Frequently Asked Questions
Why does CGC use different colored labels, and what do they mean?
CGC uses different colored labels to easily distinguish each grade category. CGC labels can be blue (Universal), green (Qualified), purple (Restored / Apparent), yellow (Signature Series) or blue / silver (Conserved). Additionally, a label can be a combination of Signature Series and a different category (yellow / green, yellow / purple or yellow / silver). The different colored labels, as well as dual-colored labels, are explained in greater detail on the label description page: https://www.cgccomics.com/labels/
What are Early Releases and First Releases?
The Early Releases and First Releases designations are used by CGC in select cases to capture the excitement of a newly issued collectible. To qualify for Early Releases or First Releases, the collectibles must generally be received by CGC within the first 30 days of the first release of that collectible. Currently, Early Releases and First Releases are offered only for “foils,” which are precious-metal replicas of certain comic books and movie posters.
What are restoration and conservation?
Restoration is a treatment intended to return a comic book to a known or assumed state by adding non-original material for aesthetic purposes. Conservation is a treatment to stabilize a comic book’s structural state using archivally safe materials such as rice paper and wheat paste. Detected restoration and conservation is always disclosed on the CGC certification label. Non-additive procedures, such as pressing, dry cleaning, and tape / substance / restoration removal are not classified as restoration by CGC. Trimmed books are given an apparent grade and, in accordance with CGC’s policy, are encapsulated with CGC’s Restored label. Learn more about comic book restoration and conservation
How will I know if a comic book has had restoration?
CGC has the industry’s top team of restoration detection professionals. The restoration check is an integral part of the CGC grading team’s review of your comic book and is included at no extra charge in the CGC tier price.
Please note that a comic book exhibiting certain flaws, such as tanned or brittle pages, a weak spine or staples, loose pieces, sticky substance, amateur restoration, or other defects may suffer damage from pressing, resulting in a lower grade. It’s important to examine your comic before submission to determine if it is safe to receive any services. When in doubt, please use the CCS screening option to check your comic book before any services are rendered.
At CGC’s sole discretion, comic books exhibiting very minor glue and / or color touch may be assigned a CGC Universal label. However, description of the glue or color touch, in general or specific terms, is disclosed on the CGC label. Buyers always know what they are getting with a CGC-certified comic that has been restored.
Does CGC perform pressing or dry cleaning?
CGC does not perform pressing, dry cleaning, restoration, restoration removal or any similar treatments for comic books. These and other services are available from our affiliated company, Classic Collectible Services (CCS). To learn more, visit the “CCS pressing” link in the CGC menu bar, visit CCSpaper.com, or call 1-855-CCS-1711.
Please note that pressing performed incorrectly can damage the comic book and lower its grade. Also, a comic book exhibiting certain flaws, such as tanned or brittle pages, a weak spine or staples, loose pieces, sticky substance, amateur restoration, or other defects may suffer damage from pressing, resulting in a lower grade. It’s important to examine your comic before submission to determine if it is safe to receive any services. When in doubt, please use the CCS screening option to check your comic book before any services are rendered.
Will your holder increase or decrease the safety of my comics?
The CGC holder is designed to securely hold your comic book and provide years of protection from many environmental hazards. All of the materials used in the CGC holder are tested and proven to be archival-safe, and the holder is designed to be the first line of defense in a prudent plan for storage. Our research and design team created a holder that is truly unique and unrivaled for its protection and preservation of comic books. However, collectors should keep in mind that being in a CGC holder does not make a comic book invulnerable to all damage. The book can still be affected by factors like extremes in temperature, or being impacted on a surface hard enough that the holder is shattered.
Regardless of whether your comic book is in a CGC holder, Mylar® sleeve, or bag and board, the recommended way of storing your books is to keep them in a dark, dry, cool, temperature-controlled location. That will greatly lengthen the life span of your comic books.
Is it necessary to get my CGC book reholdered after a certain number of years?
No. The CGC holder is designed for long-term preservation and provides superior protection for your books. A properly handled and stored CGC-certified book can last for generations.
