So I have been buying some PSA slabs and from what I seem to be notice from the few 8s and little experience (not too smart or a quick learner either) that I have that PSA 8 means 1 of 2 things
- The holo is mostly fine or fine and there is some whitening on the edges
- There is like 20 diffrent scratches on the holo but the edges are pretty good.
Personally I really prefer the the cards with holos that aren’t beat up and some edge wear.
I have a Neo Discovery Umbreon in PSA 8 because the edges have a lot of whitening but the holo is fine and I think it’s a really cool card.
For me, it’s all a matter of degree. Lots of holo scratching bothers me and lots of edge whitening bothers me. Here’s the ideal PSA 8 for me: a pack fresh card that was super off-center and has giant factory print lines. Factory flaws don’t bother me at all. As long as the card is in as close to pack-fresh condition as possible, I’m fine with it.
Holo scratches really remove that nice shine when looking at the card, so I’d prefer whitening over holo scratches or even better off center with print lines like zorloth said
I prefer a clean holo because that’s what I’m looking at 95% of the time when I’m looking at a card
I’d prefer a card that doesn’t look like someone put steel wool to the holo
Centering can play a role in 8 grades too. For example, an otherwise PSA 9 worthy card (say 1 or two small corner whitenings and 1 small scratch on the holo) with poor centering can get knocked down to an 8.
To answer your question though - I’d prefer back whitening over holo scratches all day long.
Clean holo all day. Then centering. I don’t buy cards to look at the back. I can look at an energy if I want a perfect back.
Buy the card, not the grade
We all know the grade actually does matter in the long run financially, so ignore anyone that says otherwise if that is important to you.
On the note of a PSA 8… I prefer a clean back if the scratches on the front are factory lines specifically. I see that as pack fresh and it normally does not detract from the cards overall appeal. Now if it is all scratched up from wear then I prefer the opposite.
Lots of people have mint cards that are PSA 8 only due to factory lines, so I do not think these are as bad. Probably one of the few things deserving of a PSA 8.5 honestly.
Clean holo, but light print lines dont bother me!
I second @joer 's opinion. A pack fresh card can be an 8 when it has really bad centering and print lines, and this “pack fresh” condition is what I’d prefer over slightly used condition with whitening.
When buying 9s I prefer the bad centered ones as well, because it’s more likely that they are otherwise very clean.
I agree 100%. While PSA does their best to standardize grading procedure at the end of the day I just buy the cards I think look best. For me personally I prefer a clean Holo and am ok with some whiting on the back.
Clean holo with light edging is fine with me
I just bought a raw Poliwrath shadowless card for $30. It is would easily grade as an 8, probably 9, but has a slight slight indent that I was aware of. But I will be happy with this immaculate PSA 6 for my personal collection display because when I look at it through the slab it will look like a 9. The label looks, meh, nice, but the card will look beautiful. So I saved myself hundreds of dollars to get virtually the same thing that someone who bought an 8 or 9 graded has. This is how I roll.
Too much whitening on the edges really doesn’t appeal to me. I prefer a mix of light, but hard to see holo scratching and light whitening on back.