Like all collectibles, the sports memorabilia market has its own terms and slang. The following is a brief definition and explanation of the most frequently used sports collecting terms.
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| ||A card that is different, usually subtly, from its more common counterpart in any set. Some variations are error cards that were corrected by the manufacturers, while other variations might be as simple as a color change in the background of the card. Many variations are extremely rare, as they were corrections made early on in the press run, and therefore, have considerable value.|
| ||A box of cards (usually 500) that was originally issued by the manufacturer for use in vending machines. Later, these were more often used by dealers who would collate the boxes into sets for sale to the public.|
| ||A wholesale unit of cards, which contains vending boxes. Almost all vending cases contain 24 vending boxes, or 12,000 cards.|
| ||A set that was made by sorting cards from a vending box. Vending sets are usually in better condition than a set built from wax, as cards from vending are usually sharper and always free of staining.|
|very good (VG 3)|
| ||According to PSA grading standards, a VG 3 card reveals some, though not extreme, rounding of the corners. 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.|
|very good to excellent (VG-EX 4)|
| ||According to PSA grading standards, a VG-EX 4 card’s 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.|
| ||Short for Very Good.|
| ||Short for Very Good to Excellent.|
| ||A term usually intended to indicate an item was issued or produced quite some time ago. For example, a "vintage" baseball card versus a "modern" baseball card.|