What is CGC Grading?

What is CGC Grading?

CGC Trading Cards is a division of Certified Guaranty Company, specializing in the grading, authentication, and encapsulation of collectible trading cards. They provide expert and impartial grading services, enhancing the value and collectability of cards from popular games like Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering  as well as other TCGs. Their certification helps collectors and investors confidently assess a card's condition and authenticity.

What cards does CGC grade?

CGC is most associated with the genre of collectible card games (CCGs) or Trading Card Games (TCGs), particularly with iconic games like Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, Metazoo, and others. These games are renowned for their rich lore, strategic gameplay, and highly valued collectible cards, making them a primary focus for CGC's grading and authentication services. The recent change to CGCs brand has open the doors to also grading Sports Cards and other Non-Sports collectible trading cards under one brand name. Previosly CGC was operating under CSG (Certified Sports Guaranty) to grade sports cards but in order to not confuse customers the brand was merged into one, now called CGC Trading Cards.

What are the CGC Grading levels

CGC Cards grades trading cards like Pokémon and sports cards on a scale from 1 to 10. A 'Pristine 10' means the card is almost perfect, while a 'Poor 1' is for cards that are really damaged or missing pieces. 'Gem Mint 10' is for cards in excellent condition with tiny flaws, and 'Mint 9' is for cards that look great but have a little wear. CGC checks things like how centered the card is, the corners, the picture, and the shiny gloss to give each card the right score.

Here's a summary of CGC Cards' grading scale and their criteria:

  • Pristine 10: Flawless under 10x magnification, 50/50 centering, flawless color, and registration.
  • Gem Mint 10: Overall 10 grade but one criterion not meeting Pristine 10, perfect corners, free of print spots, 55/45 centering.
  • Mint+ 9.5: Displays premium eye appeal for a Mint card, exceptional centering, surface qualities/color.
  • Mint 9: Four sharp corners with minor wear, slight flaws on edges, original gloss, minor surface defect allowed.
  • NM/Mint+ 8.5: Smooth edges with minor wear, original color and gloss, slight imperfections.
  • NM/Mint 8: Similar to 8.5 but with small-to-moderate handling defects for TCG cards, 65/35 centering.
  • Near Mint+ 7.5: Wear on corners, slightly rough edges, slight out-of-register image, slight diamond cut allowed.
  • Near Mint 7: Wear on corners, rough edges, slight out-of-register image, 70/30 centering.
  • Ex/NM+ 6.5: One slightly dinged corner or a few minor flaws, moderate diamond cut allowed.
  • Ex/NM 6: One dinged corner or two minor flaws, wax staining on the front acceptable, 75/25 centering.
  • Excellent+ 5.5: Light fuzziness and minor rounding on corners, minor border discoloration.
  • Excellent 5: Corners with fuzziness and minor rounding, two to three dinged corners.
  • VG/Ex+ 4.5: Slight corner rounding, noticeable surface flaws, scuffing, scratches, 85/15 centering.
  • VG/Ex 4: Similar to 4.5 but with slightly more pronounced flaws.
  • Very Good+ 3.5: 90/10 centering, four rounded corners, moderate surface and edge wear.
  • Very Good 3: Similar to 3.5 but with heavier staining visible.
  • Good+ 2.5: Heavier creasing, possible small writing mark, heavy diamond cut.
  • Good 2: Heavier creasing across the surface, some surface damage, heavy diamond cut.
  • Fair 1.5: One catastrophic flaw like a staple hole or severe creasing, possible miscut.
  • Poor 1: Major surface damage, severe creasing, missing cardstock portions, multiple catastrophic flaws​.

Can you trust CGC Grading?

CGC Trading Cards, a part of the well-known Certified Guaranty Company (CGC), offers a reliable grading service for collectible cards. Here's why they're a solid choice:

  • Strong Background: CGC started in 2000 and quickly became a top player in grading pop culture collectibles like comic books and other popular items, certifying over 10 million collectibles. They're part of a bigger group that's been around since 1987 and has graded a whopping 75 million collectibles, including coins and stamps.
  • Trustworthy Grading: When CGC grades a card or comic, at least two experts check it to make sure it's accurate. This means you can trust the grade they give, knowing it's been thoroughly checked.
  • Leading the Way: CGC is known for setting high standards in grading comics and other collectibles. They're known for being accurate and fair, which is why lots of collectors and fans trust them.

In short, CGC's long history, strict grading checks, and reputation in the collectibles world make them a go-to choice for anyone looking to get their trading cards graded. Their recent slab redesign has also increased the appeal and desire for their cards which has shown an increase in sales for CGC graded cards. Sales data suggests others within the hobby are putting their trust in CGC Grading as well.

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