DOES PSA GRADE BASEBALL CARDS

PSA has become the leading third-party grading service for sports cards since they began operations in 2000. Their team of experienced graders take a meticulous approach to inspecting and evaluating every aspect of a baseball card’s condition and appearance. The goal is to provide collectors and investors with a way to reliably determine a card’s quality, history, and value.

Some key things to know about how PSA grades baseball cards:

Submitters must use PSA’s secure internet-based submission service to describe each card and pay the applicable grading fees. PSA offers different tiers of service depending on turnaround times needed.

When cards arrive at PSA, they are immediately assigned individual registration numbers for tracking purposes. Then multiple trained graders will inspect each card under bright lighting within a climate-controlled environment.

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Graders first examine the card’s centering under a calibrated measuring device to determine if it is perfectly centered or off-center in one direction. Slightly off-center cards are still considered gem quality while severely off-center cards lower the grade.

Using high-power magnification and proprietary grading scales, graders will check for flaws on the card’s surfaces like scratches, stains, dings or bend/creases. Edges are also examined under magnification for defects or wear.

The card’s condition is compared to PSA’s numerical guidelines to determine an overall grade from 1 to 10, with 10 being flawless gem mint. Half-point increments (.5) are also used for intermediate grades.

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After grading, the card is then sonically sealed in a tamper-proof holder that displays the grade and registration number for easy certification of authenticity and condition.

Collectors and dealers value PSA certification due to their reputation and detailed grading standards. Higher PSA grades can significantly increase a card’s market value compared to raw, ungraded cards.

In addition to number grades, PSA also sometimes notes pedigree details, signatures or autographs on the holder. They maintain a publicly searchable census of all cards submitted for accuracy.

Turnaround times can vary from a few weeks for basic service up to over a year for their super-express tier. Volume is highest during the baseball season from deals and new releases.

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So in summary, PSA set the gold standard for third-party grading of sports cards like baseball cards through their rigorous authentication process and detailed condition analysis. The PSA holder provides certification that gives collectors confidence in a card’s quality, history and value long into the future. It’s an essential service for high-end vintage and modern cards.

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