The CGC holder is made from high-quality materials and is entirely archival-safe. The inner well that holds books, for example, is comprised of PETG, a plastic that is well known to be archival-safe and extremely clear. This PETG well is placed inside of a durable outer case that is sonically welded to ensure a secure, tamper-evident seal. For added long-term preservation, CGC inserts *MicroChamber® paper into vintage books prior to encapsulation. This MicroChamber paper helps to neutralize the natural acidity of some books by using a specialized, proprietary “zeolite” that was designed to absorb and hold the molecules known to damage archival collections. That is why MicroChamber paper is used by many of the world’s most respected museums and institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Louvre, the British Museum and the Northeast Document Conservation Center. To further protect books from the natural off-gassing that releases acidic molecules over time, CGC has a secure sonic seal that is NOT airtight so that acidic molecules are not trapped inside the holder.
*MicroChamber® is a registered trademark of Conservation Resources International, Inc.
What if I want to take my comic out of your holder?
It is recommended that comics remain in their holders for their protection and to enhance their liquidity if you decide to sell in the future. However, we have designed our holder so that it can be opened carefully, allowing for safe removal. Keep in mind that if a CGC-graded comic is removed from its holder, the certified grade it was given will be null and void and the original holder cannot be re-sealed. For the book to qualify as CGC-certified after removal it would need to go through the certification and encapsulation process again, and there is no guarantee that it will receive the same grade. If you do choose to remove the book from its holder and have it re-certified, you will need to send the original CGC label back with the book to help keep the CGC Census accurate. In situations where Collectors wish to obtain a signature at a convention through CGC, you will need to bring the book INTACT to the CGC booth, where we will safely remove it and assign a CGC Witness to facilitate the signing. The book will then be resubmitted via the CGC booth and will receive a yellow Signature Series label.
Why should I return the label of an opened or “cracked out” certified book?
You should always return the label of any opened certified book. This helps keep the CGC Census accurate. The CGC Census is a detailed database of all the comic books we have graded and their respective grades, and it has become an important resource in assessing the availability of certified comic books. Click here to visit the Census
Does CGC attend comic-cons and trade shows?
Yes, CGC attends many major comic conventions throughout the year. At these shows, CGC’s Customer Service team are available to take submissions and answer your questions. There are also several conventions where CGC does “on-site grading,” meaning you submit your books at the show, and by the time the show ends on Sunday, your books are completely graded, encapsulated and ready to be picked up. To see a complete list of conventions CGC will be attending, including those that will feature on-site grading, go to our Events page: https://www.cgccomics.com/events/index.aspx
CGC is described as an independent third party. What does that mean?
CGC does not buy or sell comic books and does not have a financial interest in the collectibles that it certifies. In fact, employees of CGC are prohibited from buying and selling certified collectibles commercially.
What constitutes a pedigree?
A pedigree applies to an exceptional vintage comic book collection that is considerable in size, has been accumulated and kept by a single owner, and was acquired at the time the comics were released. The books in a Pedigree Collection must be high-grade. For more detailed information, please visit our Pedigree Resources page: Visit the Pedigree page here
What is the Express-Drop Off service?
CGC knows that no one wants to waste time filling out paperwork and waiting in long submission lines at a convention. With this in mind, the Express Drop-Off service was introduced to give all CGC members free access to CGC's online form for show submissions, so they can go instead to the Express Drop-Off line at the show booth. The online form lets collectors fill out paperwork for CGC services ahead of time and bring it to the show along with their collectibles and packing slips. The online form also has lower handling fees, and it helps speed up CGC’s processing, saving both time and money. The online form allows collectors to track their submission throughout the process at CGC, and get email updates and a shipping tracking number once the collectible is on its way home. The online form can also handle orders involving multiple grading tiers. To learn more, visit https://www.cgccomics.com/news/article/6099/online-form-for-show-submissions/
How do I submit comic books to CGC for certification?
You can submit your books directly to CGC by joining the CGC Collectors Society as a paid member and completing the online form. Your annual paid membership gives you direct submission privileges to CGC, as well as a number of other valuable benefits that can include discounts and grading credits. CGC also accepts submissions through a national network of authorized member dealers. These dealers are permitted to accept books and submit them on behalf of collectors and other individuals. For more information, visit visit our How To Submit page
When I submit my books, what assurance can you offer with regard to confidentiality and anonymity?
