Protect your cards for life while adding value by submitting trading cards to a third-party service for proof of authenticity (not a counterfeit/reprint). From there, it will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the quality of the card which includes centering, corners, cut, colour, borders, enamel, focus, picture quality, registration and micro imperfections. Cards are measured, checked under magnification and special lighting to achieve the grade. Once assigned an overall grade, it is sealed in a tamper-proof holder and assigned a serial number.
There any many companies that grade cards. The most recognized is PSA and Beckett. These two companies tend to bring in the highest value on graded cards in our opinion only. Below is a brief description of each:
1) Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) – The oldest and most popular. PSA grades cards on a scale of 1-10 with no half points. Long established as the leader in third-party grading, PSA’s advantages are many, including their Set Registry, which allows you to register and build your PSA-graded sets online, competing with others.
PSA’s popularity extends across both vintage and modern cards in all sports. While there has been some question about PSA’s consistency, this is to be somewhat expected with a company that grades such a huge volume of cards. Incidentally, their message boards are an excellent source of information on all aspects of the card collecting hobby.
2) Beckett Grading Service (BGS)/Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG) – BGS is widely considered the top choice among modern card collectors.
BGS early on earned a reputation for being the toughest of the grading companies. However, this reputation has slipped recently, as Pristine grades, once nearly unheard of, are more commonplace on the market.
BGS uses a grading scale from 1 (Poor) to 10 (Pristine), including half points, and also provides subgrades for the corners, edges, centering and surface so you know exactly what a card’s strengths and weaknesses are. Your own personal stance will help to determine whether you will consider BGS when shopping for graded cards.
BVG is Beckett’s second grading service that grades vintage cards. BVG has had a tough time gaining a foothold in the vintage grading world, which is not a surprise given the lack of coverage that vintage cards receive in their publications, however it is an increasing market.
BCCG (Beckett Collectors Club Grading) is their third grading service. BCCG offers a simplified 1-10 scale with no half grades and no subgrades.
The following Grading Scale is a representation. Each card is unique therefore there may be exceptions to this criteria when applying the card with a certain grade.