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So lately at Titan Cards you may have seen that we’ve been shouting about our newest Pokemon Card lines; PSA Graded Ultra Rare and Secret rare cards – sounds great right? But what exactly is PSA grading, and why would anyone want a PSA graded card? This article will give you a beginners guide to the ins and outs of graded trading cards, Pokemon and otherwise.
A selection of PSA graded Pokemon Cards we just put into stock this week.
PSA stands for the Professional Sports Authenticator, and is named as such because they began operating their service grading Baseball and other sports cards in the United States. They are the largest Trading Card grading and authentication service on earth and essentially the global authority on trading card condition and authenticity.
PSA not only grade card singles, but also booster packs and various other collectibles and memorabilia.
So you are sending off your card to PSA or another company that works with them to get your cards graded, but what do the scores mean?
PSA operate a ten point grading scale, when a card is sent in to them for evaluation they’ll check the cards colouring, corners, edges, centring, authenticity and everything else about it and after that they’ll give it a score between 1 and 10, 10 being the best quality card, 1 being the worst quality card. Lets take a look at what those scores mean specifically:-
There are some circumstances that will result in a card not receiving any grade on the above scale, these could be anything from obvious signs of doctoring, trimming (cutting the edges off a card) or just general non-authenticity.
Ultimately if you are getting cards graded, you will want to be confident of getting good grades, whilst there are greater experts on the subject than myself, personally if I am paying to have a card graded and having it sent off to the states etc, I want to know that its going to grade reasonably well.
A small minority of major collectors will actually use the PSA Grading service almost to compete with other collectors to get official grades on their best and rarest cards. When a card gets graded it has it’s own unique reference number with PSA which can be looked up on their website, there you can find information about how many of that type of card have been graded, general card info, and how many other cards of that kind in the world share the same grade.
Other collectors may simply want to get their most rare and valuable cards graded because not only do PSA give your card a grade they also encapsulate the card to completely protect and preserve it, so not only does it score a certain grade, it will be maintained.
Some people may not be big collectors, and may simply have a couple of cards from their childhood which have sentimental value to them, the grading process is a great way of having your card evaluated and protected and preserved in PSA casing.
Lets take a look at some examples of PSA Graded Pokemon Cards that we’re stocking right now, and talk you through what all the information means and how a PSA graded card looks when you get it back.
Let’s take a look at the cards information online using the barcode number on the front (the back of the casing also has a QR which can be scanned to bring up the cards grading info). Our Buzzwole GX 104/111 got a grade of Gem Mint PSA 10, the best a card can get. But anyone could write that on a case and make it look like that right? Fortunately there is a way to verify absolute PSA authenticity and grades, so I’m heading over to https://www.psacard.com/cert/ and I’m putting in 41498839 which is that cards unique identifier with PSA. Here’s the info it produces:-
OK how you see the next bit of the info the PSA site gives you about your card will depend on the sort of person you are, but to me I found it really quite exciting (unsure if I'm sad, or just enthusiastic!). So we've seen that this example card is authentic, and that it matches up with the record held at PSA, but when we scroll a little further this is what we see.
So whats the big deal? well you see the population bit? That's the total number of this specific Pokemon Card (Buzzwole GX, Full Art 104/111 specifically) that hold the top PSA Grade of 10. You can see on the right hand side the population of cards with a higher grade than this is shown as zero, because of course a perfect card can't be beaten. If the card we were looking at was a PSA 9 card, it would tell you the number of PSA Grade 9 versions of that card that exist in the world under the population bit, and there would be a figure in the "Population Higher" bracket which would note the number of PSA 10 cards ie the only cards that scored higher than your PSA 9. Pretty neat huh?
So now we’ve learned a little about PSA Graded Pokemon Cards, you might be considering sending some of your own cards off for grading, more information about this can be found at https://www.psacard.com/onlinesubmissioncenter/
Alternatively you can take the guesswork out of it and keep an eye on our site, we will be getting new batches of PSA graded Pokemon Cards in every couple of months and they’ll always be Ultra Rare, Secret Rare or Rainbow Rare cards – plus that way you get to just simply buy a card at the level you want without paying for grading, shipping and waiting for months to get the card back only to find it comes in at a lower grade than you'd hoped :-) A couple of our latest and greatest graded cards can be found below, be sure to check them out!