Grading process

Because a video is sometimes better than a long speech, here’s a short video presentation (in French, but this is mostly visual!) :

And here, in a few lines, is our process, from the moment we receive the parcel or envelope containing your cards to the return of your graded and protected cards. We’ve illustrated it with a few photos taken in our Lille offices (North of France) to make it more meaningful!

1. We receive your cards

We collect orders every day. We then open each parcel and envelope, comparing the cards received with those listed in the order. Every time a letter or parcel is opened, a film is made, the video is used as evidence in the event of a dispute over the contents of the parcel.

If everything is in order (as is the case in the vast majority of cases!) we change the order status to “order received by MTG Grade”, this status is displayed on the customer’s account and an e-mail is sent to keep them informed. In the event of a difference in the number of cards received, we will notify the customer.

2. We store your cards

The cards received are stored in black boxes, protected from light and heat, with their protective covers. These boxes are identified by order number – the customer’s name is never given, and is never known to the graders. They are then stored in a code-secured, burglar-proof cabinet, waiting to be graded. Of course, each box contains only one order, whether 1 or 100 cards!

3. We authenticate and grade your cards

Each card is first authenticated using detection techniques (UV light, green light, weighing, etc.). Once the card declared as Authentic, it is entered into the database (name, edition, language, effects, etc.), then graded/notated, starting with centering using a dedicated tool, followed by corners, edges and its surface using tools such as a high-magnification magnifier, white light and microscope, enabling us to see details that are difficult to see or even invisible without these tools.

A grade is then assigned to each of the 4 rating criteria, followed by a final grade that reflects the overall condition of the card, based on our gradation scale. This grade is not a mathematical average of the 4 subgrades, as each has various importance (More information on our scoring grid).

4. We create a label and put on a slab

The graded cards are placed in a case in which any dust or residue has been blown away, and a label is added with card information, notes and a QR code for database retrieval. Cards with a rating of 1 to 9.5 or simply deemed authentic (without rating) will have a silver/metal blue label, while cards in perfect printing and conservation condition with a rating of 10 will have a gold/ruby label, these cards are very rare !

5. We check every card

Each card, label and case is checked under a white light to avoid any misprints in the information given, to remove any dust that may have crept in with the card, and to change any case with an undetected defect (crack, micro-scratch, mark, etc.) before the final press stage, because after that it would be too late!

6. We seal the cases

Each case is sealed by an ultrasonic press, making it tamper-proof and completely waterproof. Every day, before sealing the first cases, we test the press settings with a test case to ensure that it is perfectly sealed and does not show any marks caused by excessive pressure. The ultrasonic sealing process uses no glue or solvents that could damage the card, and it’s the thousands of micro-vibrations per second of ultrasound and pressure that weld the 2 plastic shells of the case together, making them inseparable.

7. We pack and ship

The cards are packaged in small recycled cardboard boxes adapted to their size. The boxes themselves are then wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a special container. The box is then filled with protective and cushioning elements such as recycled cardboard shreds, recycled kraft paper, etc. Finally, an envelope containing the customer’s list of graded cards, sleeves and top loaders is inserted into the package.

Finally, the package is sealed and a shipping label affixed. The customer is informed of the processing of his order and an e-mail with a tracking link is sent to him. We ship by Colissimo, the French postal service, a national carrier may deliver once arrived abroad For hand deliveries, customers are invited to make an appointment to collect their graded cards.