Baseball Card Grading Scale

This is a list of grades that GMA Grading uses in the grading of your sports cards. These grade descriptions are guidelines, designed to outline the evaluation standards of GMA Grading Service. Other factors that are not overtly stated in this description could exist that might effect the grade a card receives. These descriptions are used to describe the card or cards that are being graded and not to asses a monetary value. When cards are graded they are graded based on these listed guidelines and the production of the cards produced by the card companies is taken into consideration.

PRISTINE: A Pristine Graded card is a virtually flawless card. Attributes include 50/50 centering, crisp focus, four sharp corners, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear under magnification. A letter of authenticity will accompany cards receiving this grade.

GEM-MT 10: A Gem Mint 10 card’s attributes include 55/45 or better centering, sharp focus, four sharp corners, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear. A slight printing imperfection is allowable if it does not detract from the aesthetics of the card.

MINT 9: A Mint 9 card’s attributes include 60/40 or better centering, sharp focus and four sharp corners. A minor flaw may exist upon close examination. A minor flaw may be, but is not limited to: a slight nick to one corner, a small gloss break or surface scratch, a minor print line or minor refractor line, a minor focus or color imperfection, or a small print spot.

NM-MT+ 8.5: A Near Mint/ Mint+ is a card with 65/35 or better centering and four sharp corners. A few minor flaws may exist upon close examination. A minor flaw may be, but is not limited to: a slight nick to one corner, a small gloss break or surface scratch, a minor print line or minor refractor line, a minor focus or color imperfection, or a small print spot.

NM-MT 8: A Near Mint/ Mint 8 is a card with 65/35 or better centering, corners sharp to the naked eye but may exhibit slight wear under closer examination. A few small flaws may exist upon close examination. A small flaw may be, but is not limited to: very minor wear on one corner, a gloss break or surface scratch, a print line or refractor line, a focus or color imperfection, or a print spot.

NM+ 7.5: This is a card with 70/30 or better centering, a few small flaws may exist upon close examination. A small flaw may be, but is not limited to: very minor wear on one corner, a gloss break or surface scratch, a print line or refractor line, a focus or color imperfection, or a print spot.

NM 7: A Near Mint 7 card’s attributes include 70/30 or better centering, slight wear on some corners, minor scratching, some print spots or speckling, and print lines or refractor lines are acceptable. Card may exhibit a slightly skewed (diamond) cut.

EX-NM+ 6.5: This is a card with 75/25 or better centering, slight wear on some corner, minor scratching, some print spots or speckling, and print lines or refractor lines are acceptable. Card may exhibit a slightly skewed (diamond) cut.

EX/NM 6: An Excellent/ Near Mint is a card with 75/25 or better centering, slight fuzzing of corners may be evident, skewed cut may be more evident, focus or register may be off, and slight notching of edges may exist.

EX+ 5.5: An EX 5 card with higher grade centering or corners.

EX 5: An Excellent card is a card with 80/20 or better centering, minor rounding or fuzzing of corners, roughness or chipping along edge (no layering), one VERY slight surface or “spider” crease may exist on one side of the card, gloss may be lost from surface with some scratching that does not detract from the aesthetics of the card.

VG-EX+ 4.5: A VG-EX 4 with higher grade centering or corners.

VG/EX 4: A Very Good/ Excellent card is a card with 85/15 or better centering, corners are slightly rounded with modest surface wear. Light hairline crease may show on one or both sides. A light tear or surface break may exist.

VG+ 3.5: A VG 3 with higher grade centering or corners.

VG 3: A Very Good card is a card with 90/10 or better centering, corners more rounded–but not excessive, stronger creasing may exist. Poorer focus, registration, and discoloration, and staining are more noticeable.

GOOD+ 2.5: A Good 2 with higher grade centering or corners.

GOOD 2: A Good card is a card centered 90/10 or better. This card usually exhibits one or more of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tear, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss.

FAIR+ 1.5: A Fair card is a card centered 90/10 or better. This card usually exhibits several of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tears, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss, a small portion of the card may be missing.

FAIR 1: This is a card that usually exhibits many of these characteristics: heavy print spots, heavy crease(s), pinhole(s), color or focus imperfections or discoloration, surface scuffing or tears, rounded and/or fraying corners, ink or pencil marking(s), and lack of all or some original gloss, small portions of the card may be missing.

GMA Grading grades the quality of actual sports card paper stock.
Providing authentication is challenging and not guaranteed due to improved computerized printing.  Size requirements for Sports Cards are the standard published size plus or minus 3 mm.
If the cards fit this criteria they will be graded.

Helpful Pages

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2 Responses to Baseball Card Grading Scale

  1. Shaun O. says:

    HI, DO GMA GRADE JERSEY CARDS!

  2. alon2392 says:

    Yes we do as long as they are 2 regular cards in thickness. This is a good rule of thumb if you do not have a way to measure.

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