CGC will discuss the details of each transaction with the original submitter ONLY to provide complete confidentiality for all parties. CGC will not release any information concerning the identity of the original submitter without permission. As part of CGC’s internal processes, complete anonymity is also ensured by a system of checks and balances. Comics receive generic bar-coding upon receipt, and our separate receiving department does not convey any information about the submitter to the graders. Therefore, the comic owner’s identity is also completely unknown to CGC graders.
What are the costs of submission?
Services and fees vary depending on the value and category of collectibles you are submitting, the tiers you are selecting and the turnaround time you desire. To see our Services and Fees breakdown, visit https://www.cgccomics.com/submit/services-fees/. Note: Paid CGC Collectors Society members receive discounts on CGC grading tiers when using the online submission form. The discounts vary by membership level: Associate members receive 5%, Premium members receive 10% and Elite members receive 15%. These discounts are not applicable to on-site grading fees at shows.
What if my book has a COA (Certificate of Authenticity)?
Please do not send COAs to CGC along with your books. We will not need them and cannot guarantee that they will be returned along with your submission.
If I submit from outside the US, how will you calculate my shipping costs, and what is the procedure regarding customs?
If you are submitting from outside the US, the burden of proof as to where the books shipped from falls to you. CGC recommends that you visit your local customs office before shipping your submission and explain your intentions for these comics — that they are yours and are being sent to the US for evaluation only. They will provide you with a form that should accompany your comic submission, and, when the books are returned with this form, the package will not be called into question. If we receive a submission without this form, we will return the books with any claim stickers that were affixed to the original box. This can sometimes work as proof of where the books shipped from. The value that we will declare on the package is the amount paid for the grading of the books, and they will be noted from the country of origin goods being returned, shipped to the US for evaluation only. Return shipping to locations outside the US requires special duties and shipping charges. Please refer to the chart below. If you have further questions, please contact CGC Customer Service at 877-NM-COMIC.FedEx® International Economy
|# of Books||Canada||Europe||South Africa / Australia|
What are your grading standards for comic books?
Derived from the Overstreet grading criteria, the CGC grading standard was first developed by taking a consensus of grades assigned to a variety of comic books from a nationwide pool of experts, including comic book dealers and leading collectors. CGC realizes that comic book grading is an art that develops from years of experience, and while our consistently applied standard of grading eliminates much of the subjectivity and risk, grading itself is not an exact science. That’s why it is reasonable to expect that slight variances may exist between CGC grading standards and the standards of some dealers and collectors, as well as comics that have been previously graded by CGC since its inception. CGC strives to consistently apply the most accurate and consistent grading standard to assure that the grades of comic books are properly represented to the widest possible audience. To learn more, visit https://www.cgccomics.com/about/grading_benefits.asp
Does CGC grade magazine-size or treasury-size books?
CGC does grade magazine-size books. However, CGC does not grade treasury-size books as their size exceeds even the largest available CGC holder.
Does CGC grade autographed books?
Yes, under the following circumstances: CGC’s prestigious Signature Series label (yellow) is applied to comic books that have been signed under the direct observation of a CGC employee or a select CGC authorized witness, or in select instances where CGC accepted signed books directly from the signer / publisher. The signatures are authenticated by CGC, and the labels indicate who signed the book, the date it was signed and, in some cases, the location where it was signed. If a book is signed without a CGC representative present, it will receive a Qualified label (green), and will receive a Qualified grade. No authentication of signature is provided for books that do not have a CGC Signature Series label. To learn more about CGC Signature Series, visit https://www.cgccomics.com/signature-series/
Does CGC certify sealed poly-bagged books?
CGC does not certify sealed poly-bagged books. To have a poly-bagged book certified by CGC, you must remove the book from its poly-bag or send written approval authorizing CGC to remove it. The words “Poly-bag removed” appear on the CGC label.
What measures are taken to protect my comics while they are held by CGC?
