The future of psa 10 collecting

For collecting graded cards and sets psa 10 has been the way to go. With the increase of cards graded higher than gem mint at bgs and cgc I’m wondering if instead of just going for psa 10 it’ll be going for psa 10 plus. Its not really been possible to do sets in pristine or black label bgs but with the rise in these and obviously cgc aswell more are coming to the market. Presently its not enough but it’s definitely heading in a certain direction and there may well come a time when people increase their psa 10 sets to psa plus as I call it. Where you try to complete a psa 10 set and then the aim is to upgrade as much as possible to bgs and cgc 10 pristine/perfect. If this becomes a trend I’d expect psa would have no choice but to bring out the illustrious psa 11 lol. In all seriousness I can’t be the only one thinking this way. Love to hear your views.

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Personally I prefer the simplicity of a PSA 10 over a BGS/CGC 9.5/10/black label. As long as I dont see any defects on the card I am satisfied, as they say ignorance is bliss. Though I will admit that there have been some times where I have had to buy additional PSA 10 copies of a card because of small imperfections like a single white dot on the border, so I can see the appeal of a 10+/black labels. However, the vast majority of the times I am happy with the first copy and even when I’ve bought multiple copies it has never reached a point where I had to re-buy more than once or twice.

So for me personally to pursue black labels/10+ as opposed to PSA 10s, prices would have to be at most 2-3x the price of a PSA 10 for me to even consider and even then it would just be for a select few cards where I would want to “get it right the first time”.


Psa 10 has basically been the pinnacle for a long time in collecting graded cards. Yes there were some bgs pristine/perfect 10s out there but not enough to really make collecting higher a real goal for many people. If there ends up being a reasonable amount (number to be assessed) it’ll give another layer to collecting. Yes prices would be more than psa 10s but they would make more sense as the market would become more defined.


yea I think if prices come down to a reasonable level 1.5-2x it would definitely be an alternative to collectors that want “perfection”, but this would also require impecable consistency on that “perfection”. If there are black label/10+ cards that still have small imperfections it would make these higher grades essentially meaningless.

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Price wise I think that’s about the right amount. I agree on the consistency bit. I think bgs got caught napping. Its cgc that looks like they’ve made a clever move in grading which forced bgs to follow suit but bgs aren’t grading as consistently because they are playing catch up.

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PSA are the industry gold standard. Black labels etc are a bit of a gimmick, not likely to become the standard.


I agree psa are. I think bgs in a last ditch attempt with the black labels boom will create it’s own demise within pokemon. Cgc will continue as number 2. Watch this space.

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The idea of having a set that is mostly PSA but with a few CGC / Beckett ‘upgrades’ is giving me a headache. I could see someone doing a CGC 10 set but having a mixture of grading companies in one ‘set’ sounds a bit strange to me

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It’ll take time to be able to do full sets. I actually don’t mind mixed and tbh if I get a full psa 10 set having some graded higher is actually really nice.

There’s one thing I’d love to see. There’s a 1st edition base Charizard cgc pristine 10 that’s been graded I’d love to see it come up for auction it would be very interesting to watch. Hopefully one day.

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I am highly OCD when it comes to sorting or viewing collections. Seeing old PSA slabs vs new PSA slabs is already too much for me.

People are generally happy with the simplicity of PSA 10, instead of having 3 different grades for the same card condition like BGS and CGC (9.5, 10, 10 plus). Mint is mint in my mind.


I think there’s more than just me that doesn’t mind mixed slabs. Even if only 10 percent that’s a lot of people. Poll time lol.

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Hoping there’s at least 2 votes that like the idea lol.
If it was possible to build a better than psa 10 pokemon set by including cgc pristine 10/perfect 10 or/and bgs pristine 10/black label would you include them or stick with only psa 10?

  • Include psa 10 and above
  • Include only psa 10

0 voters

CGC 10s (of the cards I collect, at least) have been selling for under PSA 10 prices via auction. So as it currently stands, the market values PSA 10s at least as high as CGC 10s. So I’m not sure that we can view CGC 10s as “above” PSA 10s. In terms of condition? On average, sure. But in terms of what people want? No. People still want PSA, and auction prices routinely reflect this. Given this, I don’t expect things to move in the direction you’ve described.

For BGS 10s, I have no clue since there’s very little auction data. But BGS 9.5s are selling for under CGC 9.5 prices, so I’d imagine the story is the same there.


Theres zero chance i would crack a PSA 10 to send to CGC/BGS or even send back to PSA for an “11”.

Also a PSA 10 has the perfect balance of obtainability and difficulty, just enough challenge to stay interested where a perfect 10 or black label makes me lose interest in grading


Personally, a PSA 10 is usually satisfying enough for me. I don’t really feel a desire to have a BGS or CGC 10 for 99% of my cards I collect in slabs. I can definitely see the arguments for wanting something ‘more’ than a PSA 10, especially with something like modern, but I don’t personally value them more in my own collection for the most part. With something like vintage, they can also be very special since they are usually very hard to get, but again it’s really going to come down to personal collection goals to me.

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My thinking is that a psa 10 set will not be the highest set in condition on average as time goes on. Its early days but if I’m thinking it I’m guessing a few others are also thinking it. Funnily enough the poll at the mo says a few others are lmao. I’m not expecting a majority just didn’t think I’d be alone either.

I think as time moves forward people will actually be forced down the grading ladder towards PSA 9’s, 8’s, 7’s, etc. It’s already happening to a much larger degree than 5 years ago when I reentered the hobby when everything was PSA 10 or bust. And I don’t see a the majority of collectors willing to break their sets up within different companies slabs.


Consistency is king for me so if I were collecting 10s I wouldn’t want to mix and match going with other companies, especially when 10 is a near flawless card. So I’d have no real incentive beside if I really wanted to go “up”. Honestly to echo @SeasidePokemon I think the trajectory for 10 collecting is going to be backwards in grades rather than forwards. Those who originally wanted to get 10s will shift there goals to 9s or lower grades in the coming years. Pokémon is still so young we can afford these high grades to an extent, but lower graded pick ups are much more common in sports.


I think that grades higher than psa 10 are to rare right now and is more of a niche collecting goal for most people. This is because these grades are to rare. I can see the population for these cards increasing for modern cards but most older cards probably won’t be able to attain a level of population for most people to be able to collect. That is why I think psa 10 will remain the gold standard.


100%! Especially when sub 9 grades with non psa companies are undeterminable. Regardless of preference, PSA has the most comprehensive 1-10 grading scale.