Condition Guide

FAQ's, Guides and General Information.

Condition Guide

PSA 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

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.

FR 1.5: Fair

A PSA Fair 1.5 card's corners will show extreme wear, possibly affecting framing of the picture. The surface of the card will show advanced stages of wear, including scuffing, scratching, pitting, chipping and staining. The picture will possibly be quite out-of-register and the borders may have become brown and dirty. The card may have one or more heavy creases. In order to achieve a Fair grade, a card must be fully intact. Even though the card may be heavily worn, it cannot achieve this grade if it is missing solid pieces of the card as a result of a major tear, etc. This would include damage such as the removal of the back layer of the card or an entire corner. The centering must be approximately 90/10 or better on the front and back.

PR 1: Poor

A PSA Poor 1 will exhibit many of the same qualities of a PSA Fair 1.5 but the defects may have advanced to such a serious stage that the eye appeal of the card has nearly vanished in its entirety. A Poor card may be missing one or two small pieces, exhibit major creasing that nearly breaks through all the layers of cardboard or it may contain extreme discoloration or dirtiness throughout that may make it difficult to identify the issue or content of the card on either the front or back. A card of this nature may also show noticeable warping or another type of destructive defect.


PSA Card Qualifiers

OC – Off Center

When 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 that meets all of the other requirements for PSA MINT 9 and measures 60/40 off-center on the front automatically meets the 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 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, pen parks, etc. or evidence of the impression left from the act of writing will be designated “MK.”

MC – Miscut

Cards that exhibit an atypical cut for the issue, which may result in portions of the subject card being cut off or more that one card being visible due to its oversized nature, will be designated “MC.”


PSA Booster Pack Grading Standards


GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint

A PSA 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.
Note: The top card within a cello pack must be centered approximately 65/35 or better.

MINT 9: Mint

A PSA Mint 9 pack is a pack that appears to have all the attributes of a PSA 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.
Note: The top card within a cello pack must be centered approximately 80-20 or better.

NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint

A PSA NM-MT 8 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.
Note: The top card within a cello pack must be centered approximately 90/10 or better.

NM 7: Near Mint

A PSA NM 7 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.
Note: This is also the highest grade a cello pack can receive if the top card is 100/0(miscut).
Note: This is the highest grade a pack can receive if the wax wrapper is a complete manufacturer miswrap, where there is a severe centering imperfection to the wrap.

EX-MT 6: Excellent-Mint

A PSA EX-MT 6 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.

EX 5: Excellent

A PSA EX 5 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.

VG-EX 4: Very Good-Excellent

A PSA VG-EX 4 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.

VG 3: Very Good

A PSA VG 3 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.

GOOD 2: Good

A PSA Good 2 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.

PR 1: Poor

PSA PR-FR 1 pack is a pack that exhibits similar attributes to a PSA 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.