In addition to vault storage, CGC uses state-of-the-art security and surveillance equipment, and only the most highly trained professionals who understand the unique handling requirements of comic books will handle your comics. While at CGC, your books are always fully insured against theft or damage.
As an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), CGC benefits from the other member companies' decades of experience in thorough operations and careful handling of delicate collectibles. With the CCG companies successfully handling more than 100,000 fragile collectibles each month, you can be assured that we have the experience to treat your comic books with the respect and proper handling techniques to ensure their safety.
While CGC is responsible for the care of your books while they're with us, any damage that occurs during shipping to CGC or after the books leave our facility is your responsibility or that of the shipping company with whom you contract.
How do I know the comic book I’m buying is the same book CGC certified?
CGC has a number of technologically advanced security measures built into its holders to make them tamper-evident. Once a comic is certified, any future attempt to open or tamper with the holder will be visibly evident.
How are my books insured when they’re returned to me? Does CGC provide insurance?
Important Note: Customer assumes all risk of loss or damage to collectibles during return shipment from the Certified Collectibles Group of Companies to Customer. Customer is responsible for selecting a carrier (e.g., USPS Registered Mail, FedEx, UPS, or other carrier) for return shipping and for procuring insurance on return shipping.
Different carriers provide different levels of protection for collectibles.
FedEx - $100 maximum declared value (per package)
UPS - $100 maximum declared value (per package)
USPS Registered Mail - $25,000 maximum declared value (per package)
(Terms and conditions may have changed. Please consult the carrier directly for current details.) If Customer does not select a carrier, collectibles will be return-shipped to Customer via USPS Registered Mail using Customer’s declared values for insurance purposes.
Customers are also encouraged to consider private shipping insurance, with companies such as www.ShipAndInsure.com. Private shipping insurance may provide additional benefits over carrier-provided insurance, and at better rates.
Does CGC offer a grading guarantee?
Due to the fragile nature of comic books, CGC does not offer a grading guarantee. However, CGC does offer the following: a) CGC guarantees that two or more comic professionals will review every comic book submitted for grading. b) CGC guarantees its holder to be free of defects deemed to be distracting, significant or otherwise outside of normal tolerances, according to CGC’s good faith determination. Defective holders will be replaced at no charge, except when it is determined, at CGC’s sole discretion, that the defect occurred after the holder was returned by CGC, is minor, is the result of storage in an improper environment, or occurred because the holder was subjected to abuse.
How do I process a submission form online?
CGC direct submission forms are available online for CGC Collectors Society Associate, Premium and Elite members. Access the CGC online submission form here
Can I send multiple invoices in the same box?
Yes, but only for CGC submissions. For example, you cannot send submissions for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) in the same box with submissions for CGC.
Under "Additional Services" on the submission form, what does the “Image” option mean?
If the "Image" option is selected, CGC will email the customer a basic digital image of the comic’s front and back covers after grading and encapsulation (CGC will not image books prior to encapsulation). The image resolution will suit internet use at 150 dpi and approximately 1500 px in height. The cost per book is $5, and if selected, ALL of the books on the invoice must be imaged, not just certain books.
What is the best way to store CGC-certified comics?
Proper storage is essential to preserving your books, and collectors should take steps to minimize exposure to heat, humidity, vibration and light. CGC recommends that CGC-certified books be stored in a dark, dry, cool, temperature-controlled location. CGC’s holders have withstood the test of time and have been shown to provide outstanding long-term protection and preservation. No other comic book grading services can make that claim.
Can CGC tell me what my comic is worth?
No. CGC is an impartial third-party grading company and does not provide an appraisal or evaluation of a book’s worth. This information can be obtained from other sources such as gpanalysis.com or the Overstreet Price Guide.
What is CGC’s CrossOver Service?
Books that have been slabbed by another grading company can be submitted to CGC for re-grading through our CrossOver Service. This allows collectors to have a CGC-graded book in our state-of-the-art holder for 40-50% LESS than the cost of raw submissions.
To submit for CGC CrossOver, books must be intact in another grading company’s holder. Comics will then be removed by CGC from that company’s holder and graded according to CGC’s grading standards. The books will then be encapsulated in CGC’s holder, which combines superior optics and the most advanced archival materials for display and preservation.
