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