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Two questions:

I purchased a 1969 Tom Seaver card through eBay sometime last week (photo attached) and the card's image seems to be diagonally centered. How do various grading services determine the most accurate centering ratio for cards like these? Are these considered mis-cut (no other card is showing on front or back though)? Do they take an average of the centering in various locations on the card? Do they determine the centering ratio by worst case scenario (the place on the card where centering is the worst)?

I noticed on the back of the card there is a small marking near the bottom edge. Would they add MK when doing the grading because of this or does the marking have to be more substantial?

Thanks for any information!
(12-01-2015, 01:58 PM)twalters1984 Wrote: [ -> ]Two questions:

I purchased a 1969 Tom Seaver card through eBay sometime last week (photo attached) and the card's image seems to be diagonally centered. How do various grading services determine the most accurate centering ratio for cards like these? Are these considered mis-cut (no other card is showing on front or back though)? Do they take an average of the centering in various locations on the card? Do they determine the centering ratio by worst case scenario (the place on the card where centering is the worst)?

I noticed on the back of the card there is a small marking near the bottom edge. Would they add MK when doing the grading because of this or does the marking have to be more substantial?

Thanks for any information!
Beckett does not give qualifiers. So, the Surface subgrade would be adversely affected. How much? That, I don't know.
Those are definitely good questions. I'm not sure how tpg's go about determining the centering on cards like this. Would be interesting to find out though.
BTW, when a cards border is like that it's called a "tilt" because the sheet was tilted when it was cut. A card that is "miscut" would have very little border on one or more sides and in some cases would even show part of another card from the sheet that it was cut from.

I doubt that little mark on the back would effect the grade much. I'd say that card would grade 3-4.
(12-05-2015, 05:46 PM)altz11 Wrote: [ -> ]Those are definitely good questions. I'm not sure how tpg's go about determining the centering on cards like this. Would be interesting to find out though.
BTW, when a cards border is like that it's called a "tilt" because the sheet was tilted when it was cut. A card that is "miscut" would have very little border on one or more sides and in some cases would even show part of another card from the sheet that it was cut from.

I doubt that little mark on the back would effect the grade much. I'd say that card would grade 3-4.
I was looking at similar cards on eBay. I realize that PSA is a different company than Beckett, but I looked at this and was like, my centering/tilt is better than this card and it got rated Mint?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-TOPPS-480-T...Sw8-tWXo45

Would love to hear some feedback from somebody that does grading at Beckett to see how they handle tilt compared to other companies.

(12-06-2015, 02:07 PM)twalters1984 Wrote: [ -> ]I was looking at similar cards on eBay. I realize that PSA is a different company than Beckett, but I looked at this and was like, my centering/tilt is better than this card and it got rated Mint?


Would love to hear some feedback from somebody that does grading at Beckett to see how they handle tilt compared to other companies.
I've never heard of tilt before. What is it?
(12-06-2015, 02:07 PM)twalters1984 Wrote: [ -> ]I was looking at similar cards on eBay. I realize that PSA is a different company than Beckett, but I looked at this and was like, my centering/tilt is better than this card and it got rated Mint?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-TOPPS-480-T...Sw8-tWXo45

Would love to hear some feedback from somebody that does grading at Beckett to see how they handle tilt compared to other companies.

twalters1984;
Yes, the centering and tilt are absolutely horrendous on that PSA 9 (OC) example but you have to look at all the subgrades. The corners are incredibly sharp, edges very nice and surface looks great. On your example, the edges and corners are very worn (mainly corners) which would kill the overall grade.

nolan5000,

click the link that "twalters" posted.

Look at the border of the card on all four sides. The border is supposed to be even on all four sides but in his example the border is wider on one side and gets smaller as the border goes down. And of course on the other side of the card the border is wider on the bottom and gets smaller as it goes up towards the top of the card. This is called a "tilt" or "diamond cut".
Sorry if that's unclear.
The more that I look at graded cards, it appears Beckett Grading is a bit more strict than PSA and other companies. Even with the OC qualifier that PSA gave that card, it looks like centering would never have been better than 70/30 untilted and their guidelines say Mint cards have to be 60/40 or better.

