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CGC's Updated Restoration Grading Scale




Posted on 6/13/2014

An Action Comics #1 and a Detective Comics #27 are the first two books to be graded under CGC's new restoration scale. CGC agreed to launch these two books before the July 1 official start date.

As noted in an earlier article, CGC has expanded its restoration scale to help collectors understand what was done to their book. The following is a list of conservation and restoration repairs, materials used for these repairs, and the new CGC restoration scale:

Conservation Repairs

  • Tear seals
  • Spine split seals
  • Reinforcement
  • Piece reattachment
  • Some cover or interior cleaning (water or solvent)
  • Staples cleaned or replaced
  • Some leaf casting

Materials Used for Conservation Repairs:

  • Rice paper
  • Wheat glue
  • Vintage staples
  • Archival tape

Restoration Repairs

  • Color touch
  • Piece replacement
  • Re-glossing
  • Paper bleaching
  • Married pages or cover

Materials Used for Restoration Repairs:

  • White glue
  • Re-glossing agent
  • Acrylic or water color
  • Pencil, crayon, chalk
  • Pen, marker, white out, paint
  • Leaf casting
  • Cadaver piece fill
  • White bleaching

The New Restoration Scale

Quality (Aesthetic) Scale(Determined by materials used and visual quality of work)

A (Excellent)

  • Material used: rice paper, wheat paste, acrylic or water color, leafcasting
  • Color match near perfect, no bleed through
  • Piece fill seamless and correct thickness
  • No fading, excessive whiteness, ripples, cockling, or ink smudges from cover or interior cleaning
  • Book feels natural
  • Near perfect staple alignment, or replaced exactly as they were
  • Filled edges cut to look natural and even
  • Cleaned staples or staples replaced with vintage staples
  • Married cover/pages match in size and page quality. Professionally attached

B (Fine)

  • Material used: pencil, crayon, chalk, re-glossing agent, piece fill from cadavers
  • Piece fill obvious upon close inspection, obvious to the touch
  • Color touch obvious upon close inspection, or done with materials listed above
  • Cover cleaning resulting in slight color fading or excessively white
  • Interior cleaning resulting in slight puffiness, cockling, excessively white
  • Enlarged staple holes, obviously crooked staples, or backwards staple insertion
  • Replaced staples not vintage
  • Married cover/pages do not match in size and/or page quality. Professionally attached

C (Poor)

  • Material used: glue, pen, marker, white out, white paper to fill missing pieces
  • Piece fill obvious at arm’s length
  • Bad color matching, use of pen or marker. Bleed through evident
  • Cover cleaning resulting in washed out/speckled colors, moderate cockling and/or ripples
  • New staple holes created upon reinsertion, or non-comic book staples used
  • Trimming of any kind
  • Married cover/pages poorly attached with non-professional materials

Quantity Scale(Determined primarily by extent of piece fill and color touch)

1 (Slight)

  • All conservation work, re-glossing, interior lightening, piece fill no more than size of two bindery chips, light color touch in small areas like spine stress, corner crease or bindery chip fill. Married cover or interior pages/wraps (if other work is present)

2 (Slight/Moderate)

  • Piece fill up to the ½” x ½” and/or color touch covering up to 1” x 1”. Interior piece fill up to 1” x 1”

3 (Moderate)

  • Piece fill up to the size of 1” x 1” and/or color touch covering up to 2” x 2”. Interior piece fill up to 2” x 2”

4 (Moderate/Extensive)

  • Piece fill up to the size of 2” x 2” and/or color touch covering up to 4” x 4”. Interior piece fill up to 4” x 4”

5 (Extensive)

  • Any piece fill over 2” x 2” and/or color touch over 4” x 4”. Recreated interior pages or cover

Featured below are the above mentioned books and the certification details. The summary of the graders notes lists every restoration technique used, the quantity and quality grade assigned for each, and its location on the book.

Action Comics #1

Detective Comics #27

In the near future, this information will be added to the CGC website.

Detective Comics #27 image courtesy of Dave & Adams











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