It has been decades, comic book grading existed. However, in 2000, a new grading service by the name CGC comics made an entrance and reformed the comic book industry.
Though sometimes uncertain, its established grading system has become a doorway for those looking to have their valued collection.
CGC, What’s the buzz?
CGC or Certified Guaranty Company started in early 2000. It is a grading service for comic books that help determine whether a comic book is restored or preserved. It also ensures a steady grade for the comic, which makes reselling easier. CGC is a subset of Certified Collectibles Group, which helps you grade coins and sports cards.
CGC claims to grade over one million comic books per year. It is distinct among other grading services as it prohibits the employees from selling or buying comic books commercially. This allows fair and accurate valuations of comic books without any conflicts of interest or worse fraud.
How CGC Grading Works
CGC will demand a fee to grade your comic books. Several pricing options are available—from $20 (with a 14-week time) to a fraction of the book’s value (same-day).
Many buyers choose to send their comic books to CGC comics for evaluation and grading. CGC also works with local and online dealers, to make the process easier to send your book for grading. They even provide on-spot grading at various conventions throughout the nation. These include Boston Comic Con, Wizard World Philadelphia, and San Diego Comic-Con.
The receiving department of CGC comics opens packages. They ensure that no damage befell in the shipping of the book and to verify the contents of the box.
After that, the information regarding the comic book goes into a computer database. It is to make it easy to trace the book throughout the grading process.
A protective mylar sleeve is used to seal each book, then labeled, and placed in a room with a stable temperature. Later, a CGC comics professional reviews it to determine if the comics have gone through any restoration work. The findings are recorded on the certification label. All of this happens before the grading starts.
Once the grading process begins, it undergoes a thorough review, which includes page count, distinguishing characteristics, content review. Also, defects such as rips, folds, faded color, and many more. Lastly, a total of the verdicts of three expert graders and the approval of a head grader provide a final grade.
The CGC uses a 10-point grading system. Starting from Poor (0.5) to Gem Mint (10.0).
Once the grading of the book takes place, it goes in a preserved interior well along with its barcoded grade certificate. It then goes inside a clear sleeve via compression and ultrasonic vibrations.
After being preserved, the book undergoes one last quality control check to guarantee that the label is correct. Also, to check for any defects that the grading may have done.
Finally, the CGC ranked comic book is ready to be picked up or shipped to its rightful owner.