Card Condition Basics and Directions
Mr. Minty Card Condition Basics and Instructions
Attached is the grading sheet I use to review each card.
When reviewing the condition of a trading card, there are four standard areas that collectors and professionals examine: surface, centering, corners and edges.
Professional grading companies consider a GEM MINT 10 “a virtual perfect card”. Review each element carefully to make an honest and educated assessment of your card’s condition before submitting the card for grading. The front, back and sides of the card are important to examine. Take notes of each flaw that your find in your card, as each imperfection may reduce a grade depending on the severity of the flaw.
Tool to use: Magnifier
How to use: Carefully place the loupe close to your eye. Carefully bring the magnifier toward the card until the corner is in focus. Examine all four corners, front and back.
What to look for: You are looking for sharp pointed corners without imperfection. Common issues include: Frayed or fuzzy corners (especially on older cards), rounded corners, surface chipping or pealing that revels card stock, discoloration, bends, bumps, creases or folds to the corner. Each imperfection may reduce a grade depending on the severity of the flaw.
Tool to use: Magnifier
How to use: Carefully place the loupe close to your eye. Carefully bring the magnifier toward the card until the edge is in focus. Examine all four surface edges, front and back. Also travel along each side to examine edge sides.
What to look for: When you examine edges you are looking for a card cleanly cut by the manufacture without wear, fray or imperfection. Common issues include chipping of surface that revels card stock, frayed edges, pealing, hairy edges, poorly cut cards by the manufacture, indentions and discoloration. Each imperfection may reduce a grade depending on the severity of the flaw.
Tool to use: Centering tool
How to use: Peel protective film off both sides of the tool. Carefully place over card, ensuring each corner is aligned in the minty zone. Read the instructions to measure your card’s centering and use the chart to determine the result.
What to look for: Most cards are framed with a boarder or design. You are looking for the image to be balanced in the card left to right and top to bottom. Some cards are borderless. In this case look for text, logos or design elements and its relation to the card’s edge on either side. Common issues include left or right shifts, top or bottom shifts, shifts in two directions or diamond cuts. Each imperfection may reduce a grade depending on the severity of the flaw.
Tools to use: Wipes, magnifier
How to use: Gently wipe down the cards front and back surface with the card wipe. Carefully brush card surface in a circle motion to clean and remove surface stock level imperfections. Use the magnifier to thoroughly scan the card surface for imperfections on the surface and embedded into the card. Use the gloves to prevent the transfer of fingerprints, dirt/oils and smudges onto the card.
What to look for: Surface the most overlooked and most important aspect of grading. You are looking for common surface level imperfections that can be removed with the wipe. Common imperfections include fingerprints, pack wax, gum residue, dirt particles, hair and stains. Embedded imperfections include creases/folds, indentions, scratches, bubbles and printing marks. Each imperfection may reduce a grade depending on the severity of the flaw. Embedded imperfections will cause grater grade reduction.
Mr. Minty Card Cleaning Spray
The Mr. Minty cleaning spray is the perfect formula to safely clean your cards surface. Our 100% alcohol free solution will clean and remove factory oils, fingerprints, smudges, and surface debris quickly and effectively. It’s quick drying, no streaking, or swirls. Cleans and dries in seconds.
Safe for most cards with glossy card stock surfaces, including ultra-modern Prizm, Chrome, Optic, Silver and refractor cards.
Directions: Spray directly onto Mr. Minty microfiber cloth to apply. Gently apply to the surface of your card starting from the center outward and in small circular motions.
Pro – Tip: Do not spray directly onto card. Use spray before using polish.
Mr. Minty Card Polish
Mr. Minty Card Polish is quick and effective for restoring the surface of high-gloss cards.
Mr. Minty Card Polish is natural, alcohol free, abrasive free, and free of artificial colors and fragrances. Our card polish will safely improve common surface imperfections including factory films, residue from aging, minor surface issues, surface spotting from outside sources.
Perfect for bringing out the brilliance and luster of ultra-modern Chrome, Prizm, Optic, Silver and Refractor cards.
Please Note **Effective on minor surface scratches, but please note that many scratches are too deep to improve.
Directions: Apply a small amount of polish onto the Mr. Minty polish applicator. Spread polish on the card surface in a circular motion. Let polish set for a few minutes. Remove polish with the buffing pad in a circular motion starting inward and moving out. Be sure to go over your cards a few times to remove all polish from the card.
PRO-TIP: "Practice???" Yeah, A.I. we all need practice. Spend quality time practicing with Mr. Minty tools and products on common cards to gain experience and technique before moving onto your prized collection.
*Regarding surface scratches. Mr. Minty does not recommend or condones the use of any over the counter waxes or chemicals on a card, including automotive and plastic care products. If defects cannot be removed by gentle wiping with Mr Minty Products, we do not recommend a more forceful approach, as it may lead to irreparable damage.