TCG Grading Criteria

Find out how we evaluate your cards!

The grading is based off these 4 criteria, which the overall grade is average of the 4 sub-grades, not exceeding 1 more than the lowest sub-grade.

The scores are whole number grades out of 10, with a 9.5 near perfect grade.

Centering

The image should be well-centered, not exceeding 2% on any side, and not more than 1 degree rotation for a perfect score of 10. For cards lacking a border, reference will be taken from official sources and compared as per original design. References of left-right ratios can be estimated as follows:

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Surface

The surface should have sharp focus and the original glossy sheen, free of stains and scratches for the perfect score of 10.

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Edges

The edges should be crisp and have clean cuts, without any whitening and/or silvering for the perfect score of 10. Trimmed cards are automatically disqualified from grading.

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Corners

For sharp corners, the corners should be perfectly sharp, exhibiting no signs of factory or external wear-and-tear for the perfect score of 10.

For rounded corners, the curve and the edges should meet perfectly tangent, exhibiting no signs of factory or external wear-and-tear for the perfect score of 10.

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Disclaimer

Some other companies may say that grading has some subjectivity, but here at CAG, we say otherwise. The condition of your cards are quantifiable; we can definitely give an objective score to them, based on our rubrics.

But that doesn't mean that allowances aren't made. 

For example, in most Pokemon cards, there is a definitive border. However, some cards, such as the VMAX cards, lack a top border. As such, centering top-bottom centering ratios can be difficult to determine. In this case, the rubrics are slightly looser since the imperfections will not be affecting the overall aesthetic appeal of the card. A 10 for centering, which would usually require 50/50 ratios, would instead be adjusted to 49/51 in VMAX cards.