Grade for otherwise flawless book with small stains only visible under reflected glare
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The 2014 edition of the OS Grading guide doesn't mention staining being acceptable until we get down to the FINE + grade level but that also includes an accumulation of other allowed defects.

Yet it references an example of a Marvel Team-Up #54 on p164 with small stains to the top right FC as an example of a Very Fine / Near Mint book.

And again on page 140 a Marvel Two-in-one #50 cites the defect of Slight Staining along with corner not squarely cut and abraded corner as an example of a Near Mint book.

My question isn't about the semantics of the Grading Guides references to stains at different grades.

I can appreciate that the type, appearance, and severity of the staining plays a role in the overall grade determination but those examples and others in the book are ones that are visible.  What about those "invisible" or less obvious stains?  You know the ones I'm talking about?  The ones that sneak up on you and bite you in when you least expect it.  Say you're looking at a nice book.  Shining a bright light on it, opening it to every page, checking the spine and it's a beauty.  Looks Near Mint with maybe a pressable spine tick or bend here and there and the price reflects that. 

However, you get home, take it out to accurately document its minor flaws and hold the book at an angle to your headlamp and voila, there it is.  On an otherwise NM/NM+ book 3 stain spots/blotches subtly hidden within the colors of the book invisible when you shine a bright light on them but at an angle you can easily see and even feel something is there if you know where to touch.

Take a look for yourself.  Can you spot the stains from this photo?  This is what the book looks like from all angles until you allow the glare to reflect off the cover.

2018-10-10 23.59.23.jpg

And here's what you find when you allow the glare to reflect at the right spot
 

Spoiler

 

SURPRISE!!!

20181010_235506.jpg

So what would you grade this as?

 

Anyone have experience with what CGC typically grades for this type of defect?

Edited by justafan
spoiler

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334 posts

No one touching this with a ten foot pole either, eh?  I don't blame you.  I can imagine this is something CGC might miss or might see and downgrade and fail to note.   However, once in a slab in an inner well it might be difficult to see and then you'll wonder why isn't it a 9.6 or even a 9.8? (without the stains I'd give it a strict 9.6).

As is I'd call it NM- or VF/NM.  Ok, now someone disagree with me but you need to explain why.  shouldn't be too long for that to happen.

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I would put it in a mylar, call it a Nm and call it a day.

A book with staining on it like that can't be a NM. Staining impacts books quite severely, I wouldn't be surprised to see it get an 8.0-8.5

 

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I had an Xmen 101 that I was sure was an 8.5-9.0 copy come back a 6.0 due to staining on the front cover ( that I never could see or find...)

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