Anybody have a comparison guide for grading standards among the different companies? Would be nice to see some chart or table - sort of a visual person.

It is probably not worth getting this Tom Seaver card graded. I was just a bit surprised to hear altz11 hear that he would grade it 3-4. Only one corner appears very worn to me; the others do appear worn but only after you look extremely closely or take a photo with magnification and high resolution. I still considered the corners to be more rectangular than rounded. Having said that, I do realize that one edge is not very nice (lower left) due to some careless shipping on the original sellers behalf.

If anybody comes by any Beckett graded cards that have a tilt, would love to see the images and grades. Thanks!


(12-09-2015, 07:17 PM)twalters1984 Wrote: [ -> ]The more that I look at graded cards, it appears Beckett Grading is a bit more strict than PSA and other companies.
That's what I've been saying for over a decade now. I've been collecting Nolan Ryan Beckett Graded cards since 2002.
Here is a comparison of the two companies (PSA and BGS) grading standards;

GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint
A PSA Gem Mint 10 card is a virtually perfect card. Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus and full original gloss. A PSA Gem Mint 10 card must be free of staining of any kind, but an allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection, if it doesn't impair the overall appeal of the card. The image must be centered on the card within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.
MINT 9: Mint
A PSA Mint 9 is a superb condition card that exhibits only one of the following minor flaws: a very slight wax stain on reverse, a minor printing imperfection or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint
A PSA NM-MT 8 is a super high-end card that appears Mint 9 at first glance, but upon closer inspection, the card can exhibit the following: a very slight wax stain on reverse, slightest fraying at one or two corners, a minor printing imperfection, and/or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 65/35 to 70/30 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
NM 7: Near Mint
A PSA NM 7 is a card with just a slight surface wear visible upon close inspection. There may be slight fraying on some corners. Picture focus may be slightly out-of-register. A minor printing blemish is acceptable. Slight wax staining is acceptable on the back of the card only. Most of the original gloss is retained. Centering must be approximately 70/30 to 75/25 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
EX-MT 6: Excellent-Mint
A PSA EX-MT 6 card may have visible surface wear or a printing defect which does not detract from its overall appeal. A very light scratch may be detected only upon close inspection. Corners may have slightly graduated fraying. Picture focus may be slightly out-of-register. Card may show some loss of original gloss, may have minor wax stain on reverse, may exhibit very slight notching on edges and may also show some off-whiteness on borders. Centering must be 80/20 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.
EX 5: Excellent
On PSA EX-5 cards, very minor rounding of the corners is becoming evident. Surface wear or printing defects are more visible. There may be minor chipping on edges. Loss of original gloss will be more apparent. Focus of picture may be slightly out-of-register. Several light scratches may be visible upon close inspection, but do not detract from the appeal of the card. Card may show some off-whiteness of borders. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
VG-EX 4: Very Good-Excellent
A PSA VG-EX 4 card's corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. The card may have light scuffing or light scratches. Some original gloss will be retained. Borders may be slightly off-white. A light crease may be visible. Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back.
VG 3: Very Good
A PSA VG 3 card reveals some rounding of the corners, though not extreme. Some surface wear will be apparent, along with possible light scuffing or light scratches. Focus may be somewhat off-register and edges may exhibit noticeable wear. Much, but not all, of the card's original gloss will be lost. Borders may be somewhat yellowed and/or discolored. A crease may be visible. Printing defects are possible. Slight stain may show on obverse and wax staining on reverse may be more prominent. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.
GOOD 2: Good
A PSA Good 2 card's corners show accelerated rounding and surface wear is starting to become obvious. A good card may have scratching, scuffing, light staining, or chipping of enamel on obverse. There may be several creases. Original gloss may be completely absent. Card may show considerable discoloration. Centering must be 90/10 or better on the front and back.
FR 1.5: Fair
A PSA Fair 1.5 card's corners will show extreme wear, possibly affecting framing of the picture. The surface of the card will show advanced stages of wear, including scuffing, scratching, pitting, chipping and staining. The picture will possibly be quite out-of-register and the borders may have become brown and dirty. The card may have one or more heavy creases. In order to achieve a Fair grade, a card must be fully intact. Even though the card may be heavily worn, it cannot achieve this grade if it is missing solid pieces of the card as a result of a major tear, etc. This would include damage such as the removal of the back layer of the card or an entire corner. The centering must be approximately 90/10 or better on the front and back.
PR 1: Poor
A PSA Poor 1 will exhibit many of the same qualities of a PSA Fair 1.5 but the defects may have advanced to such a serious stage that the eye appeal of the card has nearly vanished in its entirety. A Poor card may be missing one or two small pieces, exhibit major creasing that nearly breaks through all the layers of cardboard or it may contain extreme discoloration or dirtiness throughout that may make it difficult to identify the issue or content of the card on either the front or back. A card of this nature may also show noticeable warping or another type of destructive defect.

