GEM MINT: 10.0

MINT : 9.9 The best possible existing condition of a comic book. A near perfect book. It is very rare especially in older comic books pre-1990 to discover a comic in either Mint or Gem Mint condition. Books in this condition pre-1980 are virtually non-existent. An extremely exceptional comic with only very minute printing or bindery defects. The books cover is flat and without surface wear. No autographs or writing is allowed on either the cover or interior pages. Cover inks are exceptionally bright with high gloss. The books corners are perfectly square and sharp. Interior pages must me white in color and supple to the touch.

NEAR MINT+ : 9.6 This is close to mint with some minor defect.

  • A slight stress line by the staples.
  • The staples themselves are generally centered clean with no rust.
  • Maybe some of the color has chipped or flaked off the cover.
  • And again, the cover is flat with no surface wear; inks are bright with high reflectivity and very little fading. And those tricky corners are cut square and sharp with ever so slight blunting permitted.
  • You can tell that this comic has been stored properly and looks as new as the day it was printed.
  • All stress marks should be almost invisible and bindery tears must be less than 1/16 inch.
  • Only the most subtle binding and/or printing defects allowed.
  • Cover is fairly well centered and firmly secured to interior pages.
  • Paper is supple and like new.
  • Spine is tight and flat.
  • Unobtrusive date stamps or arrival dates in pencil or ink are acceptable.
  • Many pedigree collection comics have a notation on the cover or the interior of the comic and are considered a bonus to collectors as they help prove the provenance of the comic.
NEAR MINT - : 9.2 This book is an excellent copy with great eye appeal.
  • It is vibrant and clean with supple pages.
  • The spine may have a couple of very small stress lines at the most 1/4 inch the surface color around the line must not be noticeably broken.
  • The spine is almost completely flat.
  • The cover is relatively flat with almost no surface wear and the cover inks are generally bright with medium to high reflectivity.
  • The staples may show some discoloration, but it's not too noticeable on first glance.
  • The inside pages and covers usually will be off-white to white, but can be creamy or slightly yellowish.
VERY FINE/NEAR MINT GRADES VERY FINE/NEAR MINT : 9.0 Slightly better condition than VERY FINE +:8.5, but in lesser conditions than the grade above. VERY FINE+ : 8.5
VERY FINE - : 7.5 A VERY FINE comic book appears to have been read a few times and has been handled with some care.
This one allows for some more defects.
  • Some of the above defects along with a small fold or crease in the cover.
  • Very few stress marks on spine.
  • A few small chips on the cover
  • The cover has some slight surface wear but still has its original gloss and there is nothing major wrong with it. Overall an exceptional, still very collectible.
FINE GRADES FINE/VERY FINE: 7.0 Slightly better condition than FINE +: 6.5, but in lesser condition than the grade above. FINE + : 6.5
FINE: 6.0
FINE - : 5.5 This comic is definitely a well-read copy, but can still be a very desirable copy.
  • This could have one major defect like a larger piece out of the cover (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch) or a one-inch plus tear.
  • It has stress lines around the staples and creases from the opening and closing of the cover.
  • The whiteness of the pages has been changed to off-white to yellowish color.
  • This could have a reading or subscription crease or a rolled spine, but is not damaged enough to reduce eye appeal dramatically.
  • Some discoloration, fading in colors and even minor soiling is allowed.
  • The cover and/or inside pages could have minor tears and/or folds
  • Cover can be loose from one staple, but cover cannot be completely detached from interior.
  • Pages and inside covers could be brown but not brittle.
  • Depending on the grade of the copy certain amounts are available in this grade. i.e a book that looks 8.0 with a piece of tape on the interior cover is acceptable in this grade.
VERY GOOD+ : 4.5
VERY GOOD - :3.5
  • Book is complete, but with major creases and or a spine roll.
  • There is almost low cover gloss or at most times none at all.
  • The inside paper quality is not good and yellow and small pieces of them may be missing.
  • If there is a piece missing from the cover, it should be no larger than a 1/2" to 1/4".
  • Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but completely readable. Tape on the comic is considered a defect in this grade.
GOOD + : 2.5
GOOD: 2.0
GOOD - : 1.8
Good is really a misnomer, but one that is still readable with numerous defects.
  • All the defects of a VG comic plus more.
  • There is almost low cover gloss or most times none at all.
  • The inside paper quality is not good and yellow and small pieces of them may be missing.
  • If there is a piece missing from the cover, it should be no larger than a 1/2" to 1/4".
  • Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but completely readable.
  • Book is complete, but with no missing pages and is still in a "collectible" grade.
FAIR : 1.0
This book has seen much better days and tends to be heavily worn and tattered.
  • A copy of a comic in this grade has all pages and most of the covers.
  • A book in this condition is worn, ragged and unattractive.
  • Heavy creases and folds are prevalent
  • paper quality can be very low
  • The spine and/or cover may be completely split.
  • Staples may be missing.
  • Corners are rounded.
  • Coupons cut from cover and or inside pages. Panels can be clipped out.
  • Parts of the front cover may be missing.
  • Soiling, staining, tears, markings or chunks missing will interfere with reading.
  • Brittleness maybe a factor.
  • Moderate to extensive amounts of tape is acceptable on the comic in this grade.
POOR GRADE POOR : .5 It has major defects to the point that there is almost no collector value.
  • Copies in this grade typically will have pages and/or around 1/3 or more of the front cover missing.
  • They may have severe strains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion to the point where cover inks are gone.
  • Heavy defacing with paints, varnishes, glues, oil, indelible markers or dyes, etc.
  • The inside pages can be extreme brittleness.
NO GRADE (Coverless/Covers/Pages or Single Wrap) This designation is only used for the purpose of authentication. Numerous collectors and comic fans will purchase coverless comics to either read or to obtain a filler copy of a book for their collection. Coverless books will typically sell for a percentage of the good condition value. Rare and key comic books that are coverless in many cases may sell for a percentage of guide value depending on the specific comic title and issue number. Typically lower then the .5 value, but can fluctuate based on market value.
  • Book can been coverless or be an incomplete partial comic (i.e. wraps).
  • Copies in this designation typically will in most cases be beyond collectibility to the majority of the hobby.
  • Rare key comics and incomplete pages i.e. centerfolds are considered to be valuable for either restoration purposes or for individuals who just wish to own a piece of comic history.


VF/NM = Very Fine/Near Mint 7.5 to 9.0

F = Fine 5.5 to 7.0

VG = Very Good 3.5 to 5.0

G = Good 1.8 to 3.0

F = Fair 1.0 to 1.5

P = Poor .5