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  1. #1

    Anyone have experience with grading high end vintage cards?

    I've never sent a card in to get graded, but a friend of mine's father in law has a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle that's in pretty great shape. I told him I think he should get it graded, but obviously it can get a little nerve racking sending a high end card in the mail. I think he'd be okay as long as he insures it for a decent amount, but wanted to see if anyone would have some experience with sending higher end cards for grading and can give me some tips I may not be thinking about.

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  2. #2
    What company are you planing on sending it to? Are there any card shows in your area where the card companies grade at? It would be safer bringing it to a show instead of mailing it if you are going to be going that route.
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  3. #3
    probably beckett. I'm in indy and thought about finding a show where they grade in person. I thought they mainly did that at the national. Are there other regional shows were they grade in person? I'll have to look on beckett and see if they have a schedule.
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  4. #4
    of course, the link to the shows they attend in the FAQ list is a link to no where.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Star_Cards View Post
    probably beckett. I'm in indy and thought about finding a show where they grade in person. I thought they mainly did that at the national. Are there other regional shows were they grade in person? I'll have to look on beckett and see if they have a schedule.
    Would it sell for the most graded by Beckett? Just asking in case you didn't know. I'm not an expert on vintage cards but I do know that sometimes vintage cards are better off with PSA and then sometimes SGC. The difference can be hundreds to thousands of dollars in some cases.
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  6. #6

  7. #7
    Beckett's vintage grading (BVG) standards are not up to par. If you're going to send a vintage card in for grading, you want PSA or SGC.

    Some people prefer SGC's slab (and I have to agree that the black background makes a vintage card pop), but PSA is still the way to go, imo, because of the set registry. If the card is ever going to be sold, a PSA-graded card will command the highest premium.

    They'll want the card in a "card saver I" (made by Cardboard Gold), which you can get on Ebay, or at a local card shop. I'm sure you've seen these before. They're semi-rigid archival-quality plastic pouches. PSA won't accept cards shipped in magnet cases, screw downs or top loaders, as the card can move around during shipment. The card saver I actually holds the card in place. Just be very careful putting the card in, as the top actually needs to be opened up to get the card in. I'd put the Mantle in a penny sleeve first (clear polypropylene, which are acid/pvc free, so they won't do anything to damage the card's surface, or mess with the printing ink). I prefer Ultra pro. You might take another card and practice before putting the Mantle in.

    Here's the shipping guidelines from PSA: http://www.psacard.com/shipguide/

    The card in the saver will then be put in between pieces of cardboard, banded, and wrapped in bubble wrap, then boxed up.

    As suggested earlier, if PSA is doing grading at any local shows, that's the safest route, but if the card is adequately insured, you have no worries shipping it. Just keep in mind what a vintage '51 Bowman Mantle could be worth. A mid grade PSA 4-5 will sell in the $4,000 range, and something in the higher range, like a PSA 7-8, could sell for $15,000 to $20,000 and up. For anything over $5,000 in value, you'd need registered mail through the USPS (up tp $25,000).

    Let us know what you decide to do, and when you guys get the card back after grading, a scan or a picture would be great. I'd love to see it as a real vintage card lover!

    Good luck. Sounds like he's got a real beauty on his hands!!
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  8. #8
    One more thing to note that might give your father-in-law's friend some peace of mind. I didn't go into detail in my first post. Polypropylene is for all intents and purposes chemically inert. That means there's nothing in the sleeve that will react with the card itself. When something is described as being of archival quality, it means that you don't have to worry that the ink, or the paper the card was printed on, will react to the sleeve, and ruin the card. Vintage photographs are stored in these.

    He's smart to get to get it graded, as it will not only make storing the card safer should he keep it (the slab will help keep the card in it's current condition), it will also help him getting it insured. Vintage Card Prices is a subscription guide that tracks what graded vintage cards sell for. So, if his Mantle were to get a PSA 8, for example, that site would show him the history of PSA 8 '51 Mantles, and what they have sold for. That would establish a benchmark for his insurance purposes.

    http://www.vintagecardprices.com/index.php
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star_Cards View Post
    probably beckett. I'm in indy and thought about finding a show where they grade in person. I thought they mainly did that at the national. Are there other regional shows were they grade in person? I'll have to look on beckett and see if they have a schedule.
    Well, the National is in Chicago this year, so the drive up wouldn't be that bad. I am just North of you near Ft. Wayne & a few of us are making the trip over for the weekend.
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  10. #10
    Awesome info!! Thanks. I'll keep you posted as to what route he takes.

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