Cover shrinkage is a common consequence of improper pressing. The actual shrinkage will vary depending on several factors — but, without intervention, any shrinkage can lower the book's overall grade.
Cover shrinkage can occur from excessive humidity or multiple pressings, causing the cover to shrink side to side. Silver Age Marvels, particularly between 1960 and 1968, are most susceptible due to the poor quality of printing used at that time. The amount of shrinkage varies depending on several factors, such as what month the book is from, how it was stored during its life and the extent of pressing it received. Shrinkage can also occur naturally over time with no pressing involved.
Common shrinkage ranges from 1/64 inch to 1/16 inch, and excessive shrinkage up to 1/8 inch. Because it is difficult or impossible to always tell whether shrinkage occurred naturally or from pressing, CGC will treat excessive shrinkage similar to a manufacturing defect and downgrade accordingly. In some cases, shrinkage can be minimized or corrected with a light pressing.
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