Half-Point Grades:

Cards that exhibit high-end qualities within each particular grade, between PSA Good 2 and PSA Mint 9, may achieve a half-point increase. While PSA graders will evaluate all of the attributes possessed by a card in order to determine if the card may be eligible, there will be a clear focus on centering.

Generally speaking, a card must exhibit centering that is 5-10% better, at minimum, than the lowest % allowed within a particular grade. It is important to note that there may be cases where the overall strength of the card, such as the quality of the corners and print, will give the card the edge it needs despite the fact that it may exhibit only marginal centering for the grade. This is especially true for cards that find themselves within the bottom half of the PSA 1-10 scale.

Finally, keep in mind that qualifiers will not apply to grades that achieve the half-point increase since, by definition, these cards have to exhibit high-end qualities within the grade in order to warrant consideration. For example, there will not be cards graded PSA NM-MT-Plus 8.5 OC or PSA EX-MT-Plus 6.5 PD since the half-point is reserved for high-end cards within each grade.

At this time, only cards qualify for half-point grades. Coins, pins, tickets and packs will not receive half-point grades.

QUALIFIERS:

PSA will grade nearly every card submitted. Cards having significant flaws will receive "qualified" grades as follows:
OC (Off Center):
When the centering of the card falls below the minimum standard for that grade will be designated "OC." PSA determines centering by comparing the measurements of the borders from left to right and top to bottom. The centering is designated as the percent of difference at the most off-center part of the card. A 5% leeway is given to the front centering minimum standards for cards which grade NM 7 or better. For example, a card that meets all of the other requirements for PSA MINT 9 and measures 60/40 off-center on the front automatically meets the PSA front centering standards for MINT 9. If a card meets all of the other requirements for PSA MINT 9 and measures 65/35 off-center on the front, it may be deemed to meet the PSA front centering standards for MINT 9 if the eye appeal of the card is good.
ST (Staining):
Cards with staining below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "ST."
PD (Print Defect):
Cards with significant printing defects will be designated "PD."
OF (Out of Focus):
Cards with focus below the minimum standards for the grade will be designated "OF."
MK (Marks):
Cards with writing, ink marks, pencil marks, etc. or evidence of the impression left from the act of writing will be designated "MK."
MC (Miscut):
Cards that exhibit an atypical cut for the issue or ones that contain partial portions of more than one card will be designated "MC."

Here is BGS' grading criteria;

Pristine 10
Centering: 50/50 all around on front. 60/40 or better on back. Corners: Perfect to the naked eye and Mint under magnification. Edges: Perfect to the naked eye and virtually free of flaws under magnification. Surface: No print spots. Flawless color, devoid of registration or focus imperfections. Perfect gloss, devoid of scratches and metallic print lines.



Gem Mint 9.5
Centering: 50/50 one way, 55/45 the other on front. 60/40 or better on back Corners: Mint to the naked eye, but slight imperfections allowed under magnification. Edges: Virtually Mint to the naked eye. A speck of wear is allowed under intense scrutiny. Surface: A few extremely minor print spots, detectable only under intense scrutiny. Deep color, devoid of registration or focus imperfections. Perfect gloss, devoid of scratches and metallic print lines



Mint 9
Centering: 55/45 both ways on front. 70/30 or better on back. Corners: Mint upon close inspection. A speck of wear is allowed under intense scrutiny. Edges: Virtually Mint to the naked eye. Unobtrusive specks of chipping on the borders are allowed. Surface: A handful of printing specks or one minor spot. Very minor focus or color imperfections. Clean gloss with one or two tiny scratches barely noticeable to the naked eye. One faint, unobtrusive metallic print line is allowed.





