CGC position on tape
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Overstreet grading standards are somewhat ambiguous with respect to the presence of tape. From CGC's point of view, what is the highest grade allowed when tape is present? Do you consider it restoration? (is the answer different for Gold compared to more recent). Is such a book open for the Qualified label?

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Here is a "rough" of an article we ran in the Overstreet Price Guide a few years ago. Hope this helps.

 

I see a lot of comic books. I mean, a LOT of comic books. In the course of the last year, as Primary Grader of CGC, I have personally graded almost 25,000 comics since CGC opened it’s doors on Jan. 4th 2000 and as I write this it is Oct. 2000. That is over 2,500 comics a month that have had a page count, restoration check, three independent graders look at it, and a final look once it is in our protective holder, before it leaves CGC.

I also hear comments, I mean, a LOT of comments. Comments about how to grade a certain defect. Such as, a tear on the cover opposed to a tear on a page, a bindery chip as opposed to a small piece torn off the cover, a crease on the front cover as opposed to one on the back cover, a sun/dust shadow on the cover as opposed to very light tanning on the edges of the interior cover, and so on.

One thing is for certain, everybody has a different opinion, and everybody feels very passionately that their opinion is the correct one.

At CGC we feel that every person in the collecting community has a valuable opinion, and we take each and everyone into consideration when working off our internal grading standards. That is how we set up our standards in the first place. Mark Haspel and I took what we have learned in our years as hobbiests, Overstreet grading, and worked with almost 50 of the top dealers and collectors in the country to set up standards we felt most people in our hobby would feel as fair.

Considering the sucsess of CGC in only 10 months, I’d say we did a pretty good understanding of what collectors and dealers will allow and won’t allow in a certain grade. For example, our hobby will not allow a 1” spine split in 9.4 even if the comic looks 9.6. It’s that simple.

What is not simple is tape and restoration. According to this price guide, tape as a defect is allowed in 4.5 or lower and is not a form of restoration, while a 2” archively safe tear seal on a 4.5 is considered restoration.

Now I have never said that I am the sharpest tack in the box, but something about this really bothers me. Putting five pieces of tape on the fully split spine of a comic might bring the grade up from 1.5 to 2.5 even though the tape now starts the deterioration of the paper it is placed upon. If you take the same comic and seal the spine with a archivelly safe glue, the comic is somehow less desiarable because it is now called “restored”.

HUH?!

When I tell people about this in other collectible fields (movie posters, fine art, vintage autos, antique furniture and others) about this, they think as a collecting community, we are nuts. They know that, if done correctly, restoration is not only a form of enhancement, but mostly a form of preservation.

Another thing that doesen’t quite make sense to me is that a small amount of glue and color touch on a Golden Age comic book that would grade out 9.0 even if the work was not done, is somehow less desirable than the next best existing copy that only grades out 7.0. How can this be? If you put the 2 copies side by side, you would see that there is a world of difference between them. Yet, I know two many people who would shy away from the better copy. Why?

One of the reasons that come to mind is: FULL DISCLOSURE.

Twenty five years ago, if someone touched up a comic it was, to them, not considered anything “wrong”. The problem was that when they sold the comic, they did not disclose what had been done to it. That means the buyer thought that they had a comic in 9.4 when in reality it was a 8.5 with some defects fixed/hidden, and when they went to sell or trade the same comic years later, they found out what they really had and felt that they had been taken advantage of.

By not having full disclosure at the very beginning, restoration was given a bad rap!

So, here is something to think about: Would you rather have a 4.5 comic book with tape on the spine that made the comic less attractive and starts the deterioration of the paper or would you rather have a 4.5 with archivelly safe glue on the spine that made the comic book more attractive?

I know which one I would choose.

 

 

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Thank you for addressing the question. It seems from the answer that CGC's position is that they will always disclose the presence of tape when they find it.

Is that correct? With the reduction in the amount of notes present on CGC labels, I wanted to make sure that the presence of tape will continue to be highlighted, and not buried within a lower grade.

 

Could you confirm I've correctly interpreted the previous answer? wink.gifsmile.gifgrin.gif

 

Thanks again,

Z.

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Z-

Yes, at this point in time, we always note tape that is on a CGC certified comic on the CGC label.

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