CONDITION GRADING SCALE
A series of terms used to describe an item’s condition in a decreasing scale of quality:
10) GEM MINT- Pristine card- No imperfections, 4 sharp corners, perfect centering.
9) MINT- Extremely High Quality, May have a minor imperfection.
8) NM-MT (near mint-mint): Exceptionally high quality card. Sharp corners, original gloss, no wax stains or other imperfections. Will have a minor imperfection, could be Mint but on closer inspection imperfection slightly more significant.
7) NM (near mint): A card with a minor flaw or 2. For example, one or two corners with a slight touch of wear, slightly rough edges or a minor print spot.
6) EXMT (excellent mint): May have 2 or 3 slightly worn or fuzzy corners and/ or a small amount of gloss loss.
5) EX (excellent): May have 4 corners showing slight wear or 1-2 corners showing moderate wear, but no rounding on the corners. May also have a slight surface wrinkle, though it can not be creased.
4) VGEX (very good to excellent): Usually a card is VGEX due to rounding or severe dings on the corners, may also have moderate wrinkling or light scuffing.
3) VG (very good): A worn card, usually with one or more light creases. May also have gloss loss or scuffing.
2 2.5) G (good): A well worn or abused card. Good cards often have multiple creases and/or a moderate or severe crease, and have other flaws like rounded corners.
2-1) F (fair) or P (poor): Worse than good cards -- sometimes ripped, slightly torn or with some paper loss. Some cards are graded F or P due to multiple severe creases. These are usually used as place fillers by set builders.
CONDITIONS TO JUDGE
The reason for this is because of the condition the cards are in. There are different factors that affect the condition of a card:
1. Off-Center (OC): When the centering of a card falls below the minimum standard for that grade.
2. Stained/Staining (ST): Cards with staining below the minimum standard for the grade.
3. Print Defect (PD): Cards with significant printing defects.
4. Out of Focus (OF): Cards with the focus of the photograph below the minimum standard.
5. Marks (MK): Cards with writing, ink or pencil marks, or evidence of an impression left from having been written on.
6. Miscut (MC): Cards that are cut in any manner in that they do not meet the standard dimension for that particular set.
Special Condition Issues:
1. Centering: A Mint condition card is considered to have perfect centering which is conveyed as being 50/50 Top to Bottom and 50/50 Left to Right. The values adjust with the larger number indicating more border on one side than the other as in 70/30, 60/40, ..
2. Crease: A visible wrinkle in the card stock.
3. Edge Wear: A condition that causes the edge of a trading cards to appear fuzzy or shows layering of the paper.
4. Notching: Indentations on the edge of a trading card often caused by a group of cards being held together by a rubber band which was quite a common storage technique by kids in the 1950s and 1960s.
5. Soft Corner(s): A condition in which the corners of a card display fraying or layering causing the card to have the appearance of a rounded corner.