The grade given to a card by a grading company such as PSA, BGS SGC or GAI, will increase
the value of a sports card by 50 %. Because of the importance of condition to the value of a
sports card, Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) developed a grading system in 1991. It is
based on a ten point scale and it is the most important grading system today.
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) Grading System
GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint- this is a perfect card with sharp focus, full gloss, sharp corners, no
stains. Needs centering 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- is a card in superb condition. It can have one flaw such as off-white borders or
a wax satin on the reverse side. Needs centering of about 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the
front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint- is a high-end card is perfect except for a slight wax stain on the
reverse side, fraying of one or two corners and a minor printing flaw or slightly off-white
borders. Needs centering of about 65/35 to 70/30 or better on the front and 90/10 or
better on the reverse.
NM 7: Near Mint- this is a with slight surface wear, slightly frayed corner or the focus is
slightly off. A minor printing error is okay as well as a wax stain on the reverse. Needs
centering of about 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
EX-MT 6: Excellent-Mint- is a card that has surface wear or a printing defect with a light
scratch, frayed corners, slightly unfocussed image, a minor wax stain on the reverse side,
some loss of gloss and off white borders. Needs centering of 80/20 or better on the front
and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
EX 5: Excellent- this is a card with rounding edges, surface wear or defective print errors,
minor chipping on edges, more loss of original gloss, out of focus, light scratches and off-white
borders. Needs centering of 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on back.
VG-EX 4: Very Good-Excellent- is a card with rounded corners, modest surface wear, light
creasing, scuffing and scratches, borders off-white, but it maintains its original gloss. Needs
centering of 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
VG 3: Very Good- this is a card with moderate rounded corners, some surface wear, slight
scuffing or scratches, image somewhat out of focus, wearing edges, some creasing, printing
defects, obverse staining and prominent reverse side staining. But it must have most of the
original gloss. Needs centering of 90/10 or better on the front and back.
GOOD 2: Good- this is a card that has increased rounding of edges and obvious surface wear.
It may have scuffing, staining, chipping, scratching, creasing, much discoloration and no gloss
left. Needs centering of 90/10 or better on the front and back.
FR 1.5: Fair- This kind of card shows extreme wear on the corners which effect the frame.
It shows much wear on the surface with scratching, scuffing, pitting, chipping and staining. It
may be way out of focus with brown, dirty borders. It may have heaving creasing. Importantly,
it must be fully intact, with no missing pieces. It can have a missing back layer or an entire
corner. Needs to be centered at about 90/10 or better on the front and back.
PR 1: Poor- This is a card that is like FR 1.5 but has additional defects that reduce eye appeal.
It may be missing pieces, have major creasing that breaks through, warping, extensive
dirtiness or discoloration making identification difficult on the front or back.
|PSA Sports Card Scoring System