coupons and even staples in order to restore other copies of the same or a similar incomplete comic.

INCOMPLETE/UNCOLLECTIBLE

At the very bottom of the range, comics with the absolute maximum number of defects, heavy degradation, and significant portions of the book missing might not even be considered Poor any longer, but may be termed “incomplete.” These books are so ruined as to be rendered unreadable and virtually uncollectible.

RESTORED COMIC

Once restored, a comic’s value depends upon several factors: The amount of restoration: In general, the more restoration has been performed, the less the comic is worth compared to its apparent grade value. A lightly restored book will be valued higher than a book with heavy restoration in the same apparent grade.

The “before” and “restored” grades: As a rule of thumb, consider these formulae:

• Golden Age key issues:
(value before restoration) + (value of apparent grade)/2.5
• Golden Age common issues:
(value before restoration) + (value of apparent grade)/2.0
• Silver Age issues:
(value before restoration) + (value of apparent grade)/3.0
• These formulae serve only as a benchmark. Each book is unique and may vary in pricing.

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