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Card Grading Guide

This simplified grading guide gives basic categories for the condition of game cards and applies to all of the collectible trading card games.
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Mint

Mint: A perfect card in every respect. This card will show no edge wear or surface scratches.

Near Mint

Near Mint: Most cards right out of the pack will fit this description. This card might have a few small white marks along the edges or a small amount of surface wear from packaging but will show no wear from play or shuffling. Card will show accumulated dirt on surface due to body oils from constant handling.

Fine

Fine: This card has obviously been played, but not heavily. It lacks marks that would make it easily identifiable. It definitely has some minor scratches and/or less than perfect edges. It will show less than 1/16" depth of white along one or two edges of one face of the card. It may have a minor crease that is only visible close-up.

Excellent

Excellent: Most played cards will fall into this category. Cards in this grade will show lots of even wear, mostly along the back edges of the card from shuffling. This condition could also have moderate scratching on the surface. Occasionally a NM card that has a small amount of ink on the edges will be graded EX. Foil cards will qualify as EX if they show excessive scratches.

Good

Good: This card has a played look to it. It will have white showing on three or four edges on both faces. This card may also have more than 1/16" depth of white showing on an edge on the back face of the card. It may also be a card that looks like a Near Mint Card except that it has one distinguishing wear feature, such as a slight tear, or an easily identifiable crease. It may also have permanent black marks from dirt. These cards likely would need to be used in a sleeve so as to not be considered marked for tournament use

Poor

Poor: This grade is reserved for cards that have obvious problems, usually a bend mark or tear in the card.

Misprints & Errors

If a card is mangled by the factory by being irregularly cut or crunched by the flow wrap machine, it often has no value. If a card has a text/icon/art error that is later corrected, it may have premium value.

Autographed Cards

So Far, an autograph has not lowered a card's value; to some people, an autograph increases the card's value. A card autographed by the game's designer or the artist is definitely of more value to a collector. A card autographed and augmented by the game's designer is even better!

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