Pricing is as follows:
WalkThru: 1.5% of the Declared Value, $75 minimum
CGC’s CrossOver service encompasses all CGC grading tiers on our online submission form. Please note that there is no guarantee that the grade assigned by CGC will be the same as the grade assigned by the other grading service. Signed collectibles submitted under the CrossOver service will not receive a CGC Signature Series label. The CGC online form allows free members to submit at shows, and paid members to submit at shows or through the mail. If you have additional questions regarding CGC’s CrossOver Service, please contact CGC Customer Service at 1-877-662-6642.
How does one become a CGC grader?
CGC primarily seeks graders who have experience in collecting and grading modern or vintage comics, or both. Knowledge of CGC’s grading standards and services, comic book history, creators, restoration detection, pedigrees, variants and market values are considered important aspects of this experience. Newly hired graders are trained on CGC’s exclusive grading standards before they become part of the team. If you think you may be a good candidate, please send us your resume: email@example.com
What are the differences between your membership tiers?
The Collectors Society offers free and paid membership levels to provide options for every type of collector. Benefits that vary consist of access to online resources, direct submission privileges, grading credits and more.
Members get many great benefits. For the most exclusive rewards, choose one of our paid yearly memberships.
Get full access to online resources and submission privileges at shows.
To submit comics:
I have registered. When can I expect to receive my membership packet?
The Collectors Society now makes all membership information available on its website. An email confirmation will be sent to all new and renewing members. Submission forms can be downloaded or completed online on the CGC and Collectors Society websites (CGC no longer mails out paper submission forms, and they are not included in the membership packet).
Does the grading credit I received with my membership have an expiration date?
Yes, any grading credits will expire on the membership expiration date listed in your confirmation email.
Is my membership refundable?
Because of the benefits of your membership, a prorated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal and wish to cancel your membership (and have not used the grading credits that come with certain membership tiers), you may receive a refund of your membership dues. The request to cancel must be in writing within 30 days of auto-renewal and emailed to CGC Customer Service at Service@CGCcomics.com.
What is my “public name”? And how can I change this?
Your public name is the username that you will use when you are on the Chat Boards, your journal, the Registry and other CGC Collectors Society postings. You can change your public name in your profile settings on this page.
Can I make submissions to other CCG companies?
Yes. Your paid annual membership in the CGC Collectors Society automatically gives you direct submission privileges to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). Use your same login information to make submissions within these other companies. Note: This does not apply to the free level of membership.
How many memberships does CGC allow per household?
Currently, we only allow one membership per household.
Why do I keep having to re-log in?
If you are not logging in from a public computer, click the “Remember Me” box to save your login information.
What is my login?
Your login is the email address you used to sign up for your account. You can use the Forgot Password link to get the password for your account. If you continue to have problems, please contact us.
How do I use my Collectors Society grading credit to submit comics?
The Premium and Elite Collectors Society membership levels offer a grading credit as an additional benefit. This credit is valid for any GRADING tier and will be automatically applied to your submissions until it is used up. There is no need to request that CGC apply this credit. NOTE: This credit cannot be applied to CCS services, shipping or handling.
Can my CGC grading credit be applied to CCS services or any other charges?
No. CGC grading credits can only be applied to CGC grading fees, not shipping, handling, CCS services or any other service.
Can I submit additional comics on the same invoice as my free grading submission?
Yes! We will apply the credit to your submissions until it is used up.
How do I use my $150 grading credit?
Your $150 grading credit can be applied toward the grading fees of any submission. You may NOT use your $150 credit towards CCS services, shipping or handling.
Will one shipping fee cover the return of all my submissions if I send in multiple submission forms at the same time? Will all of my submissions be returned to me in one package?
You may submit multiple submission forms to CGC in one shipping box. Your submissions will be returned separately, depending on tier and turnaround time. For that reason, each of your submissions is individually calculated for its return shipping and insurance.
Now that I have direct submission rights to your grading services, can I submit on behalf of my friends?
