CGC Grading Scale

CGC uses a 10-point grading scale to evaluate comics. Below are CGC's grading standards for each numeric grade as well as the restoration grading scale.

Grading Scale

Gem Mint 10.0
The highest grade assigned. The collectible must have no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects.
Mint 9.9
The collectible is nearly indistinguishable from a 10.0 but will have a very minor manufacturing defect. It will not have any evidence of handling defects.
NM/M 9.8
A nearly perfect collectible with negligible handling or manufacturing defects.
NM+ 9.6
A very well-preserved collectible with several minor manufacturing or handling defects.
NM 9.4
A very well-preserved collectible with minor wear and small manufacturing or handling defects.
NM- 9.2
A very well-preserved collectible with some wear and small manufacturing or handling defects.
VF/NM 9.0
A very well-preserved with good eye appeal. There will be a number of minor handling and/or manufacturing defects.
VF+ 8.5
An attractive collectible with a moderate defect or a number of small defects.
VF 8.0
An attractive collectible with a moderate defect or an accumulation of small defects.
VF- 7.5
An above-average collectible with a moderate defect or an accumulation of small defects.
FN/VF 7.0
An above-average collectible with a major defect or an accumulation of small defects.
FN+ 6.5
An above-average collectible with a major defect and some smaller defects, or a significant accumulation of small defects.
FN 6.0
An above-average collectible with a major defect and some smaller defects, or a significant accumulation of small defects.
FN- 5.5
A slightly above-average collectible with a major defect and some smaller defects, or a significant accumulation of small defects.
VG/FN 5.0
An average collectible with several moderate defects.
VG+ 4.5
A slightly below-average collectible with multiple moderate defects.
VG 4.0
A below-average collectible with multiple moderate defects.
VG- 3.5
A below-average collectible with several major defects or an accumulation of multiple moderate defects.
G/VG 3.0
A collectible that shows significant evidence of handling with several moderate-to-major defects.
G 2.5
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with multiple moderate-to-major defects.
G 2.0
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous moderate-to-major defects.
G- 1.8
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with numerous major defects.
Fa/G 1.5
A collectible that shows extensive evidence of handling with a heavy accumulation of major defects.
Fa 1.0
A very poorly handled collectible with a heavy accumulation of major defects.
Poor 0.5
A heavily defaced collectible with a number major defects. Some pieces will also be missing.

Restoration Grading Scale

CGC’s Restoration Grading Scale is a transparent system that is much more descriptive and accurate than before. Every type of restoration found on each book will be individually graded for quantity and quality, with a cumulative score determining the final restoration grade assigned.

Quality (Aesthetic) Scale

Determined by materials used and visual quality of work

A (Excellent)
- Material used: rice paper, wheat paste, acrylic or water color, leafcasting
- Color match near perfect, no bleed through Read More...
- Piece fill seamless and correct thickness
- No fading, excessive whiteness, ripples, cockling, or ink smudges from cover or interior cleaning
- Book feels natural
- Near perfect staple alignment, or replaced exactly as they were
- Filled edges cut to look natural and even
- Cleaned staples or staples replaced with vintage staples
- Married cover/pages match in size and page quality. Professionally attached

Read Less...
B (Fine)
- Material used: pencil, crayon, chalk, re-glossing agent, piece fill from cadavers
- Piece fill obvious upon close inspection, obvious to the touch Read More...
- Color touch obvious upon close inspection, or done with materials listed above
- Cover cleaning resulting in slight color fading or excessively white
- Interior cleaning resulting in slight puffiness, cockling, excessively white
- Enlarged staple holes, obviously crooked staples, or backwards staple insertion
- Replaced staples not vintage
- Married cover/pages do not match in size and/or page quality. Professionally attached

Read Less...
C (Poor)
- Material used: glue, pen, marker, white out, white paper to fill missing pieces
- Piece fill obvious at arm’s length Read More...
- Bad color matching, use of pen or marker. Bleed through evident
- Cover cleaning resulting in washed out/speckled colors, moderate cockling and/or ripples
- New staple holes created upon reinsertion, or non-comic book staples used
- Married cover/pages poorly attached with non-professional materials

Read Less...

Quantity Scale

Determined primarily by extent of piece fill and color touch

1 (Slight)
All conservation work, re-glossing, interior lightening, piece fill no more than size of two bindery chips, light color touch in small areas like spine stress, corner crease or bindery chip fill. Married cover or interior pages/wraps (if other work is present)
2 (Slight/Moderate)
Piece fill up to the ½” x ½” and/or color touch covering up to 1” x 1”. Interior piece fill up to 1” x 1”
3 (Moderate)
Piece fill up to the size of 1” x 1” and/or color touch covering up to 2” x 2”. Interior piece fill up to 2” x 2”
4 (Moderate/Extensive)
Piece fill up to the size of 2” x 2” and/or color touch covering up to 4” x 4”. Interior piece fill up to 4” x 4”
5 (Extensive)
Any piece fill over 2” x 2” and/or color touch over 4” x 4”. Recreated interior pages or cover

Conservation Repairs

Conservation repairs are performed with the intent of preserving the structural or chemical integrity of a comic book using professional techniques and materials. It excludes aesthetic repairs such as color touch and piece fill. All conserved grades must satisfy the CGC quality scale of "A" and quantity scale of "1".

  • Tear seals
  • Spine split seals
  • Reinforcement
  • Piece reattachment
  • Some cover or interior cleaning (water or solvent)
  • Staples cleaned or replaced
  • Some leaf casting
  • De-acidification

Materials Used for Conservation Repairs:

  • Rice paper
  • Wheat glue
  • Vintage staples
  • Archival tape