Pokémon Card Grading

Having Pokémon Cards graded has become a huge part of the trading card hobby over the last few years. For Australian collectors, the idea and the process of grading can be daunting. The guide below describes what card grading is, the scoring system applied to grading cards, why would you grade your cards and where to grade your Pokémon cards.

Card grading is the process of where an 3rd Party assesses the condition of a playing card. Grading helps remove the subjectivity by having an unbiased, professional review and assign a grade (value) to the condition of the card. The Grading  process itself is relatively “simple”

as it involves the professional grader to examine the card edges, corners, card centering and front/back profiles of the playing card. Once the grade is complete, the card is then placed in a plastic casing that will preserve the card and condition.

Card Grades

Gem Mint 10 is a virtually perfect card. Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus, full original gloss. The card must be free of staining, however, an allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection providing it does not impair the overall appeal of the card.

Mint 9 is a superb condition card that exhibits only one of the following minor flaws: a very slight wax stain on reverse, a minor printing imperfection or slightly off-white borders.

Near Mint-Mint 8 is a super high end card that 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.

Near Mint 7 shows a slight surface wear 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.

For detailed grade standards for the above and below 7, click here to find out more.

Why would you grade your Pokémon Cards?

Legitimacy – ensures the playing card is not counterfeited or tampered with.

Preservation and Presentation – protects the card and its condition in clear plastic casing.

Resell Value – the core reason behind grading. Most rare Pokémon Cards are usually sent away for grading in the hope they are rated a score of 9-10. With graded cards, buyers will be most confident that a graded card with a high score is authentic . If you want to see an example of resell value benefit, you only have to look at a 1st Edition Charizard. This particular card could be brought raw (card as is, ungraded) from the market place for about $700-1000 AUD. If the card was graded a 9, the resell value could approach the $1800-$2500 mark. A grade of 10, you are looking at $10,000+ AUD.

Where can I get my cards graded?

The largest card grading companies globally are Beckett Grading Services and Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). Card Grading Australia also provides this service.  Within the Australian Pokémon communities, PSA is usually the choice when it comes to grading Pokémon cards. PSA is the largest and most trusted 3rd party assessing company in the world. With over 20 million individual cards graded, most buyers of cards usually buy and sell PSA graded cards purely on their reputation.

In Australia, most members among the Pokémon community utilize the PSA Grading service of Oz Enigma GMS. This middleman service offers comprehensive and transparent information surrounding the grading process while providing you the opportunity of getting your valuable cards graded as a respectable price per card. The owner Ryan Carter, ensures you are most comfortable throughout the entire process while being upmost professional at the same time. Ryan is more than happy to hold your hand from card submission to cards being returned to you. You will never be disappointed with his service. Go check them out!