PSA Grade - what will it get?

I was going through some of the cards I have ready to send in for grading and found one of my Dragonite’s I thought was flawless has some potential flaws. I noticed there is only minimal whitening on 2 corners on the back of the card - which isn’t that big of a deal I think as I have seen PSA 10’s with worse whitening. However, when I was examining the front of the card with a bright light, I was able to spot a potential holo scratch when turning the card a certain way in the light. This has me concerned the card won’t receive a PSA 10 grade, but it doesn’t really detract from the card’s appeal and is hardly noticeable unless you know of it and somewhat turn the card the certain way. I never noticed it before and the card went straight from the pack into a sleeve, so I do not know how on Earth it could have received a scratch.

My question is, in your experience, what grade would a card with perfect centering and no major flaws except minor whitening on the back (just at the back on 2 corners - not much) and this described holo scratch receive?

For added clarity, here is the holo scratch in question:

When in doubt, 9 it out


What you describe sounds like a 9 on most days.

The aggregate of the 2 white bits at back + the holo scratch would probably make it a 9

I have 9s with 1 tiny white bit at back and 0 holo scratches…

Then again stranger things have happened and you might never know haha


The odd part is that the holo “scratch” doesn’t show up normally with typical room lighting, it was only when I used an even brighter light while hunting for potential defects that I found it.

Do they take that into effect at all & what could have potentially caused this?

The reason I ask is because while I was searching listings of Fossil Dragonite’s that sold recently, I found one of interest that had a very noticeable holo scratch on it and it was graded a PSA 10.

Here is the listing:

That scratch in the link you gave is very likely on the PSA case, not the card.

And yes, if you found the scratches on your card, they will very likely find the scratches too and take that into account when they grade your card. Combined with the little bit of whitening on the back of your card, I definitely would not get your hopes up for a 10. The 8-9 range seems more likely.

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you wanna upload pictures of the back ? We all may have a different definition of minimal whitening.

Ah, I see. When I look at the picture zoomed in, it is hard to make out if it is on the case or card itself though it doesn’t seem to be the case to me, because if it were the case I would think the area around the crack would have more damage. However, I haven’t cracked or scratched any of the cases I’ve had over the years so am not completely sure about that myself.

I guess I shouldn’t get my hopes up like you said, as it seems the consensus so far is that this card will get a 9, which still isn’t so bad. I just thought that maybe since the scratch didn’t detract from the card’s overall appeal they wouldn’t dock for it, but more likely they will I suppose.

I don’t have a picture of the card in question’s back available at the moment but I do have a picture of a different card’s back whitening that received a PSA 10 whereas the one in question has similar/less whitening than this one.

I would be expecting a 9 at best if i were submitting a card like that, and be grateful for a 10. My personal experience of grading. Yeah there are worse 10s that exist but it is what it is

It’s not a crack, it’s a scratch. Although the great majority of the hundreds of PSA cards I own are clean, I have also purchased my share of cards that came in scratched cases through the years, and sometimes the scratches look like that.

Playing the “this card got a 10 so that card should get a 10” game, you’re probably not going to have a good time. Grading is subjective. There are many graders that judging slightly differently on something that inherently has no correct answer. Just submit the dragonite and see what happens. This isnt 2015 anymore, even if it was a guaranteed psa 9 it’s probably worth it

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Yeah I agree, as that’s very true. I’m just trying to gauge my expectations because I have submitted five different copies of this card in the past and have only gotten back one PSA 10, so I wanted to see if there is any chance it could attain a 10 or at least a 9.

Seeing as how PSA is closed at the moment, I am just getting my cards ready to submit and got the notion to inspect them carefully for any potential flaws and that is one I found. Not saying it should get a 10 because a different similarly flawed card did, but just comparing the flaws on each to justify my belief that it has a potential shot. Overall, I’d agree that it is most likely worth a 9, with the slight potential to under/over grade as an 8 or 10 but wanted to get other more experienced submitters’ opinions on the matter.

In regard to the listing I found of the sold Dragonite card, I am still pondering if the scratch is just on the PSA case or the card itself. On my scratch, it is only visible with bright LED light when turned certain angles. However, on the sold card it is clearly visible from the picture provided so they are indeed different scratches (whether its on the case or the card idk).

Probably a 9, resubmit it at least 20 times and it’ll probably eventually get a 10. The cardhouse way as I call it

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I don’t mean to harp on it, I just find it difficult to believe that scratch is on the holo (I have never seen a holo with that kind of scratch get a PSA 10) whereas I’ve definitely seen PSA cases with scratches like that.


this is the closest I’ve seen. Googled ‘psa 10 holo scratch’ and it redirected me to an old thread here lol :

I owned probably one of the more extreme cases of holo scratching that still graded a 10. Albeit it was quite an old cert and I haven’t seen anything quite like it since.

It isn’t the greatest picture as I deleted most I had of the card, but those scratches you see are on the card and were pretty deep in person.

@madden12ut @mojotbone Good finds. I definitely haven’t had any PSA 10s like that, fortunately. It does show that it’s possible for certain cards to slip through the cracks, but it’s still very rare from what I’ve seen.

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Judging by your picture, it looks like you submitted the card for re-holdering and PSA went ahead and updated the holder without disputing the grade of the card, so that’s interesting. I actually had asked about that in a separate thread a while back regarding a PSA 10 card with some whitening on the back corner and a spot on the front of the card. Looks like PSA stands by their grade, even if it is a “weak” grade by our standards.

If a potential holo scratch/mark is virtually invisible unless you scrupulously go hunting for them in bright light/magnifying glass, perhaps some PSA graders consider this as not detracting from the cards overall appeal (as stated in their grading standards) so that could account for some “weak” PSA 10’s.

@miguelito, I actually submitted the card for review as there was other damage on the card which in my eyes deemed it to not be a 10. When they upheld the grade I just asked them for the reholder service while it was already there.