Generally agreed upon Grading terms

 For informational purposes only

 (Grading facts, ideas & suggestions)

Condition / Grades: Range 0.5 worst  -- 9.9  best (10.0 is called Gem Mint, fewer are this).  

See Overstreet* and Wizard and now other sources too for more info about grading and condition; Realize those sharing the information (all by agreement between the few) with you are the people who want to maximize their profits not necessarily yours!  Many of these people will pretend to care about you when in reality they care mostly about dollars (your dollars).    So be careful in all business dealings.  Buy what you enjoy.  

I've graded comics for 40 years -- + 4 entire stores!

Name I might give  it  ( for fun)


Buy & read comics cause you love them.  But when you sell them proceed carefully  with intelligence.  Words + Pictures will always be with us!

MMint              10.0      (Comics are printed; coins are minted but this denotes perfect shape in all ways) , flawless, nicely centered; Pages white.  Color perfect.  No tears.  No bends.  No indentations.  

Bag and board your comics.  Change bags yearly (or get acid free ones).  Take off those old bags now. Gem mint is 10.0 -- Prices should be 10 times book* or more for this grade.  Except modern comics where this grade is very common.


NM = Near Mint 

9.0 - 9.9

 (Looks perfect) (Best to grade it this even if it looks flawless).   Perfect gloss and color.  My comics from the 1980's and 1990's are in this grade 9.9!!! May have a small ding.  (Minor printing errors could affect comic to fall in this category -- such as a dirty look on a cover or back cover due to too much ink used).  (My opinion.)


VF = Very Fine     (High Grade) 7.5 -  8.9 

VF comic may look Near Mint to Mint (Perfect).  It may have one or two small line breaks perhaps at spine OR a tiny corner bend -- very small.  This is considered HIGH GRADE.  Comics are worth more in higher grade.  Perfect gloss and color.    1970's and older need to be in Mylar bags for protection. 


(There use to be a grade my comic dealer friends used during the 60's and 70's:   

Extra Fine ExF which was between VF and Mint now we use + and - signs for a little better or worse shape.)


FFine 6.0-7.4

 F (note the "F" is capitalized for fine and lower case if in fair.) (1980's and newer should be in at least this great a condition).  New-like appearance with a few small line-breaks at spine ok.  One small corner bend ok.  A little dirty on back cover ok.  Read once and cared for -- kept in a cool dry dark closet, not stacked high; preferably bagged and boarded vertically in a comic box since issued.  


If valuable use an acid free bag and board. Investigate mylar.


vg = very good VG 4.0 Average or slightly above  (I don't hesitate to buy these especially 1970's and older comics).  Even if Fine I usually grade VG or VG+.


ggood G 2.5 Medium wear Good for reading & collecting; no major damage such as a page out or big tear. Small tears ok. Lots of bends ok; well read. Still has gloss and good color.  Fading of color possible. Staple loose.  (call ag (almost good) a 2)


f   fair f  1.0   (Excessive wear yet complete); Browning but supple (yellowing).  See Overstreet's Owl card. f (note the lower case)  coupon not affecting story could be out; Staple out.


pPoor  p 0.5 (or worse)  (Worst grade) Could have coupons & even pages out, chunks missing from covers or interior pages, centerfold missing etc.; covers missing too I guess; people collect everything for a variety of reasons. Brittle (dark brown and flakes). Comic detached from cover.  Note the scent.    Rank

Even though I've bought, read, & sold comics for 43+ years I still do not consider myself to be an expert.  (Though I have specialized knowledge few have in certain areas!)


Buy what you and your children enjoy, collectibles appreciate yearly and cyclically!

Most big spender comic buyers are over 50 years old !  More and more females are getting into comics. 


Check out an Overstreet Owl card for grading. I wrote the above based on 40 years experience grading comics.  

I've graded whole stores.  My prices are based on what I think a comic is worth and no other factor. 


Be your own authority!  Stuff is worth what you say it is -- especially if someone buys it from you! If you are investor find out who will actually buy it from you before you buy it!  :)

Agreement creates reality which means reality is flexible.  How rigid are you?

grade it image  grade it image 2 (how we use to grade; and still do).

First added to my ebay ads prior to summer 2005

Today is Aug. 13, 2010 

(fixed an image)

Read my About Me Page -- graphic-illusion on Ebay.

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