When precious trading cards touch the bleaching action of the sun, the colors and dyes fade away. Not only is this a lackluster sight to behold, it also devalues the card because of the damage. Cases for cards are excellent, but it’s important to know the level of security they offer from things like sunlight. PSA is a popular type that most people use.
But are PSA cases UV protected? Maybe. Older cases absolutely will not provide any UV protection. However, some people claim modern ones do, but these not 100% foolproof against the sun’s harmful rays. Plus, some collectors beg to differ
Regardless, you are responsible for protecting your cards. Employing a combination of methods will help to safeguard your valuable collection.
Are PSA Cases UV Protected?
Some card collectors claim modern PSA slabs, or cases, are UV protected. And while this may be true to a certain degree, many collectors in online forums say that PSA cases don’t offer any UV buffer. As a matter of fact, there’s no claim on PSA’s official site stating there are UV materials added during production.
So, really it’s a tossup. On the one hand, many modern plastics, polymers and other synthetic materials come with a certain amount of UV resistance. In this regard, you can bank on a low level of assurance. But it will require you to ensure the slabs and the cards resting within them are safe against the elements.
How Do I Protect My PSA Slabs?
It’s important to consider the fact that, even though something may have UV coating, it doesn’t mean it’s 100%. So, regardless of the case and its ability to protect against potential harm, the card will fade if left in direct sunlight. This means you should be a little meticulous about storage and presentation.
Effects of the Sun on Trading Cards
One of the most powerful things in world is the sun. It disinfects, discolors and heats anything it touches. As this is fabulous for some things, it’s kryptonite for trading cards. The ultraviolet rays (or UV) that beams down can destroy an entire collection if improperly stored. Therefore, direct sunlight is the worst thing to expose your cards to.
Effects of Air ; Moisture on Trading Cards
Another dimension of damage that trading cards succumb to is lack of air and too much moisture. There has to be a perfect balance between the two or your collection will warp and fade along with running inks and weakening the card’s material. This will be something you’ll also have to take into consideration when you decide how and where to store them.
Even the container you store the cards in should be a top consideration. Don’t store your trading cards in average cardboard boxes, shoeboxes and etc. These things comprise chemicals and other substances that can actually leach into your trading cards over time. This will be especially true after prolonged periods of storage.
If you want to put them away safe and secure, ensure you get a box or three-ring binder that’s acid-free. This will help reduce fading from the elements in addition to preventing seepage from the materials of the container.
To shield your cards against things like UV rays from the sun, you should store them in one of the following:
- Card Guards
- Card Sleeves/Slabs
- Card Savers
- Recessed Holders
- 9-Pocket Card Sheets for 3-Ring Binders
PSA Recommends using Card Saver 1’s when submitting cards for grading. To check the current price and availability of Card Saver 1 Sleeves, click here to view the selection on Amazon.
When you put them away and out of sight, don’t store them anywhere sunlight shines throughout the day. This will often mean not putting them in places like the attic or kitchen. But, if you have a small bedroom that sees sunshine all day long, you may want to consider another closet in the house.
Also, don’t put the collection anywhere moisture can seep in. Therefore, avoid placing them in the basement, garage or other area easily susceptible to wetness and extreme changes in temperature.
These rules are also advisable in the case you need to transport them somewhere. If you travel with your trading cards, you have to protect them from sunlight, damage and moisture until you safely reach your destination.
If you want to display some of your favorite, most prized cards on a desk, wall or shelf, sunlight exposure will be your first consideration. Find an area that doesn’t get too hot and come into contact with direct sun. Remember, the more shaded and cool the area is, the better off your display will be.
Then, don’t solely rely on the case to provide UV protection. Since you’re going for a more decorative element here, get a high-quality UV glass casing. These will provide far more protection against the sun’s harmful rays than standard slabs. Even still, keep it out of sunlight for best results and continued preservation.
This is also true if you’re considering using a light to shine on your display. While it is a beautiful way to show off a particular card, it does have the potential to cause it to fade.
While PSA slabs may or may not be UV protected, it really doesn’t matter if they are in the interim. Even if they did offer the best safeguards against sunlight, any amount of exposure to your cards will kill your collection. Sufficient airflow while reducing moisture exposure will also be important.
This is why it’s imperative that you keep them out of direct light as much as possible. Thinking long and well about how to store them will be your best keys to preservation and keeping your cards in good condition for years to come. The point is to retain their value while enjoying them for as long as possible.
So, it’s worth it to take the time and look into the best options that will not only be affordable but also practical. Whether putting your cards out on display or storing them away for a rainy day, keeping them secure should be your utmost priority.