How We Grade
Rare Edition is changing the way that cards are graded. Every one of our cards passed through the industry's most comprehensive grading process, leading to consistent, accurate grades for your cards. We do what our competitors can't: Tell you exactly why your card got the grade it did, every time. Read on to see how it works.

*Update 07/01/2023*

Adjustments to the Grading Scale:
After many months of listening to feedback from fellow collectors, dealers, industry leaders, and our customers, Rare Edition has decided to update its grading scale and make changes in line with customer and industry preferences. We have been considering changes since well before the 2023 Mint Collective (that took place between March 30th and April 2nd earlier this year) when grading scales came into the limelight and we’re happy to announce that we are ready to execute those changes. Three months after posting a public survey requesting customer preferences and comments, we have decided to make the following adjustments:

Effective 07/01/2023:
-All Gem Mint 9.5 grades are now Gem Mint 10s and can be reholdered to show Gem Mint 10 on the label
-Subgrades will be removed for all cards reholdered or graded from this point on
-Two 10’s will exist on the new scale: Gem Mint 10 and Pristine 10

The Process
High-Res Scanning
Rare Edition takes every card sent to us and uses a high-resolution scan of the front and back to start our grading process. This scan allows our CV (Computer Vision) tech to begin assessing the card for any damage, and is the backbone for our grader's review.
In-Depth Research
Our team researches every card sent in to ensure that the information we put on the certificate is accurate. We review checklists and verify card-specific identifications, and if any changes are needed they're made by our team before the certificate is printed.
CV and Expert Grading
An integrated grading method combining human expertise and computer vision technology.

Our proprietary iPad grading system leverages the best of CV (computer vision) and human evaluation. Our expert graders reviews high-resolution imaging of each card whilst holding the card in front of them. The scans and CV results are compared against the card itself, after which our graders categorize and update any condition deviations in the system. This approach leads to our revolutionary grading report, where you can see exactly why your card got the grade it did - every time.
Certificate Printing
Once the card has been graded and researched, it's on to the certificate step. The card's information is printed onto our certificate, placed in the bottom part of our case, and the card itself is carefully put in. Special care is taken to remove any lint, dust, or hairs that may try to get in the case.
Welding and Encasing
The high frequency vibrations of our ultrasonic welder melt both pieces of polycarbonate together, creating an exceptional bond without the need for glue or adhesive. Once the pieces have been welded together, Corning® Gorilla® Glass is placed on the front and the back to provide superior scratch resistance and that premium feel our customers love.
Quality Control
Every card is checked prior to leaving our warehouse. Our team reviews each card to catch any issues that may have come up in the grading and encasing process, then passes the card along to be packaged and sent back.
Premium Packages Delivered Daily
Every card is sealed in our gold foil wrapper, then placed within a product box to protect it during shipping. Product boxes have a security sticker placed on them, then are put in their shipping box. That final box is sent back to you, ready to be broken out and enjoyed!
How We Reach Our Grades
Each card graded at our facility receives a comprehensive overall grade derived from data, formulas, and specific rules. Utilizing computer vision (CV) technology, we conduct high-resolution scans of each card to detect and highlight potential damage. Our skilled graders then meticulously compare the CV analysis with their detailed inspection of the card's corners, edges, surfaces, and centering. After a thorough examination of each section for damage, we determine the card's final overall grade. Although sub-grades aren't displayed on the final Rare Edition slab, they significantly influence the card's final overall grade, as illustrated in the examples below.

