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#227573 - 10/02/03 06:44 PM A hello and looking for some grading advice
DataDriven05
Just got here


Registered: 10/02/03
Posts: 2

Offline

Hello to all. I am brand new to the board, but I have been reading posts on and off for about a month now... right about the time I decided to use SGC for my grading services. This may be a little long winded, but I promise future posts won't be as much so.

I am just getting back into the hobby after a 10 year hiatus and it is interesting to see how it has all changed. There wasn't an EBay, which is as addictive as anything I could imagine, or mainstream grading, or each major card company having 50 sets each all with chase cards. I don't know about you, but I miss how it used to be, as long as there would still be an online mechanism to get cards.

With that said, upon my return to the hobby, I was naturally intrigued by the aspect of grading cards. I loved the thought of there being a difference for well maintained cards, as opposed to those that have been through the wars. So I decided I would send in some cards for grading, and it ended up being over a 100 of them.

The other day I got my results and it ended up being a mixed bag. Not that I submitted these cards expecting all great grades. It's more so that I found out that I don't have as good of an eye as I once thought. This went both ways actually. I was really pleased with some of the grades I got on some of my late 70s stuff (Ryan, Carlton) and perplexed by some of the newer stuff, especially any 89 Upper Deck card I submitted. Also, that the more expensive cards seemed to be judged a little harder than the lesser cards I submitted when I view them side by side.

Are certain cards graded differently? I know that shouldn't be so, but what is the reality of it based on your submissions?

Are allowances made for older cards?

What kind of scrutiny do you apply to your cards before you submit them?Magnifying glass? Black light?

Which flaws seem to lower a card's grade the most?

Has anyone ever asked SGC, and been successful, in getting a reason why their cards scored as they did?

I will stop here, because I probably overloaded this post as it is. But any insight would be greatly appreciated or if there are some old posts someone could route me too. Thanks and it's great to be here.


Chris





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#227574 - 10/02/03 07:00 PM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: DataDriven05]
vayank
The Amazing Card-Man


Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 948
Loc: Alexandria, Va

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DD --

Welcome aboard! As collector, you've made the right choice.

Could you post some comparative scans so we can get a look at the differences you mention...??
_________________________
---- Matthew T. Natale Alexandria, Virginia Completed 1977 Topps Baseball SGC Graded Set, Average Grade 92.89

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#227575 - 10/03/03 04:29 AM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: DataDriven05]
MW1
veteran


Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

Offline
Chris,

Welcome to the forum!

Like you, I was quite shocked the first time I submitted cards from my personal collection to a third party grading service. You might say I had visions of grandeur as I expected hoards of 8s and 9s and 10s. Instead, I received mostly 6s and 7s. In hindsight, however, I really shouldn't have been that surprised. I think that many times, collectors evaluate the condition of their cards based on the best condition raw card they own. To them, that's a "10." They then mentally assign grades to all other cards based on that arbitrary standard. This method of evaluation is fairly normal and I think at one point or another, every collector has done it.

That being said, you've asked some interesting questions...

Quote:

Are certain cards graded differently? I know that shouldn't be so, but what is the reality of it based on your submissions?



I don't know if I would use the term "graded" differently. Perhaps "evaluated" differently would be the best way of putting it. Different years have various nuances that are unique to that issue -- size, the type of cut, cross sectional variance, surface texture, etc. Based on these qualities -- which often vary widely from one product to the next -- cards are evaluated and grades are assigned. Some hobbyists view this as a "sliding" scale since some of the vintage issues seem to be graded more liberally; but in reality, physical evaluations tend to be pretty consistently over any given year or issue.

Quote:

Are allowances made for older cards?



The only true allowance I've seen would probably be centering. Modern issues tend to have tighter allowances. Generally speaking, however, a "Gem Mint" card from the 1890s should possess the same outstanding qualities and satisfy the same standards as a card from the 1990s.

Quote:

What kind of scrutiny do you apply to your cards before you submit them?Magnifying glass? Black light?



Visual inspection, inspection with a 10X loupe and observation under a UV source. During regular viewing I like to use both a halogen and fluorescent lamp.

Quote:

Which flaws seem to lower a card's grade the most?



In order, I'd say corner wear, poor centering, then surface wear.

Quote:

Has anyone ever asked SGC, and been successful, in getting a reason why their cards scored as they did?



Yes. SGC is one of the hobby's leaders in this area. Their customer service and explanation of applied grading standards is unmatched.

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#227576 - 10/03/03 05:52 AM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: DataDriven05]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

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Chris...welcome. It took me some time to get better at judging grades as well. And even so, from time to time, I'll miss a card's grade big time. If your're submitting to SGC, I would read or re-read their grading standards again. Go back and closely scrutinize your graded cards and see if you can determine why the card received the grade it did. If everything looks great to you, (i.e. sharp corners, sharp edges, centering, no surface scratches, etc), look at the color and focus of the card. Is the color faded? Is the picture slightly out of focus? It also helps to compare it to another card (or a different card of the same year). Take care and welcome again.

