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LeBron James Cards » Blog » Graded LeBron James cards

Graded LeBron James cards

Date posted: June 24, 2010

Graded LeBron James cardsAs you probably know the condition of cards plays a huge part in the overall value. For many years it was purely up to the buyer to view and determine their feelings towards the condition, and therefore value, of any card before buying. As more and more purchases were carried out before the buyer could actually see the card grading companies started to play a larger role in the valuation of cards.

Card grading works like this:

  1. The owner of the card marks down the type, brand and year of the card on the paperwork supplied by the grading company.
  2. The owner then securely packages their card and mails it into the grading company. Grading can also be carried out 'while you wait' in some instances.
  3. The company receives the card and first carries out a range of tests to ensure the card is an authentic copy as per the owner's paperwork - this is the authentication stage.
  4. If the card is deemed inauthentic it is usually placed into a secure holder, marked as inauthentic and returned to the owner.
  5. If authentic the card will go on to be graded. The owner however may request that the card is simply authenticated - if this is the case it will be enclosed in a secure holder, marked as authentic and returned to the owner.
  6. If the card is to be graded it will be scrutinized under a range of criteria (usually corners, surface, edges and centering). The card will be given an overall score (usually out of 10 but some companies use a 100 point grading system). This is the grading stage.
  7. Once graded the card is enclosed in a tamper proof case, given a serial number and marked according to its grade.

Grading company reputation

So as you see it is purely the opinion of the grading company which determines the grade of the card. Thus you still need to satisfy yourself that the grading company is a trustworthy source. Most people feel safe buying cards graded by:

  • BGS - Beckett's full service grading company
  • PSA - A long serving and respected grading company
  • BCCG - Beckett's limited service grading company who offer a speedier and less expensive grading

How to read a card grading

Card gradings are very clear and easy to read - they are designed to minimise the scope for any confusion or altering by dubious types. In large print will be the overall grade (usually out of 10 and often with 0.5 increments). The higher the better.

In addition BGS will offer a breakdown of the cards quality by giving an individual score for each of centering, edges, corners and surface. This can be great when choosing between multiple cards if, for example, you prefer nice centering over nice edges.

Importantly the card will also include a serial number. I highly recommend you check the serial number with the grading company before any large purchases - believe it or not graded cards can be faked!

Spotting a fake graded card

I have seen some shockingly obvious fake graded cards in my time. Make sure you keep in mind the following when looking to buy a graded LeBron James card:

  • Familiarize yourself with what the card holder and grading display should look like for each of your trusted grading companies and don't buy anything that doesn't quite look right.
  • Before any big purchases do a lookup of the serial number of the card with the grading company to ensure they have the correct records on file.
  • If you can view the card in person make sure you check the seals of the holder to ensure the card hasn't been swapped out. The holders are tamper proof so will show signs of damage if forced open.

Value of graded LeBron James cards

In just about all cases any LeBron James highly graded card will be worth a lot more than an ungraded copy of the same card. This is simply the result of two reasons:

  1. The security that comes with buying a card which has been determined as authentic and in great condition by an impartial party.
  2. The rarity of highly graded items. A card which is already rare becomes even rarer when highly graded. Most companies will publish population reports where you can look up the numbers of cards graded certain grades.

To illustrate this - most BGS 9.5 Michael Jordan rookie cards sell for $3000 to $5000. The first ever BGS graded 10 Michael Jordan rookie card (which there are now two) sold for $150000 some years ago!

Getting your cards graded

If you are interested in have cards in your collection graded please check out the links below:

Buying graded LeBron James cards

There are plenty of great graded LeBron James cards available on eBay right now.

Good luck and happy collecting.


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