It's crucial to understand that the overall grade of a card isn't merely an average of its sub-grades. Instead, it's determined by a blend of rules and formulas, where the objective aspects of condition and visual appeal converge with the subjective art of grading. We confidently assert that our GEM-MT 10 graded cards are on par with, or superior to, our competitors' Gem mint graded cards. Our cards graded a 10 are extraordinary, showcasing some of the best-preserved pieces in collecting history. Paired with the highest quality, most robust slab available, Rare Edition embodies excellence in card grading, and safeguarding of your collectible's value.
At Rare Edition, a card can't score a 10 if there's a 9 or lower in any of the subgrades. We strongly believe that only the best cards can get a 10.
Similarly, if a card has two of the lowest subgrade, the highest grade a card can receive is that subgrade; that's why this card didn't get a 10.
Surface damage is a common reason for cards to get surprisingly lower grades. When the edge or surface is the lowest grade, the overall grade can't be more than 1 higher.
Corners and Centering are incredibly important. A card can never have an overall grade more than 0.5 higher than the Centering or Corners.
How We Find Card Damage
Corners: 5.5
A card's corners are critical, with crisp and sharp corners making or breaking many card's overall grade. For this specific card, over 50 years of travel before it reached Rare Edition resulted in some corner wear that brought its subgrade down to a 5.5. Each green overlay shows the general area where damaged was observed on the corners.
Damage Observed:
Light Damage
Edges: 8
Clean edges with few dents, chips, tears, or just general damage are important to score a high grade. For this card, the edges were in good condition for its age, despite some light chipping and a few light dents. We evaluate corners and edges eight times on a card: four for the front, and four for the back.
Damage Observed:
Light Damage
Light Chipping
Light Dent
Centering: 6
A well-centered card is critical for eye appeal. Many vintage sets are infamous for difficult centering and less-than-stellar quality control, and even modern and ultra modern sets can still have wildly off cuts. For this card the centering was off quite a bit, leading to a 6 subgrade.
Damage Observed:
Light Damage
Surface: 7
Without a doubt, surface damage is the hardest type of damage to see when a card has been encased. Rare Edition tracks all types of damage on the surface, and we're working on ways to show this damage in grade reports. Look for it coming soon!
Damage Observed:
Light Damage
Print Dots
Overall Grade:
Overall Grade Explained
Corners are critical to a card's overall grade. A card can never have an overall grade more than 0.5 above their Corner grade, so this card scored an overall grade of 6, despite a high Edge grade.


Does a card's grade come from the computer, a human, or both?

Rare Edition employs a unique combination of advanced computer vision (CV) analysis and skilled human grading to evaluate cards. This dual-method approach involves a thorough CV inspection for quick and precise assessment, complemented by the nuanced judgment of our experienced graders. This ensures that the CV technology efficiently speeds up the grading process without mistakenly identifying normal card characteristics as defects.

By integrating these methods, Rare Edition consistently assigns accurate grades. Each card's grade is meticulously checked by our professional graders to confirm its alignment with our established grading criteria and standards.

Can Rare Edition grade unlicensed or fan-made cards?

Rare Edition does not grade unlicensed or fan-made cards.

Can Rare Edition grade unlicensed or fan-made cards?

Rare Edition does not grade unlicensed or fan-made cards.

Can Rare Edition grade Pokemon or other TCG cards?

Rare Edition is pleased to announce that we are now able to grade standard-sized TCG cards, including Pokemon, Magic, Digimon, and other card games.

We're excited to offer this service to our customers and look forward to grading your cards!

Does Rare Edition have a pop report?

Rare Edition does not yet have a pop report, though we are actively working on creating one. Once we do, you will be able to see the cards we have graded so far along with the population of certain sets.

Who leads the grading team at Rare Edition?

Our grading team is led by a grading expert who has almost a decade of grading experience at two of the top three grading companies. This expert helps train our grading team members, identify inauthentic or altered cards, and provides guidance to the team on grading questions.

Does Rare Edition grade die-cuts?

Yes, as long as the total dimensions of the card meet the necessary width and length criteria (2.5 inches by 3.5 inches), and each side of the card is parallel to the borders of the slab.

Where is Rare Edition HQ?

Rare Edition's HQ is located in Beaverton, Oregon.

Does Rare Edition grade IP (in-person) autos?

Certainly, Rare Edition currently accepts only in-person (IP) autographs that have been previously authenticated by established autograph authenticators like JSA, PSA, or BGS. Rare Edition does not offer authentication services for IP autographs at this time.