Learn everything you need to know about Pokémon card grading with our guide. Discover how grading works, what factors affect a card's grade, and how to interpret grading scales. giving you peace of mind when selling or trading your valuable cards in the secondary market.
Pokémon cards have some value, but grading makes them more valuable. They are valuable cards many card collectors would love to own. The two factors determining these cards' value are rarity and condition. A card in good condition has a grade of 10, while the lowest has a rate of 1.
If you would love to know how to grade Pokémon cards, here is a Pokémon card grading complete guide.
Factors to Consider When Grading Pokémon Cards
There are four main factors that nearly all grading companies use for Pokémon cards. In this section, we will discuss these factors in detail.
When you unpack Pokémon, there is a high likelihood that you may cause scratches unless the card is in a protective case. The scratches may be minor, but grading companies are keen on them and even use magnifying lenses.
Handle your cards carefully, as any scratches or dents lower your cards' value.
Just like its corners, a Pokémon card should have sharp and flat edges with no signs of friction. However, you will notice that some cards have dents on the edges; such a card can still be graded and have a good scale.
The corners of a Pokémon card usually have the most damage. A Pokémon card in good condition should have sharp and flat corners.
You may notice a border surrounding the cards’ edges on the front side and a blue border at the back of the card. A card with a uniform centre is highly valued as it will score high on the grading scale.
Pokémon Card Grading Companies
PSA Pokémon Card Grading
PSA is the most popular Pokémon grading company. Although they offer the best services, you should be patient as they take time to grade the cards. Once they grade your card, they mark it with a red label and encase it, making it a PSA card.
CGC Pokémon Card Grading
CGC Company offers grading services for Pokémon cards, magazines, comic books, and video games. This company charges less than PSA if you want to save some coins. Here is how CGC grades your Pokémon card.
- Checks for damages using a magnifying lens.
- Analyzes the condition of the corners, edges, surface, and center to know what grade position to award the card.
- The company also seals the cards in a protective case and print the year of grading and the cards’ name.
Beckett Pokémon Card Grading
BGS is another great Company that began grading Pokémon cards in 2001. Most Pokémon collectors believe it has the strictest grading system as its highest graded card is a BGS 9.5, which other companies award a PSA 10 grade.
Pokémon Cards Grading Costs
When grading Pokémon cards, the price depends on whether you grade single or many cards. But, before you submit the card for grading, you must pay for insurance. The advantage of sending many cards for grading is that you will pay less.
In most cases, you can pay an average of $15 for each card, excluding shipping and insurance costs. Grading a single Pokémon card is quite expensive, as each may cost $8 to $200.
Can One Fake a PSA Pokémon Card Grade?
No. You cannot fake a PSA card grade. After grading each card, the PSA Company prints a unique code you can scan to know if the card grade is original or fake.
What Determines the Rarity of a Pokémon Card?
What makes a Pokémon card rare? Three main factors determine the rarity of a Pokémon card.
- The first indicator of the rarity of a Pokémon card is the black symbol at the corner of its base. Common Pokémon cards have a circle, a diamond mark represents uncommon cards, and a star represents rare cards.
- Another factor is the colour of the symbol. A usual card has a black mark, but if you have one with any other colour, you have a rare card.
- The print material; a unique Pokémon card will have a 1st Edition ark.
The Most Expensive and Valuable Pokémon Cards.
The value of a Pokémon card depends on how rare it is and its condition. The most expensive and valuable cards as of 2023 are:
- Corocoro Comics Illustrator Promo
- Autographed Ishihara GX Promo
- 1st Edition Charizard Shadow less base
- Super-Secret Battle 1st Trainer
- 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia
Are Pokémon Cards a Good Investment?
Yes. Here are four reasons why you need to invest in Pokémon cards.
- Pokémon cards are easy to maintain and store. Once the grading company seals the card, you don’t need any other maintenance costs.
- There is high demand for the cards, and supply is low. So, if you buy one now, you will sell it for a higher value in the future.
- You can quickly sell or buy them. Unlike in other investments, there are fewer brokers in the Pokémon cards Market.
- They earn a good profit. For example, those investors who bought an S & P card in 2017 at $500 can sell the card at $1,500 in 2023.
How Do You Know If a Pokémon Card Is Fake?
Pokémon cards are precious, and this is why many scammers try to create fake copies. If you are trying to buy these cards, you need to consider these factors.
- Grammatical or spelling errors, that is, a card printed “Pokémon” but lacks the accent on the letter “e.”
- Some fakes may have energy symbols with the wrong size.
- Faded colours
- If a card has an HP of more than 1000.
Pokémon cards are an excellent investment because their demand is increasing, but there is a limited supply. Before you sell Pokémon cards, it’s vital that you first grade them so that they can fetch a higher price. The three best grading companies are PSA, CGC, and BGS.