Near Mint/Mint 8
Centering: 60/40 both ways or better on front. 80/20 or better on back. Corners: Sharp to the naked eye, but slight imperfections allowed under close examination. Edges: Relatively smooth borders. Specks of chipping visible to the naked eye are allowed. Surface: A few minor print spots. Very minor color or focus imperfections. Solid gloss with very minor scratches detectable only upon close inspection. Or a subtle metallic print line.



Near Mint 7
Centering: 65/35 both ways or better on front. 90/10 or better on back. Very slight diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Very minor wear on two or three corners is allowed. Edges: Slight roughness, minor chipping or very minor notching is allowed. Surface: A few noticeable print spots or minor speckling is allowed. Minor color or focus imperfections. Very minor border discoloration. A very minor wax stain on back. Solid gloss with a few minor scratches detectable upon close inspection. A few metallic print lines.



Excellent Mint 6
Centering: 70/30 both ways or better on front. 95/5 or better on back. Slight diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Fuzzy corners, but free of dings and fraying. Edges: Moderate roughness, moderate chipping or minor notching is allowed. Surface: Noticeable print spots. Minor color or focus imperfections. Minor border discoloration and color or focus imperfections. Minor wax stains or extremely subtle ink marks. Relatively solid gloss with minor scratches, but devoid of scuffing. Noticeable metallic print lines.





Excellent 5
Centering: 75/25 both ways or better on front. 95/5 or better on back. Slight diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Four fuzzy corners, a touch of notching or a minor ding is allowed. Edges: Noticeable roughness - but no layering. Very slight notching or noticeable chipping is allowed. Surface: Noticeable print spots. Minor color or focus imperfections. Minor border discoloration. Minor wax stains or very light ink mark. Some gloss lost from surface with minor scratches, but devoid of scuffing.



Very Good/Excellent - 4
Centering: 80/20 both ways or better on front. 100/0 or better on back. Moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Slight notching or layering, or moderate dings are allowed. Edges: Readily chipped or notched and/or slightly layered. Surface: Heavy print spots. Hairline creases. Moderate color or focus imperfections. Moderate border discoloration. Moderate wax stains. Very light ink mark or tape stain. A good deal of gloss lost from surface. Very minor scuffing or an extremely subtle tear in the form of a touch of broken surface paper.



Very Good 3
Centering: 85/15 both ways or better on front. 100/0 or better on back. Moderate diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Slightly rounded or noticeably notched corners with slight layering is allowed. Edges: Heavy notching, moderate layering or heavy chipping is allowed. Surface: Heavy print spots. Very minor creases. Noticeable color or focus imperfections. Noticeable border discoloration. Noticeable wax stains. Light ink mark or tape stain. Very little surface gloss. Minor scuffing or a very minor tear.





Good 2
Centering: 90/10 both ways or better on front. 100/0 or offcut on back. Noticeable diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Noticeably rounded or heavily notched corners with moderate layering. Edges: Severely chipped, notched or layered. Surface: Severe print spots. Noticeable creases. Noticeable color or focus imperfections. Noticeable border discoloration. Heavy wax stains. Moderate ink mark or tape stain. A surface devoid of gloss. Noticeable scuffing or a noticeable tear.



Poor 1
Centering: 100/0 or offcut on front or back. Heavy diamond cutting is allowed. Corners: Heavily rounded or heavily notched with noticeable layering. Edges: Destructive chipping, notching or layering. Surface: Severe print spots. Heavy creases. Severe color or focus imperfections. Heavy border discoloration. Severe stains. No original gloss. Heavy scuffing or a severe tear.



* Half-Point Grades


Please note that Beckett Grading Services provides final grades in half-point increments (i.e., 10, 9.5, 9, 8.5 etc.). Cards that are assigned a grade with a half-point increment typically share characteristics from both the level above and the level below the actual grade given.

Thanks for the very detailed response - very informative!
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