Why are newer PSA cert #s worth more?

What are the basic fundamentals for why newer PSA certs are looked at a little more highly? (i.e. PSA cert 6xxxxxxx)

The only thing I have read is because some believe the grading is now harsher. So, on average, a 10 on a newer cert means a little bit more than a 10 on an older cert (obviously, this is a generalization, as there will always be old 10s that are in phenomenal condition).

But is there any other reason? For example, does PSA use new technology (scanners, etc.) that they didn’t use to grade cards (or authenticate cards) back in the day?

Once again, thanks everyone! :blush:

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I haven’t studied it that closely, but I haven’t noticed any real difference in what old certs sell for via auction vs. new certs. If new certs sell for more than old certs, it’s not by much.


I haven’t noticed a significant difference myself. If anything at all, it could just be that the slabs are more modern and in a newer case with newer labels.


Going to get my popcorn ready - people are about to get big mad on this thread as always when this topic is brought up



From my experience, the 5xx certs are the worst condition or the condition varies the most between the same grades. I think it’s because they wanted to meet the high demand during 2020 and lowered their quality control (also the label centering is really bad on some of the 5xx).

I feel like 6xx are alright again. Most of the (pre-)2xx ones have old label so I understand that when someone only collects the new certs, they don’t want those. My personal favourites are the 4xx. I feel quite safe buying the condition on those and would pay more over 5xx or 2xx.

Some people have a notion that newer certs are more accurately graded, or prefer the newer label design. In my experience there has always been cards under/over graded regardless of the cert number. Check the condition for yourself and buy accordingly.


I know I personally don’t like the look of the old labels/cases, so it could be that on easy to come by items people would rather pay a little bit more to get a new cert, rather than going through the hassle of reholdering

Its mostly noise. I sell thousands of cards a year with a variety of cert numbers, and there isn’t a discernable difference. Also it used to be 4xxx was the better cert, now that is the weaker cert. :dizzy_face:

Also its a really good example of the fishbowls in pokemon; instagram/facebook/discord groups with strong opinions think their fishbowl is the entire ocean. You can have everyone in this thread say they prefer new certs, and its just a drop in the ocean.


I like the newer labels, they look cleaner/more modernized than the old ones. I personally don’t really care though about cert numbers, it’s about how the card itself looks. I recently won an auction for a PSA 9 WOTC Holo that I ended up paying more than I thought I would. The slab was a 2xx cert but the card itself looked amazing, probably the reason why.

But have you considered the fact that fake cards are becoming convincing enough to fool grading companies. For example, the fake 1st Edition stamp for Base Set.

Therefore, 0xx, 1xx and 2xx certs are far superior as they hail from an era when Pokemon cards weren’t nearly as valuable, thus less incentive to fake them. Older certs cards are much more trustworthy.

How’s this dressing for your popcorn?



I agree that it’s fishbowl effect, and you need to assess condition yourself.

Just a month ago I paid more for a 2xxx cert over a 4xxx cert of the same card on PWCC because it was in better condition based on the photos.

As the hobby continues to grow and develop, the only people that will remember preferences for one cert over another will be the ones who have been in long enough to laugh about it.

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I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but I’ll go ahead and take the bait. I think you are greatly overestimating the amount of fakes that will be able to fool reputable grading companies. Sure - eggs will continue to buy obvious fakes from 0 feedback charizardballer69’s, but I don’t think that all of the sudden a flood of professional fakes are incoming. The amount of knowledge it takes, the professional printing equipment, the barriers to entry to even obtain mint shadowless cards to stamp - Timmy’s aren’t going to start faking left and right.

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I don’t think its a Cert # thing, but more so a card thing. Some cards are simply not always 100% spot on to the grade/cert and therefore you will find ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ examples across all certs potentially (i.e. outliers within the grade). Regardless, the grade itself is what sells in the end, and the market generally accepts the grade first over anything else.

I have seen people suggest that newer Certs are graded harder/more accurate than Old Certs, but if this were the case, why are people still paying a premium for a PSA 10 no matter what the Cert # is? Wouldn’t this mean New Cert PSA 9s are potentially equal or similar to Old Cert PSA 10s if they’re graded ‘harsher’ now? So many ways to flip the logic, but in the end the market only buys the grade. I pretty much always find flaws on my 9s compared to my 10s and I own a wide variety of Cert # slabs from PSA in Pokemon cards.

I will comment and say that with BGS I have found they have become more consistent/accurate since 2017 or so on the ones I have bought for Magic & Pokemon (mainly Magic). But this has just been my experience with them compared to PSA.

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One word: groupthink.

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I have send many packfresh cards the last years in groups of 20-150. Perhaps this isn’t even a large enough scale but in general I get back 45/45/10 on 10/9/8.
The range of the cards are Expedition up till mid EX series, Holo and reverses.

Thank you for the wisdom and information! I find what you said fascinating about 4xxxxxxx certs going through waves of being better vs. weaker. Is there any explanation to this particular phenomenon with the 4xxxxxxx cert or do you feel it was pretty random?

Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge and wisdom! I was not expecting to get 15+ replies in a few hours. What an amazing community.

I have learned a lot from the above and this helps guide my thinking! I especially like the argument regarding older certs being slightly “better” (I hate to use that word here, perhaps I should use “preferred”) for 1st edition WOTC as well as the counter argument. It’s nice to see proponents on both sides, but also the overall consensus that prices don’t really vary much based off cert # and, at the end of the day, it’s really about the card itself. I also appreciate the discussion about the more modern slabs and cert label look. Interesting on both sides. In summation, it appears there really isn’t a definitive difference between lower and higher certs, but there is individual preference based on a variety of factors for collecting purposes. Always learning!


Everytime I see a post of you I always think the same.
fucking beautiful Pokemon gen 1 was.
So much nostalgia in a picture. I will re play pokemon red on my game boy soon I think
regarding the topic personally I don’t care about cert number, only if they are the new cert design and not the old one.
if possible, I like having consecutive cert numbers that’s cool though


Where’s the evidence of a price difference? I’m not talking about a handful of cherrypicked examples either, where’s the data that the difference is real?