(Newport Beach, CA) - Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) will authenticate and grade unopened packs of sports and non-sports trading cards beginning later this summer. Grading and encapsulation of wax and cello packs will be on a ten-point scale, and criteria for each grade will be posted on the PSA web site, www.psacard.com.
PSA will use sonically-welded, high-quality plastic holders for encapsulating packs, similar to the sturdy holders now used by PSA for encapsulating certified trading cards and tickets. Samples of the new PSA holder will be displayed at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Anaheim, California, July 26 - 30, 2006.
"Authentication is the most crucial step to the PSA grading process. We will not grade any pack that has been deemed by the experts to be re-sealed, repaired or altered in any way. If a pack cannot pass this first step in the PSA process, the packs will not be eligible for encapsulation," said Joe Orlando, President of PSA, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).
"We've seen a significant increase in marketplace prices for vintage, unopened sports packs. Unfortunately, re-sealing and outright counterfeiting of packs are major problems facing collectors and dealers. That's why independent, third-party certification is so important." Orlando said the "eye-appeal factor" is virtually as important to pack grading as it is in grading trading cards, but there are unique factors with packs.
"These include gum or wax residue that can alter the overall freshness of a pack and, in turn, hinder the grade. The presence of defects like mildew staining and gum or wax bleeding can lower the technical grade and detract from the overall eye appeal, depending on the severity," explained Orlando.
While the centering of a pack wrapper is important, PSA's approach to pack grading does not view wrap-centering in terms of percentages. The key factor, regardless of the technical measurement of the centering, is whether or not the centering (or lack thereof) of the wrap affects the overall eye-appeal.
"There are instances where wrapper centering issues are the norm. As long as the wrapper isn't a complete mis-wrap or entirely defective, then the centering of a wax wrapper should not hinder the grade substantially unless it affects the overall eye-appeal," said Orlando.
The date for accepting submissions of unopened packs and establishment of a PSA Set RegistrySM for unopened packs will be announced soon. For additional information, contact PSA Customer Service at (800) 325-1121 or by e-mail at [email protected] Web site: www.psacard.com.