Are you thinking of having some valuable cards graded? It is important to know that bent cards tend to score lower than their highest potential due to the defect. If you recognize this, you won’t be surprised when your rare card only receives eight from the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator).
However, cards can also warp naturally over time, which shouldn’t impact their grading. If you can keep your cards nice and straight, you should receive the best possible grades on them. It is worth noting that the PSA views warping and bending differently, leading to different scores.
Overall, there is a lot to know about what can and can’t affect card grading. You will want to stick around and read the rest of this article. When you finish, you will know more about what to expect from the PSA card rating system. Let’s get started!
How Much Does a Bent Card Affect Grading?
As cards age, they tend to warp or curl. Since this is a natural defect, it usually won’t cause the card to receive a lower grade. However, it does depend on how the card is bent.
If there is an obvious crease, then the card is considered to have damage- which is likely not natural from curling. So, if the card is bent and there’s a visible line going across it, the grade is going to surely drop.
There are several different types of bends that your card might receive. Here is what the PSA will be looking for in terms of damage and how it impacts your ratings.
We always recommend placing your valuable cards directly into a top loader to protect it for future grading. We like Ultra PRO top loaders as they are one of the most well known brands in the trading card industry. Their products are high quality and you can count on them to keep your cards safe.
Bent corners are usually the most obvious type of bend. The damage can stop cards from earning higher than a level eight, even if they are very high-end. Corners receive the most damage on the card since they are quite easy to bump off things.
When there is a line, the defect will lead to the card not getting as high of a grade it may have received otherwise- the more obvious the evidence of the bend, the lower the score.
Wrinkles, or surface creases, are not a full bend. They are usually considered a manufacturing error since the factory did not fully flatten the card during its creation. However, you are more likely to find this issue on very old cards.
The strength and size of the surface crease will determine how much the rating drops. If the wrinkle happens to be on the front, the card could drop to a value of five. If it’s on the back, the damage tends to impact the rating a lot less significant.
Does Card Warping Affect PSA Grade?
In most cases, warping is natural and will not impact your PSA grade. However, if the card is very warped or received water damage, you can expect the grade to drop. Still, if you have a lightly warped holo card, you should send it in to get graded. Odds are it rates highly, despite the warp.
You will also want to consider where the warping is. Holographic cards tend to curve on the ends. But, if your card shows a wave in the middle, then it’s not going to rate as well.
How to Stop Card Warping
When you find a rare holo or foil card, you will want to prevent it from warping. First, make sure you store them in a dry location. Moisture in the air can lead to warping, as well as extreme temperatures.
Additionally, you will want to keep them in card sleeves whenever you can. They may still warp in the sleeve, but they will be much more protected and likely to hold their shape.
Finally, the size of the card sleeve you use matters. You don’t want to stuff them into a sleeve that is too tight, as this can quickly cause warping problems.
How to Correct Card Warping
If you want to correct card warping, simply set some books on top of the cards. This method is easy and doesn’t take too long to correct the issue. Pile some textbooks on your cards before you go to sleep, then check on them in the morning. Some collectors store their cards with silica packets to reduce the amount of moisture they can absorb.
How to Fix Bent Cards
If you are comfortable doing it, you can remove moisture from the cards using heat. You will need a heat-safe cloth and an iron. Place the cloth over the card, then set the iron to heat based on your cloth. Make sure you aren’t using steam!
Then, quickly iron the cards. You don’t want to apply too much pressure or do it for too long. Make sure you are moving the iron to prevent burning. Once the card is flat, which should only take about 30 seconds, remove the iron.
When you finished, the cards should be completely flat! Keep in mind this method doesn’t remove signs of bending, such as crease lines. However, a flat card is likely to score a bit higher than a bent one.
Is It Hard To Get a PSA 10?
It is pretty hard to get a PSA 10 rating. Your card will need to have perfect corners, no bends, no blemishes, no printing errors, or other manufacturing errors. That means it also needs to be perfectly centered and pristine.
While receiving a ten is hard, you still want to send your card in. If you never try, then you will never know whether or not you have a perfect card. Even scoring an 8 or 9 is very impressive.
Overall, PSA graded level 10 cards are very rare. So, if you have one, you can be sure that it is very valuable!
What Makes a Card PSA 10?
A PSA 10, or Gem Mint, the card is completely perfect. They feature four sharp and flat corners and the original shine of the card. You want it to be bright and not dull. Plus, the card needs to be free of staining and serious misprints. Slight manufacturer errors may be accepted.
If your card has and damages, it is not likely to be a 10. However, it can still be rated very high if the damage is minimal.
So, do bent cards affect grading? If the bend left a visible crease, then yes. They would receive a lower PSA Grade. However, natural curling in foil cards actually will not lower the grade. So, you will want to inspect your card and determine what is causing the damage.
The only way to find out if you have a high-end level 10 card is to send it in and have it graded. Otherwise, you will never know! There are cards with a 10 rating that have received damage or have slight misprints- so you should still send in yours.
Overall, bent cards do tend to receive lower grades. You will want to flatten them with books, store them properly, and use the correct size of the sleeve to avoid warping and bending. If you can do all that, you will be sure to keep your collectibles in good condition for a long time.