No. Your membership is valid for submissions of your collectibles only.
What if I get the book signed before submitting the book to CGC?
Unfortunately, if the signing is not witnessed by someone authorized by CGC, then the signature cannot be authenticated for the Signature Series label. Testimonials, photographs, video recordings and any other proof of signing are not accepted.
What information goes on the Signature Series label?
The name of the person(s) who signed the comic, the date it was signed, and in some cases the location, such as the name of the convention or store.
Are restored comic books eligible for the Signature Series?
Yes. Restored comic books are eligible for the CGC Signature Series Restored label, which is yellow with a purple bar across the top. The degree of restoration and details of the work performed are noted on the label. As with all CGC Signature Series books, the signing must be witnessed by a CGC authorized representative.
What signings are approved for Signature Series?
Most signings are prearranged. Any signing where a CGC witness is in attendance is eligible. This includes comic conventions and public signings, such as those held at comic book stores. In select instances, CGC may accept signed books directly from the signer / publisher.
How can I set up my own Signature Series signing?
If you are already a CGC Dealer, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
How do I get my book signed if I am not going to a convention?
Contact an authorized Facilitator. An authorized Facilitator is a dealer that has been approved by CGC to have a CGC Witness accompany them to signing events. If you are in need of an authorized Facilitator, you can find one by going to the Signature Room on our chat boards: https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/forum/48-the-signature-room/
How do Private Signings work?
CGC periodically facilitates Private Signings at comic-cons. Customers who want their books signed bring their books to the CGC booth before the announced cut-off time, along with the artists’ fees in cash. They then fill out the CGC submission form at the booth (CGC fees can be paid by credit card). CGC then takes the books, gets them signed by the requested artist, and brings them back to our facility to grade and slab with our Signature Series label. When the process is complete, CGC ships the books back to the customer.
What is the Pre-Screen service?
Pre-Screening allows you to submit multiple books for grading while requesting that only those that achieve a certain grade or higher are slabbed.
Why would I want to Pre-Screen my books?
Some collectors may not want to go incur the expense of having a book slabbed if it does not merit a specific grade. Pre-Screening allows collectors to choose which of their books will be encapsulated post-grading.
What grade can I request?
Your choice, any grade up to 9.8. CGC does not Pre-Screen for 9.9s & 10s.
Will I still get charged grading fees for books that don't meet my grade requirement?
Yes. CGC will charge for grading and "reject fees" for books that don't meet your grade requirement, but since those books will not be slabbed there is no encapsulation fee. To see a list of fees click here.
What minimum grade should I choose when submitting through Pre-Screen Service?
CGC will accept a Pre-Screen at any grade level except 9.9 and 10.0. You should choose a minimum grade that meets your collecting needs and goals.
If I select a pre-screen grade of 9.0, will any of my comics grade above 9.0?
If a comic book that is a 9.6 is submitted through a 9.0 Pre-Screen, the comic book would be certified as a CGC 9.6. The Pre-Screen grade is simply the minimum grade requested for CGC to certify the comic book, per your instructions. CGC certifies many comics submitted through Pre-Screen at grades much higher than the Pre-Screen grade chosen.
How many books are necessary to qualify to send in a Pre-Screen?
CGC requires a 25 book submission per tier.
How long will it take to have my books certified through Pre-Screen?
The comic books should be certified at the same turnaround time as the tier submitted. CGC reserves the right to extend the turnaround time for Pre-Screens to twice the length of the normal turnaround time. This is implemented only at times of high volume because of the extra work that goes into performing the Pre-Screen.
I have 100 books that I want to submit through the Pre-Screen Service. Can I break them up into different Pre-Screen levels?
Yes. For example, you could submit 25 for an 8.0 Pre-Screen, 25 for a 8.5 Pre-Screen, 25 for a 9.0 Pre-Screen, and 25 for a 9.2 Pre-Screen. As long as the Pre-Screen is at least 25 books per invoice, your submission is eligible. Remember, you can pick any grade you choose.
I have a submission of 25 books that I’d like to send in. Can't I just put the Pre-Screen grade next to each book because I want a different minimum level for each of them?
