In the comic, trading card, toy, and essentially entire collectibles world you always here the word “Mint”. The colloquial term in all honesty is tossed around more than …
In the comic, trading card, toy, and essentially entire collectibles world you always here the word “Mint”. The colloquial term in all honesty is tossed around more than “Wicked” in Massachusetts. But what is the actual definition of the word in professional collector-dealer speak? Let’s break it down. In the world of comics, professional numeric grading is key when determining condition and value. The standard ideal grade for any collector is a 9.8, a 9.9 or 10 is a near impossible feat. When looking into the official definition of the CGC or CBCS grading scale a 9.8 is a “near-mint to mint comic book”. Not even entirely mint! Beneath that 9.6 down to 9.2 is near mint, 9.0 and 8.5 very fine, and down from there. A comic is not considered truly “Mint” unless it is given a 9.9 with a 10 being “Gem Mint”. Why this lesson is important is because everyone always believes their stuff is mint, but in reality, 99.9 percent of the time it is far from it. Trading card grading works in a very similar way. While there are no 0.2 intervals above a 9, the 9 grade is the standard definition of “Mint”. A 9.5 is considered “Gem Mint” and a 10 “Pristine”.
If you are someone at home with a stack of comics or binder of cards this is important to keep in mind to manage expectations. If you are looking at your New Mutants #98 or Pokémon Charizard trading card and see creasing, tearing, staining, or a loss you know immediately your collectible is far from mint. Even if you see the tiniest little crease or color break it’s not mint. Very, very few items truly achieve high grades, this is why they bring crazy high prices at auction. While it is exciting seeing those big numbers online, just keep in mind that is typically the minority instead of the majority. But who knows! You could be sitting on a treasure trove.
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