Pokemon: Card Condition Guide
Condition grading is a difficult scale to agree on, especially when you introduce the human factors of variance and interpretation. The card grading scale used by TCGplayer.com is determined by the demands and expectations of both customers and members of the gaming industry.
When evaluating a card, TCGplayer considers two criteria:
- The number of individual markings, defects or points of damage
- The severity of individual markings, defects or points of damage
One or more severe issues or several minor issues can downgrade a card to a lesser condition. These issues could include edge wear, surface scratches, or dirt and foreign material, as well as some other less common condition issues such as ink/print consisteny, centering, and clouding.
Any distinguishing characteristic about a card that is different from the ideal example is taken into consideration along with the quality and integrity of the material of the card itself.
Taking into account all of these characteristics helps us ensure that customers receive exactly what they expect when they order from TCGplayer.
Near Mint (NM)
Cards in Lightly Played condition may have minor border or corner wear, or even just slight scuffs or scratches. There are no major defects. Foils in Lightly Played condition may also have slight fading or signs of wear on the front of the card.
Cards in Heavily Played condition show a severe amount of wear. Heavily Played condition can include cards that have major creasing, folding, heavy water damage, heavy whitening, heavy border wear, or tearing.
Cards in Damaged condition can exhibit a tear, bend, or crease that may make the card illegal for tournament play, even in a sleeve. Cards in Damaged condition may have extreme border wear, have been written on, stamped, or received major inking (white-bordered cards that are inked on front to look black-bordered), extreme corner wear, heavy scratching or scuffing, folds, creases or tears.
Any cards with writing, including autographs, count as non-factory inking and should be listed as Damaged.