No, CGC will accept a Pre-Screen only when all books on one submission form are for only ONE minimum grade.
I sent in 50 books through Pre-Screen and six passed. Will I be charged a reject fee?
In this case, you would be subject to a reject fee. CGC graders had to review a significant number of books from your submission without certifying them. To avoid this outcome, please look at the books that you are submitting very carefully and remove comics that you feel will not meet the Pre-Screen level. Don't forget to check the back cover as well.
Can I submit a Walkthru or Express using Pre-Screen Service?
No. Pre-Screen service is available with the Value, Modern and Economy tiers. If you have Standard tier submission that you would like to submit for Pre-Screen, please call to make special arrangements.
What happens if I send in a comic book for Pre-Screen service that meets my minimum grade, but has been restored?
It will be certified with a Restored label (purple). In addition, if a comic book meets your minimum grade, but has a page or coupon missing, it will receive a Qualified label (green). The CGC Pre-Screener assesses only grade during the Pre-Screening process. The restoration detection expert reviews each book after the Pre-Screen has occurred. Similarly, a CGC grader verifies page counts after the Pre-Screen process has occurred.
Can I use the Pre-Screen service for Signature Series books?
No, Pre-Screening services are not available for Signature Series books.
CGC Trading Cards FAQs
What cards does CGC Trading Cards grade?
CGC Trading Cards accepts virtually all Pokémon TCG and Magic: The Gathering cards.
CGC Trading Cards also accepts play test Magic cards, “Artist’s Alterations” (altered by the artist of the card) and “Artistic Alterations” (altered by anyone in an artful way). Artistically altered cards are generally encapsulated with the Qualified (Green) Label.
At this time, CGC Trading Cards does not accept the following card types:
- Cards larger than standard playing sizes.
- Foreign-language cards made after the Wizards of the Coast era except for Japanese cards. (All languages made by Wizards of the Coast are accepted.)
- Non-TCG Pokémon cards, such as those made by Topps.
- Cards other than Pokémon or Magic cards.
CGC Trading Cards does not certify counterfeit cards. A counterfeit card is one manufactured by anyone other than the official company that produces it.
Certain cards are deemed not suitable for certification on a case-by-case basis; for example, a card with significant missing pieces or with structural integrity issues.
Does CGC Trading Cards grade foreign language Magic and Pokémon cards?
Yes. CGC Trading Cards grades all languages of Magic cards and all languages of Pokémon cards through the Team Rocket set. For subsequent Pokémon sets, CGC Trading Cards accepts both English and Japanese languages.
Are trading cards eligible for the CGC Signature Series?
Trading cards are not currently eligible for the CGC Signature Series. However, we plan to incorporate our highly acclaimed CGC Signature Series in the near future — stay tuned!
What do the CGC Trading Cards grades mean?
CGC Trading Cards uses a highly accurate 10-point grading scale, with grades ranging from 10 (Pristine) to 1 (Poor). To determine a card’s grade, graders consider factors such as centering, manufacturing and handling defects, how well the card has been preserved, evidence of play, scuffing, indentations, soiling, fading and more.
See the CGC Trading Cards Grading Scale >
What are sub-grades?
Sub-grades are grades that provide further detail into the card’s overall grade. There are four sub-grades: Centering, Surface, Corners and Edges.
Does CGC Trading Cards offer sub-grades?
Yes, CGC Trading Cards offers sub-grades for an additional $5 fee per card.
See CGC Trading Cards Services & Fees >
Is certification by CGC Trading Cards guaranteed?
Yes, CGC-certified trading cards are backed by the comprehensive CGC Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which provides collectors with greater security and confidence.
Read the CGC Guarantee >
How long does CGC Trading Cards certification take?
The length of time it takes to get trading cards certified depends on the grading tier you select when the cards are submitted. For example, the estimated turnaround time for WalkThrough submissions is 2 days, while the estimated turnaround time for Economy submissions is 30 days. CGC Trading Cards is committed to providing the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
What do the different colored CGC Trading Cards labels mean?
The blue Universal Label is applied to trading cards that are simply the grade as marked, with no qualifiers or special considerations.
