|The Silveracre Grading Guide
A product of superior/original quality is usually more desirable than one of lesser quality. This applies especially in the world of collectibles. Comics, once made from the cheapest pulp paper, can fall victim to both time and the elements which equals deterioration of condition. Though production quality has vastly improved, nothing is timeless and collectors go to great means to help preserve their collection. You, too, can do your part with appropriate storage techniques and proper handling. Not only will your comics be worth more in the long run but you'll also be preserving a memory for the generations to come. A full range of preservation products is available in our catalogue, listed under 'Comic Supplies'
The Silveracre Grading Guide
Abbreviated Notation: MT
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 100-98
(Highest possible MT grade = 100, Mid-grade = 99, Lowest possible MT grade = 98)
Near perfect in every way. Only the most subtle printing or bindery defects allowed. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Cover inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading. Corners are cut square and sharp. Small, light pencilled, stamped or inked arrival dates are acceptible as long as they are in an unobtrusive or aesthetical location. Staples must be original and are generally centered and clean with no rust. Books signed on the inside do not detract from this grade. Cover is well centered and firmly secured to interior pages. Paper is supple and like new. Spine is tight and flat.
GRADE: NEAR MINT
Abbreviated Notation: NM
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 97-90
(Highest possible NM grade = 97, Mid-grade = 94, Lowest possible NM grade = 90)
Beautiful, with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade. Minor imperfections that are allowed in this grade include tiny corner creases or staple stress lines, a few color flecks, bindery tears, tiny impact creases or a combination of the above where the overall eye appeal is less than Mint. Only the most subtle binding and/or printing defects allowed. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Cover inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimum of fading. Corners are cut square and sharp with ever so slight blunting permitted. Staples are generally centered, clean with only light rust, and no paper discoloration or staining. Cover is well centered and firmly secured to interior pages. Paper is supple and like new. Spine is tight and flat. In rare cases a comic was not stapled at the bindery and is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to FN, but only vintage staples to VF or NM. Mint books must have original staples.
GRADE: VERY FINE
Abbreviated Notation: VF
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 89-75 (Highest possible VF grade = 89, Mid-grade = 82, Lowest possible VF grade = 75)
An excellent copy with above average eye appeal. Sharp, bright and clean with supple pages. Cover is relatively flat with minimal surface wear beginning to show. Cover inks are generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity. Slight wear beginning to show including some minute wear at corners. Staples may show some discoloration. Spine may have a few transverse stress lines but is relatively flat. A light 1/2 inch crease is acceptible. A comic book in this grade has the appearance of having been carefully handled. Pages and covers can be yellowish/tannish(at the least) but not brown.
Abbreviated Notation: FN
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 74-55 (Highest possible FN grade = 74, Mid-grade = 65, Lowest possible FN grade = 55)
An exceptional, above average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with no major creasing or other serious defects. Eye appeal is somewhat reduced because of surface wear and the accumulation of small defects, especially on the spine and edges. Centerfold may be loose but not detached. A Fine condition comic book shows handling. Compared to a VF, cover inks are beginning to show a reduction in reflectivity but is still highly collectible and desirable.
GRADE: VERY GOOD
Abbreviated Notation: VG
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 54-35 (Highest possible VG grade = 54, Mid-grade = 45, Lowest possible VG grade = 35)
The average used comic book. A comic in this grade shows moderate wear, can have a reading or center crease or a rolled spine, but still has not accumulated enough total defects to reduce eye appeal to the point where it is not a desirable copy. Some discoloration, fading and even minor soiling is allowed. No chunks can be missing but a small piece can be out at the corner or edge. Store stamps, name stamps, arrival dates, initials, etc. have no affect on this grade. Cover and interior pages can have minor tears and folds and the centerfold may be loose or detached. One or both staples might be loose, but cover is not completely detached. Common bindery and printing defects do not affect grade. Pages and inside covers may be brown but not brittle. Tape should never be used for comic book repair, however many VG condition comics have minor tape repair.
Abbreviated Notation: GD
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 34-15 (Highest possible GD grade = 34, Mid-grade = 25, Lowest possible GD grade = 15)
A copy in this grade has all pages and its cover, although there may be small pieces missing. Books in this grade are commonly creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but are completely readable. Often paper quality may be low but not brittle. Cover reflectivity is usually low and in some cases completely absent. Most collectors consider this the lowest collectible grade because comic books in lesser condition are often incomplete and/or brittle. Traditionally, collectors have sometimes found it difficult to differentiate this grade from the next lower grade. This task can be simplified if one remembers that a comic book in this condition can have a large accumulation of defects but still maintains its basic structural integrity.
Abbreviated Notation: FR
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 14-5 (Highest possible FR grade= 14, Mid-grade= 10, Lowest possible FR grade=5)
A copy in this grade has all pages and most of the covers, although there may be up to 1/3 of the front cover missing or no back cover, but not both. A comic in this grade may be soiled, ragged, unattractive, creased and/or folded. The centerfold may be missing if it does not affect a story. Spine may be split. Staples may be gone, and/or cover detached. Corners are commonly rounded or absent. Coupons may be cut. Comic books in this condition are often referred to as "reading" or "research copies." Paper quality is often low.
Abbreviated Notation: PR
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 4-1 (Highest possible PR grade = 4, Mid-grade= 3, Lowest possible PR grade = 1)
Most comic books in this grade have been sufficiently degraded to where there is little or no collector value. Copies in this grade typically have pages and/or part of all of the front cover missing. They may have severe stains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion or having been defaced with paint, varnish, glue, oil, indelible markers or dyes. Other defects often include rips, tears, folding and creasing and even moderate to severe brittleness (where the comic book literally "falls apart" when examined). Comic books in this grade are easily identified by a complete absence of "eye appeal" .