John
_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#227577 - 10/03/03 09:59 AM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: DataDriven05]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 496

Offline
Welcome.

I have a nearly complete run of Topps 1970 to present baseball sets, with 1978 to 1987 being from my youth. During a slow summer during college (~1990) I decided to get back into cards and sort through the best that I have for display in team albums in order by year and alphabetical by player. This took a long time to sort through and I had to go to a few card shops and shows just to complete and upgraded 1978 to 1980. Quite satisfying to insert them into new Ultra-Pro pages and using a Beckett Team Checklist to space out any holes to fill later.

For the next 1/2 dozen years, I steadily compiled the 1974 to 1977 sets (I still have some holes) and then I found a lady selling her father's collection on ebay 3 years ago and got a good deal on the 1971 to 1973 sets. 1970 I've slowly compiled through team sets on ebay.

During this whole time I'd never submitted a card for grading. I figured my cards were easily Near Mint or better (no creasing/wrinkles etc...). I never really paid enough or close attention to grading outside of gauging from the Beckett standards. Only when I received a certificate from Beckett to grade out 4 cards, did I really start to pay close attention to the condition. I quickly realized that many of my cards between 1971 to 1979 were ExMT, ExMT+ or Near Mint. I didn't have many Nm/MT, NmMT+ or Mint cards.

I proved this by going through the best Vikings and Twins cards that I had and decided to submit 1977 Lyman Bostock, 1970 Jim Marshall, 1972 Rod Carew and 1997 Tiger Woods Masters. Bostock, Marshall and Carew all came back BVG 8.5 and I was pleased. I knew the Woods wouldn't come back great because it was corner/edge damaged from being in the back of the Masters cello set pack. It was a 5.5.

I give this background to make the point that your collection isn't what you think it is when it comes to condition. Upon submitting those cards to BVG, I've since been much more choosy when buying to upgrade my 1976 to 1980 Topps cards, looking for reputable dealers that refer to them coming from vending cases and seeing a scan. There's no good shows in/around Atlanta and when there was, very few vintage.

My 2nd and last grading submission was to SGC with about 50 cards. Every card came back with the grade I expected, with the majority being 88 to 96. I've found it very difficult to ascertain the difference between a 92 or 96 and even a 88 to a 92 on occasion. 84 and 86 grades are spotted apart from those higher, I've deduced. The only oddity I had was a 1971 Topps Mick Tinglehoff that came back an 80. I submitted 5 other 71 Topps football that had 3 with 88s and 2 with 84s. They all came from the same dealer and were vending (hardly touched cards). All of them seem undergraded to me and I can't for the life of me understand how Tinglehoff is a 80 compared to the others. They look nicer than the 1977 Topps football which were graded 88 to 96, which led me to believe that there must be some standards from year to year. Those 1971 Topps football are one nice looking set, especially for a team collector, as the cards have distinct and rich borders segmented by team.

I'm now at the point of submitting another batch to SGC before the end of the calendar year. I'm considering buying a loupe this time and assigning a grade before submission to compare against what I get. I've taken the advice of others on this board by setting aside the cards that you want to submit and cycling through them again at a later time to re-confirm your first impression. I've found this to be a very good idea, because sometimes you get too excited or involved in what you're doing. Better to filter them down after a few further reviews.

I busted an extra 1986 Topps Traded sealed set I had to send the Bonds in for grading. I was a bit disappointed that it has some edge wear on the top (where the black is) and I'd be interested by some here on what this would grade out. Even if it at least 84, it is probably worth the $5. See attached.

There's my saga on submitting cards from your collection for grading.





Attachments

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#227578 - 10/03/03 04:17 PM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: estang]
grilloj39
I am gonna miss that car.


Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 215
Loc: San Antonio, TX

Offline
estang...thanks for the excellent post. The concept of getting over the "initial-excitement" of a perceived high grade, raw card by putting it down, and letting your excitement "simmer" a few days and rechecking the cards afterwards is a great idea.

It's sort of like the "let cooler heads prevail" theory. Here's a somewhat, although not "card-collecting" related analogy. When Abraham Lincoln was upset at a subordinate, he would write a real nasty letter to "vent" his thoughts/frustrations. Then he would wait several hours or the next day and eventually tear up the letter and rewrite a more "tactful" letter after he calmed down a bit.


Edited by grilloj39 (10/03/03 04:18 PM)
_________________________
Always looking for GAI,SGC,PSA vintage Hockey and Boxing.

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#227579 - 10/03/03 06:42 PM Re: A hello and looking for some grading advice [Re: DataDriven05]
DataDriven05
Just got here


Registered: 10/02/03
Posts: 2

Offline
Thanks for the informative posts guys. One of the things I liked about this board was that you took cards, and the people that collect them, seriously.

Looking over my cards again, I did see quite a few things that I missed. I guess it's like estang said, I got caught up in the excitement. However, there were still a few that had me curious. I will do like Vayank asked and post a few off the cards over the weekend, to see what you guys think.

Estang - I also submitted a 86 Topps Traded Barry Bonds that I took out from a set. It got a 92. I will attach that as well if you think it may help in your decision.

Chris

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