21, Jun, 23

MTG Grading May be Changing Forever

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Article at a Glance

For many MTG players looking to sell expensive collectibles, getting the cards graded can be an important part of the process. One of the most important pieces of information needed when determining what a card is worth is the condition of the card in question. Rare cards can be worth a decent amount of money, but the price of the card can skyrocket if it is kept in pristine condition.

For anyone interested in potentially getting cards graded in the future, it’s worth noting that CGC Trading Cards (Certified Guaranty Company) and CSG (Certified Sports Guaranty) will be merging into the renowned CGC Cards brand. This should provide a good place for people to get cards from a wide range of hobbies graded, including MTG cards. To further understand this move, it’s important to go over the basic of getting cards graded.

Getting Cards Graded

A big reason to get expensive cards graded is that if you are looking to sell cards, this grade is extremely important to collectors. There’s a lot that goes into the grading process, and even if a card is in decent condition, that doesn’t mean it will receive a perfect grade. For starters, the highest grade a card can receive is a 10. For CGC Trading Cards pre-merger, a scale of 1-10 would showcase the card’s overall condition, with a “perfect” 10 featuring a 10 grade on all four sub-grades, which include centering, corners, edges, and surface. A card graded as a 9 will generally have minor handling or manufacturing defects. This does mean that, even if the card is newly or recently opened from a pack, it may still have minor wear that prevents the card from receiving a perfect 10 grade.

From there, the scale goes down to 1, with each number representing more and more wear and damage to the card. Once a card is graded, it then gets put into a trading cards holder. This holder will not only include the card but will also feature a label showing the overall description, grade, authentication, and a QR code. This helps protect the card and showcase the card’s condition to any collectors who may want to buy the card.

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Condition and Price

It’s important to realize just how much condition can matter for a card’s price. For example, while it is possible to walk into a local store and buy a copy of Black Lotus for a few thousand dollars, copies of Black Lotus that are in very good condition typically go for a lot more than that. For reference, two different copies of Black Lotus in the last three years received grades of 10. Each were artist-signed and sold for over $500,000, with the latter being sold for roughly $800,000 to none other than Post Malone. With this in mind, the merger of two different card-grading services could have a big impact on people looking to get cards graded.

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The Merger

As mentioned, the merger involves two separate organizations coming together to form the brand CGC cards. The goal of the merger is likely to more closely bring sports cards and TCGs together, with the claim that CGC Cards will quickly become one of the premier organizations within the card market. In some ways, this could be good for anyone looking to get cards graded. This merger may help streamline the market, providing a good place for holders of all types of cards to get authentication. CGC Cards is hopeful that it will bring expertise and advanced technology to the forefront of grading cards and allow things to run as smooth as possible for the consumers.

Part of this process involves simplifying submission for cards to be graded. Rather than having to look in different places or pay separate fees to get different kinds of cards graded, CGC Cards is looking to implement a single online submission form for all sports cards, non-sports cards, and TCGs alike in the coming months. Along with combining knowledge of sports cards and TCGs to help keep the company running smooth, CGC Cards is also announcing some structural changes. This includes changes to payment and memberships, which will hopefully make things easier for anyone looking to get cards graded.

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Additional Changes

One of the biggest changes that will arise with this merger is that collectors will no longer need a paid membership to submit cards for grading. Instead, they just need a free account, with additional benefits including lower grading fees going to anyone who chooses to have a paid membership. Additionally, all cards, including those graded by CGC Trading Cards and CSG, will be searchable in the Verify CGC Cards Certification tool.

Another small change in terms of the grading scale, the Perfect 10 will be removed, as it was rarely utilized. Instead, a 10 grade will either be Gem Mint, or for the absolute best, Pristine. The goals of all these changes are to prevent confusion for collectors. The merger should help collectors of different types of cards have an easier time understanding where to go and what to do to get cards graded. This, combined with the removal of certain fees and membership costs, and CGC Cards could provide some major improvements to the overall card-grading system.

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MTG Grading

While this merger seems like a strong upgrade for people that care about multiple types of cards, it has yet to be seen how it will impact those who directly care about MTG only. The hope is that the whole process of grading cards improves. After all, the time delay between when someone requests a card to be graded and when it is back in their possession can be massive, which can be very frustrating for people looking to sell cards quickly.

That being said, this merger means that CGC Cards will be focusing on a lot more than just TCGs like Magic. If this attracts extra collectors, the time it takes to process and grade cards could actually increase. This would be a major blow to anyone who wants their cards graded as fast as possible. Still, this merger seems like a net positive, and if handled well, could make the grading of all cards run smoothly in a quicker and more consistent fashion.

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