Wish me luck... (Grading talk, be warned.)

A relevant quote I heard recently:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
-Theodore Roosevelt.

I have decided to send in a card for “Review” by PSA. The card is a PSA 9 Shadowless Charizard. I purchased this card recently and quickly realized its exceptional quality as I compared it to the several other Shadowless Charizard 9’s I own. This is a card that will remain in my collection indefinitely regardless of its grade. I wanted to share this because I think it is an important topic for the integrity of the graded Pokemon card collecting community. When we are talking about thousands of dollars more for a 10 over a 9 this stuff should be taken seriously and since one of my goals is to own that card, I think I would be stupid to not re-submit this card first.

There has been three recent PSA 10’s to show up on the population report. One of them has been sold and there’s currently no good pictures of it while the other two are still for sale on eBay. I have taken the photos provided and compared them with my card to the best of my ability.

The first two pictures are scans of my card, front and back at 800 dpi blown up to roughly 200% of actual size when posted to the thread and displayed on a PC internet browser. There is no color filters or editing done other than adding my name as a watermark.

The next picture is my card on the left next to a PSA 10 on the right.

Here is the second PSA 10 with highlights of some flaws I noticed.

I got the 9 for a very good price so I submitted it under the 10 business day turnaround price of $18. I figured spending $16 to ship it there, $18 to ship it back, plus the $18 to have it reviewed will be well worth the chance of my card’s value increasing tenfold.

I know some of you may disagree with regrading and I’m totally on the same train as far as looking down on crackers who look to slip lesser quality cards by the eyes of a “professional” grader but I truly believe this card deserves the higher grade considering the comparison to the two examples of the same card on eBay. This is the fourth card I’ve ever resubmitted out of 433 graded cards. The first three came back as 10’s and will remain in my set collection.

Some notes about my card:
-It does have minor silvering on the face along the top and left edges. The silvering is so minor that it does not detract from appearance and I have many PSA 10’s with worse.
-It has one visible, factory white mark on the top left corner of the back. This mark is smaller and less noticeable than almost every white mark on the PSA 10’s above.
-The color is quite rich and much more saturated than most Shadowless 'zards I come across.
-Its centering could be better on the face but I believe it is within PSA’s parameters of 55/45 and 60/40. Does anyone know if the 55/45 to 60/40 is top to bottom, left to right or vice versa?
-The holo is virtually flawless. One of the cleanest foils I’ve ever seen. I always find scratches or print lines on PSA 10 cards that might not show up in scans or pictures but this one has none at any angle.

How do you think I’ll do?
How does PSA review cards? Does the grader know it is a review?


From my experience reviewed cards almost always get the same grade. PSA tries to keep their given grades consistent. Plus you need to realize it’s more work for them to have to reslab the card.

Unless there’s a particularly egregious error on the part of PSA, expect the same grade from a review. That’s why cracking and resubmitting is the way most regrading is done.

I have a Shadowless Charizard that I sent in for review once as well. It has a slightly rough corner and a small white factory dot on the bottom right, just like yours. Essentially, it’s easily a 10. And if it were inside a PSA 10 slab, nobody would question it. Regardless, it came back a 9.

From my experience, it seems like it could regrade a 10 (I’ve definitely seen worse) . . . but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s hard to tell inside the case, but it looks like there is some flaking/silvering on the front, left edge. I know this is a common issue with otherwise immaculate Jungle holos receiving 9’s instead of 10’s.

I strongly disagree.

I’ve sent several cards in for review and the majority of them have been upgraded. Most of them were what I would consider to be strong 9s. The idea that PSA doesn’t upgrade cards is not well founded.

Additionally, PSA wouldn’t even offer a review service if they wanted to keep their grades consistent. Cracking and resubmitting is prevalent for a lot more reasons than review being allegedly unsuccessful.


That’s good to know. I guess we have different experiences then.

I always felt that the review service was for really big mistakes or serious errors: i.e. a grader giving a gem-mint card a PSA 5 or something.

If a card got a 9 it’s because the grader observed a problem that in his opinion made it deserving of a 9 and it might be something that’s difficult to see through the case. Reviewing is done through the case.
In other words, I’d prefer a card that was initially graded a 10 instead of on review or via a cracker.

I’ve gotten about plenty of cards upgraded from a 9-10 via review.

Interesting. I wasn’t aware that this was a service that people used much, if at all.

Can you tell if a card got a 10 from review? As in, does PSA mark the tag ‘from review’ or something?

Yes, I knew that;)

Yes, unfortunately it is far too common.

I’m afraid the public has no access to grade adjustment information.