For some autographs, having them authenticated just isn't enough, differentiate them from all others on the market by having the autograph graded by Beckett Authentication Services!
After the autograph has been authenticated and deemed authentic, it then receives a grade based on condition using a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best.
Autograph Grading Scale
Pristine 10- A beautiful, boldly signed autograph that appears near perfect to the naked eye. Under normal viewing, it looks like an aesthetically-pleasing autograph.
Mint 9- This is a signature that is also very pleasing, but has a slight imperfection that barely detracts from the autograph. Acceptable imperfections include one of the following: a light skip in the signature, a slight variance of boldness, light bubbling or micro scratching; however, signatures exhibiting yellowing, fading or smearing are not eligible to receive this grade. Positioning should be nearly perfect – with just the very tips of a letter or two cut off or hidden.
Near Mint/Mint 8- At this level, some flaws begin to stand out slightly. While the signature is still solid and pleasing, it may exhibit more noticeable defects that affect the aesthetics of the autograph like: a light bleed on one of the letters, a more evident skip in the signature, streaking, visible yellowing, or a signature that has begun to fade evenly or is slightly smeared. For pack pulled autographs specifically, only 10% of the signature may be missing, when referring to a sticker/cut autograph. Only a very small tip of the signature may run off the card or may bleed onto the edge.
Near Mint 7- While still considered a strong signature, multiple flaws are evident, including: noticeable yellowing, small but obvious portions of smeared ink, even fading to the entire signature, blemishes or wear of the autograph or heavy bubbling throughout. Additionally, a slight retrace, by the original signer, may be acceptable. For pack pulled autographs specifically, up to 20% of the signature may be missing, when referring to a sticker/cut autograph. A portion of the signature may run off the card or may bleed onto the edge.
Excellent Mint 6- At this level, while the signature is still complete, heavy flaws are easily visible and highly distracting, including: significantly smeared ink on multiple areas of the autograph, considerably more skipping or bleeding of the autograph or substantial yellowing or fading of the entire signature. For pack pulled autographs specifically, up to 35% of the signature may be missing, when referring to a sticker/cut autograph. Several letters of the signature may run off the card or may bleed onto the edge.
Excellent 5- By this stage, aging of the signature has become evident, it is no longer bold and exhibits heavy flaws that take away from the overall eye appeal. While the entire signature is still visible to the naked eye, it is subject to massive fading and yellowing, smeared ink or blemishes throughout that distract from the autograph. Additionally, a significant retrace, by the original signer, may be acceptable. For pack pulled autographs specifically, up to 50% of the signature may be missing, when referring to a sticker/cut autograph. Several letters of the signature may be missing entirely as they have run off the card or bled onto the edge.
Very Good/Excellent 4- At this stage, portions of the signature are subject to significant fading where some letters can only be deciphered upon very close inspection, at least 75% of the signature must be visible. Major flaws detract from the overall eye appeal and are more advanced than what is acceptable for a BAS EX 5.
Very Good 3- This is a signature that is now 50% visible to the naked eye. Portions of the signature are completely removed or invisible due to the aging and fading of the autograph. Major eye appeal issues like yellowing, smeared ink and blemishes are present.
Good 2- This is a signature that may have lost up to 75% of its visibility to the naked eye due to aging and fading. Under close examination the entire autograph may not be decipherable, but is clear enough to determine authenticity. Eye appeal at this point is not good.
Poor 1- This is a signature that is barely visible even under closer examination. A significant portion of the autograph may have worn away completely or faded leaving only a few visible letters.