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Grading Criteria

Below you will find brief explanations, and examples of how we grade. Our examples and explanations are brief, because our full formularies are basically our "secret sauce' for consistent and accurate grading. In the future, more hints will be released on our Instagram so we suggest you please follow @InvestmentGrading


We visually and physically inspect each case. We have our graders inspect under different lighting and multiple angles. We also feel every inch by finger tip to help inspect for damage. Below are some hints and examples of criteria we grade by:

Minimal Deductions:
*Light scratch on the exposed case (exposed meaning not covered by the art cover)
*Light scuff on the exposed case
*Slight but noticeable lifting of the cover art, by the cases frame (I.E. CD RING)
*Small indent on the exposed case
*Light dimple on the exposed case

Moderate Deductions:
*Multiple scratches on the exposed case
*Multiple indents on the exposed case
*Heavy scuffing on the exposed case
*Visible indent on the exposed case from all angles
*Wrinkling of the art cover from case structural damage
*Visible wrinkling of the art cover, on case cd ring
*Wavy Art Cover from case structural damage
*Large dimple on the exposed case

Extensive Deductions:
*Damage that went through the art cover, to the case
*Extensive case structural damage causing the art cover to be wavy all over
*Intensive lifting and indenting, of the art cover, from the case cd ring
*Crack in the case
*Fracture in the case


Art Cover (Surface) Grade

The Art Cover is the paper like surface underneath the plastic seal. Below are hints or examples of the criteria it is graded upon:

Minimal Deductions:
*Small/thin scratch
*Light dimple indent
*Small wrinkle crease on the binder 
*A few manufacturer print lines
*A few manufacturer printer roller scratches
*Light and small area printing bleeds

Moderate Deductions:
*Multiple scratches
*Long scratches
*Multiple dimple marks
*Wide dimple marks more obvious from all angles
*Wide spread manufacturer print lines
*Wide spread manufacturer printer roller scratches
*Wavy art cover from case damage
*Multiple or large binder creases
*Very noticeable print bleeds
*Visible CD ring cover art wrinkle damage from case

Extensive Deductions:
*Any damage that went to the case level
*Wide and deep scratches
*Very wide and deep dimple marks
*Art cover tear
*Severe wrinkling
*Water Damage
*Wavy Art Cover almost the length of the case


The best way to see if visible damage, on your plastic seal, is also on your art cover, is to place your two thumbs on the plastic seal facing each other. Have your thumbs an inch or two apart, and push them towards, which will lift the plastic up, so you can see under it. 

Art Cover "Centering/Edges/Corners"

This is graded by the centering of the art cover and the very edges and corners of the art cover. Top to Bottom centering is based on the top and bottom bordering. Below are hints or examples of the criteria it is graded upon:

Minimal Deductions:
*The Cover is More than 60% off center (top and bottom centering) but less that 70% (Either Front or Back)
*Left centering more than 70% left (Only Back)
*Slightly bent art cover corner
*Whitening on corner, but corner has kept its shape
*Slight whitening on edge, but edge has kept its shape
*Slight nicked edge

Moderate Deductions:
*More Than 70% off centering for either top or bottom centering but less than 95%
*Left centering is more than 85% left (back)
*Right centering is outside the bordering (front)
*Corner has been noticeably bent
*Edge has multiple nicks
*Wavy edge from case structural damage

Extensive Deductions:
*Top or bottom touches the bordering
*More Extensive deductions, if top of bottom of the art cover is over the bordering.  
*Rip of the art cover edge
*Multiple types of damage to the edge
*Corner has been very bent or pushed back
*Extensive wavy edge damage from case structural damage


Grading Number Scale

Please note, that your final GRADE is calculated by the subgrades. We calculate the grade by counting the number of subgrades, for each category, divided by total scores of all the subgrades, for that category. The only way to get your total box score rounded up, is if the subgrades are the same number except 1 subgrade that is .5 below the rest. For example, in one category, if 3 subgrade that are 8's and 1 subgrade is a 7.5 that would qualify to be round up. This is the only circumstance to qualify to be round up. Below is the grading table for what each number stands for:

Grading table





Near Mint (NM)

Near Mint (NM)

Excellent (EX)

Excellent (EX)

Excellent (EX)

Very Good (VG)

 Very Good (VG)

Very Good (VG)

Very Good (VG)

Good (G)

Good  (G)

Only #

Only #

Only #

Only #

Below Poor (BP)























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