GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint.
A Gem Mint 10 card is virtually free from any physical defects. Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus, full original gloss. A 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.
Appears to exhibit all the attributes of a Gem Mint 10 card but upon closer examination will exhibit 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.
This card 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.
Slight surface wear is 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.
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.
Very minor rounding of 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.
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. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
VG 3: Very Good.
Rounding of corners will be evident, 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.
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.
PR-FR 1: Poor to Fair.
Corners will show extreme wear, possibly affecting framing of picture. 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. A Poor card may be missing one or more small pieces, have major creasing and extreme discoloration or dirtiness throughout. Card may show noticeable warping. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.
Centering is determined 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 NM7 or better. For example, a card which meets all of the other requirements for MT9 and measures 60/40 off-center on the front automatically meets the PSA front centering standards for MT9. If a card meets all of the other requirements for MT9 and measures 65/35 off-center on the front, it may be deemed to meet the PSA front centering standards for MT9 if the eye appeal of the card is good.
Cards with centering below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "OC". For example, a Mint 9 card which is more than 65/35 off-center on the front would be graded "Mint 9 OC".
Cards with staining below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "ST."
Cards with significant printing defects will be designated "PD."
Cards with focus below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "OF."
Cards with writing, ink marks, pencil marks, etc. will be designated "MK."
Many companies will not grade cards which bear evidence of trimming, re-coloring, restoration or any other forms of tampering, are of questionable authenticity.
Professional Sports Authenticator,
an independent sports card grading company]