The green Qualified Label is used by CGC Trading Cards for certified cards that have a significant defect that needs specific description, or to note an unauthenticated signature (one that was not witnessed by CGC Trading Cards).
Will the CGC Trading Cards holder increase or decrease the safety of my cards?
The CGC Trading Cards holder is made from the same time-tested, durable and optically superior materials as the CGC comic book holder, and will significantly increase the safety of your cards. The cards’ corners, edges and surfaces will be protected, and with crystal-clear optics, the artwork, color and detail of your cards are never obscured.
Does CGC Trading Cards certify altered cards?
CGC Trading Cards will not grade any card that has been altered to create the deception that it is a rarer version; for example, turning white borders black or changing the set symbol. CGC Trading Cards will grade “Artist’s Alterations” (altered by the artist of the card) and “Artistic Alterations” (altered by anyone in an artful way). Artistically altered cards are generally encapsulated in the green Qualified Label.
Does CGC Trading Cards certify error cards?
Yes, CGC Trading Cards will grade a card that has a printing error. There is an additional $5 fee for error cards.
Will CGC Trading Cards certify NFC (Not Factory Cut) or odd-sized cards?
CGC Trading Cards will certify NFC cards only if the cards will fit securely into our holder. They will be accompanied by our green Qualified Label. Odd-sized cards that will not be secure in our holder are not eligible for certification at this time.
Does CGC Trading Cards certify rebacked cards or clipped Beta cards?
Rebacked and clipped cards are not eligible for certification by CGC Trading Cards. In most cases, rebacked cards are produced by sanding the face of one card and the back of another and gluing them together. This is always done with less valuable cards to create a forgery of a more expensive card. Clipped Beta cards have had the corners made more rounded to imitate an Alpha card. These cards are not eligible for CGC Trading Cards certification.
What is CGC Trading Cards CrossOver service?
With CGC Trading Cards’ CrossOver service, a card in a PSA or Beckett holder is evaluated for CGC Trading Cards certification. The card will be removed from its holder and encapsulated by CGC Trading Cards only if CGC Trading Cards determines that the card will receive a CGC grade that is the same or higher than the grade assigned by the other grading service. If the card does not meet CGC Trading Cards’ standards, it will be returned in its original holder and the grading fee will be refunded less a $4 processing fee.
If the card has been assigned sub-grades by the other grading service, it will be removed from its holder and encapsulated by CGC Trading Cards only if all of the sub-grades will be the same or higher with CGC Trading Cards.
If you would like your PSA or Beckett-holdered card certified by CGC Trading Cards even if CGC Trading Cards even if CGC Trading Cards determines that it will receive a lower grade, specify CROSS AT ANY GRADE.
If I send a signed card for CrossOver service, will the signature be recognized?
If a card submitted for CrossOver has a signature that was not witnessed by CGC Trading Cards, the card will be encapsulated with the green Qualified Label. The comment will generally be Unwitnessed Signature on the label. We will make no determination of authenticity of the signature.
What is CGC Trading Cards’ ReHolder service?
With the ReHolder service, a card in a CGC Trading Cards holder is encapsulated in a new CGC Trading Cards holder. The grade assigned to the card will not change. To qualify, the card must still be encapsulated in its original CGC Trading cards holder.
How do I submit to CGC Trading Cards?
Associate or higher CGC Collectors Society members can submit trading cards directly to CGC Trading Cards for certification. Memberships start at just $25 per year. Once you’ve become a member, you can complete our user-friendly online submission form and submit your cards to CGC Trading Cards for certification.
See submission instructions >
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How many cards can I submit at once?
There is a limit of 400 cards per invoice, which allows complete sets to be certified with consecutive certification numbers.
How do I figure out the value of my cards?
Good resources for determining the value of your cards are completed eBay auctions and the posted prices of large trading card dealers. CGC Trading Cards needs a declared value to insure the cards at its facility. CGC Trading Cards does not assign values to any cards.
How do I contact CGC Trading Cards?
CGC Trading Cards can be contacted by mail, telephone or email.
CGC Trading Cards
PO Box 4701
Sarasota, FL 34230