CGC Launches New Restoration Scale and Conservation Label

Posted on 5/23/2014

Since CGC’s inception over 14 years ago, the market for restored comics has matured, creating the need for a broader, more sophisticated standard of grading.

CGC is proud to announce the long-awaited release of our new restoration scale and conservation category. Since CGC’s inception over 14 years ago, the market for restored comics has matured, creating the need for a broader, more sophisticated standard of grading. Beginning July 1, 2014, CGC will introduce an expanded Restoration scale and introduce a new Conservation category for comic books with specific professional repairs.

"Over the course of the last year, CGC asked collectors and dealers what we could do to boost the restored comic book market and help educate people about restoration and conservation," said Paul Litch, CGC primary grader. "Together we came up with a transparent system that is much more descriptive and accurate. We feel that it can really help people understand what was done to their book."

Changes to Restoration Standards
Currently CGC utilizes a three-point scale for quantity of restoration and a designation of “amateur” or “professional” for the quality of materials used.

The three-point scale for quantity (slight, moderate, extensive) will expand to a five-point scale that will include slight / moderate and moderate / extensive categories. Given the considerable range of restoration that is found on comic books, the five-point scale will allow a more accurate assessment of how much work was done to each book.

The quality assessment of restoration will now consider the application of restoration as well as the materials used. The designation of “amateur” or “professional” will be expanded into a three categories — A, B or C.

After the restoration on a comic book has been assessed by our experts, the final designation on the label will reflect the quality (letter) and quantity (number) of restoration. An example: an Amazing Spider-Man #1 that has a moderate amount of restoration with an overall quality grade of B will reflect a restored grade of B-3.

Every type of restoration found on each book will be individually graded for quantity and quality, with a cumulative score determining the final restoration grade assigned. For instance, if the Amazing Spider-Man #1 exhibits a cover cleaning, tear seals, piece fill and color touch, CGC will assign a quality and quantity grade to each: cover cleaning, A-1; tear seals, A-1; piece fill, B-3;, color touch, B-2. The cumulative grade will be determined by the highest letter and number assigned to each technique applied. In this particular case, the highest letter and number assigned is B-3, which would become the overall restoration grade of the Amazing Spider-Man #1.

Read for more details about the new Restoration Grading Scale.

Introduction of the Conservation Scale
Specific repairs done to improve the structural integrity and long-term preservation of a comic book will now be classified as “conservation” and designated with a blue / purple label. These repairs include tear seals, support, staple replacement, piece reattachment and certain kinds of cleaning.

Because all conservation repairs must be professionally done and slight in nature (A-1), the label will simply say “Conservation” with no designation of quality or quantity on the label.

The graders’ notes for a restored or conserved book will list every technique used, the quantity and quality grade assigned for each, and its location on the book. CGC’s website will also list the specific criteria for each quantity and quality designation concerning restoration and conservation.

"Restoration is one of the most complicated, misunderstood aspects of grading comic books," commented Matt Nelson. "Our goal was to develop a system that not only helps educate collectors on a fundamental aspect of the hobby, but also bolsters the perception of restoration. This is the future for preserving our treasures."

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