Grading Records !!! Evaluate Your Album Collection.
Johnny X 2003.
Goldmine Grading Guide
IN GRADING MY ALBUMS, I USE THE *GOLDMINE RATING STANDARDS IN HOPES TO GIVE YOU THE BEST VISUAL IDEA OF THE ALBUM'S CONDITION SEEING THAT A SCANNED PICTURES CANNOT CLARIFY PARTICULAR DEFECTS.
But many records are not fully graded so if you see [VG?] or [VG+?].
Records are not in fully graded.
Rating is VG+ in most records but
you can say that they are in Near Mint condition most of the Time.
THIS IS NOT VISUAL GRADING!
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* MINT=APPEARS TO BE NEW, NO SCUFFS, SCRATCHES, WRITING, TEARS, STAINS ETC.
M, or MINT - unless a record is sealed, absolute mint condition is impossible to verify, and even then it's unsure for many reasons, including the fact that record stores and even record distributors have often been known to reseal returns. No scuffs or scratches, blotches or stains, labels or writing, tears or splits. With records of antiquity, the further back you go, the harder it is to find unplayed or lightly played records. However, age is irrelevant. Mint means Mint.
* NEAR MINT=A LP THAT WOULD BE MINT EXCEPT FOR A FEW MINOR FLAWS THAT DOESNT AFFECT THE PLAYING OF THE RECORD. COVERS ARE CLOSE TO MINT BUT HAVE SHELF WEAR AND AGE IS EVIDENT: LIKE, SLIGHT RING WEAR, MINOR DENTING ON CORNER, OR WRITING.
NM, or NEAR MINT - is for a record / cover that to all appearances has never been played. Well, perhaps one or two tiny, inconsequential flaws. The vinyl will have more visual imperfections that do not effect the sound quality of the record. Covers might have more visible signs of age or wear (IE, slight ring wear or denting, etc.) becoming evident, but still it should be close to perfect. All flaws are noted.
Near Mint (NM): A nearly perfect record. There may be one or two small inaudible defects. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other sights of slight handling. An LP jacket should have no creases, folds, seam splits or any other noticeable similar defect. No cut-out holes, either.
* VERY GOOD PLUS= THE ALBUM IS NOT PERFECT BUT HAS BEEN HANDLED PLAYED LITTLE OR CAREFULLY. IT COULD HAVE LIGHT PAPER SCUFFS, OR VINYL MAY LACK PART OF IT'S SHINE.LIGHT SCRATCHES BUT DOESNT AFFECT SOUND. SOME WEAR FROM STORAGE ON COVERS.
Very Good Plus (VG+): A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Record surfaces may show some slight signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that dont affect ones listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, lightly turned-up corners, or a slight seam-split. An LP jacket may have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount.
* VERY GOOD=VISIBLE SIGNS OF HANDLING AND PLAYING, LIKE A LOSS OF SHINE, SCRATCHES, GROOVE WEAR, AUDIBLE SURFACE NOISE BUT DOESNT OVER RIDE THE MUSIC.PLAYED BUT CARED FOR. COVER COULD HAVE OBVIOUS RING WEAR, SEAM SPLITS, BENT CORNERS, LOSS OF GLOSS, STAINS, ETC.
VG, or VERY GOOD - describes a record / cover that has been handled, but is relatively free from marks of any kind, and obviously played infrequently or very carefully. On the vinyl this could mean that there are slight paper scuffs from sliding the record in and out of the sleeve or the vinyl may have lost some (but not all) of its original lustre. This may also mean that the record has a slight scratch or two that cause some slight audible surface noise, but it should be very minor and not overwhelm the musical experience. Covers probably have much more visible wear than NM.
Very Good (VG): Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a songs intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as will light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time, just two or three of them.
* GOOD HAS BEEN HANDLED ALOT WITH A NUMBER OF DEFECTS, COULD HAVE TOTAL LOSS OF SHINE, SURFACE NOISE, SCRATCHES BUT STILL CAN BE ENJOYED WHILE PLAYING. COVER COULD SHOW SIGNS OF MUCH HANDLING. I WILL STATE IF THERE IS SKIPPING.
G, or GOOD - is a record / cover that has has obviously never been properly cared for. For example, it may have surface marks or scuffs, or other minor defects. However, one may assume that it is generally free from skips, audible scratches or other serious defects - thus good enough to play and enjoy. The only time I offer a "G" record is if it is rare and could be used as a filler by collectors. Naturally, the price reflects the " AS IS " condition. Condition is everything, but that depends on circumstances too, doesn't it ?
Good (G), Good Plus (G+): Good does not mean Bad! A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be put onto a turntable and will play though without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear. A jacket or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the subject.
Poor (P), Fair (F): The record is cracked, badly warped, and wont play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and writing. The LP jacket barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully seam split, crinkled, and written upon.
SEE The Legend
Updated: Feb. 02, 2004
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