Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) has unveiled a new certification label and new grading scales as it continues to carve out a piece of the highly competitive sports card grading market.
CSG’s bold new black, silver and gold label, which replaces the older green label, is the result of months of research and development, including market studies, focus groups and extensive testing, according to CSG officials.
CSG, which is owned by the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), is also updating its grading scale to more closely align with the sports card collecting market. The CSG Pristine 10 grade will be replaced by a CSG Gem Mint 10 grade, which corresponds to the grades used by other sports card grading services. The next-highest grade will be CSG Mint+ 9.5.
CSG will continue to assign the CSG Perfect 10 grade to the very best cards, which have flawless centering, corners, edges and surface. All cards that merit a CSG Perfect 10 will receive sub-grades for free, with no special request required. Sub-grades will be discontinued for other grades.
“These updates reflect CSG’s commitment to provide the best possible services to the sports card collecting community,” says Andy Broome, CSG Senior Grading Finalizer. “We listened to collector and dealer feedback and are thrilled with the results of these changes. Fewer than 20 percent of submitters were requesting sub-grades, so the demand simply was not there. In addition, eliminating sub-grades will allow us to further improve our turnaround times, which are already among the fastest in the industry.”
CSG experienced a surge in submissions soon after it launched in February 2021, resulting in a substantial backlog. But by increasing its capacity and streamlining the workflow, CSG eliminated its backlog and dramatically improved turnaround times. According to company officials, CSG has graded more than 750,000 cards and has the second-largest capacity of any third-party sports card grading services.
CSG also offers some of the fastest turnaround times in the industry at the most affordable prices, company officials say. Turnaround times range from just three to 45 business days, with grading fees as low as $12 per card.
CSG officials say there was overwhelming support for the new, minimalistic label and updated grading scale. CSG conducted numerous surveys and focus groups, and used the feedback to make the updates and changes.
“CSG is here to win,” said Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of the Certified Collectibles Group. “The new label looks fantastic, and we have the sports card collecting community to thank for helping us to step up our game.”
CSG has begun encapsulating submitted cards with the new label and submissions that are already at CSG’s facility will be encapsulated with the new CSG label with no sub-grades (unless the card earns a CSG Perfect 10 grade). The sub-grade fee will be refunded for any submissions that requested but do not receive sub-grades.
Additionally, cards already encapsulated with the original green label can be resubmitted for the new CSG label for a reduced ReHolder fee of just $5 per card until June 30. If the original green label had sub-grades, they will be removed when the card is reholdered to the new CSG label (unless the card is a Perfect 10).