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View Full Version : Cracking open a PSA slab?


dgo71
12-06-2012, 01:57 AM
I have my eye on a really nice vintage 3x5 that is PSA slabbed. The only caviat is that I would much prefer to matte the 3x5 into a nicer piece with a photo. I guess I have a two-pronged question.

1) Would there be an option of matting the item and leaving the slab intact? I guess a shallow shadowbox might work, but I have very little matting experience and don't know if such a thing is possible.

And more to the point of this post:
2) What is the general opinion of just breaking open the slab? Is that considered "taboo?"

I should note that I have no intentions of reselling the item, and I imagine if I did break it out and decided later to resell I could always pay to have it re-certed. Just looking for opinions from some of the more advanced collectors who deal with vintage stuff more often than I do.

Any insight is much appreciated!

Scott Garner
12-06-2012, 04:52 AM
I'm sure that you will get many different opinions on this topic if people check in.

I have no problem with cracking open PSA slabs, as I am personally not a big fan of them. My bias is that I have never personally submitted a signature to PSA or JSA, nor do I like the way that they look as far as displaying them in my collection. That being said, it's only my opinion.

If I do purchase an autograph that's already in a slab, I usually make a color copy of the sig in the holder before cracking it open. I also keep a "morgue" of the PSA labels should I ever want to resurrect them to make selling the sig easier for those that are PSA true believers down the line.

Either way, there is no right or wrong answer...

mschwade
12-06-2012, 08:29 AM
If it's a valuable vintage 3x5, I would send it to PSA and pay for them to remove it and issue a Full LOA with it.

I've talked to PSA customer service previously about doing this, but have never went forward with it.

dgo71
12-06-2012, 04:06 PM
Thank you both, I completely agree with your assessment Scott, nice to know I'm not out of my mind for thinking that way. And mschwade, that is a very good idea as well, I didn't realize that allowing PSA to handle it themselves was even an option. Many thanks!

mighty bombjack
12-06-2012, 04:51 PM
Cracking slabs is fun. I have only done it with cards, but I'm fully prepared to do it with all of my autos when the currently-favored alphabets go the way of GAI.

travrosty
12-06-2012, 10:44 PM
just bust it out of there, its no problem. you dont need psa's permission to own an autograph.

dgo71
12-07-2012, 01:19 AM
Ha! Excellent answers, and mighty, I cannot WAIT for that day. I'd take the opinion of nearly any one person on this forum over a stable of PSA "experts" anyway.
Thanks!

BigRedOne
12-07-2012, 05:02 AM
Ive cracked 100's of psa slabs. They are without question the easiest slab on the market to crack cleanly.


The slabs crack so clean most of the time its a shame to throw them away. I oten use them for special projects with my own custom made label.

http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg297/bigredone1944/PSA%20Board%20Lots/Michael%20Jordan/DecadeDominanceSet5.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg297/bigredone1944/PSA%20Board%20Lots/Michael%20Jordan/CutAboveSet9.jpg
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg297/bigredone1944/PSA%20Board%20Lots/Michael%20Jordan/CutAboveSet3.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg297/bigredone1944/PSA%20Board%20Lots/Michael%20Jordan/OneonOneSet10.jpg

jgmp123
12-07-2012, 07:47 AM
Ive cracked 100's of psa slabs. They are without question the easiest slab on the market to crack cleanly.


The slabs crack so clean most of the time its a shame to throw them away. I oten use them for special projects with my own custom made label.



What do you usually use to crack them open with? special tool? it looks like there is minimal damage to the casing...

Scott Garner
12-07-2012, 08:25 AM
What do you usually use to crack them open with? special tool? it looks like there is minimal damage to the casing...

No problem!
Use a standard flat tipped screwdriver. I usually pick one of the upper corners, insert the tip of the screwdriver and carefully twist it back and forth (like you are turning the screwdriver clockwise and then counter clockwise). Next I go to the opposite upper corner and do the same. This esentially "Cracks the PSA holder open enough that you can physically finish the process with your bare hands.

I have cracked perhaps 30-50 cards, cuts and index cards/GPC's open using this process and I've never damaged one yet.

It's very easy to do. No worries! :cool:

69Cubfan
12-08-2012, 06:36 AM
I once bought a Koufax PSA slabbed 3X5 at the National Convention in Cleveland several years back. PSA had a booth there. I took it to them and they removed it and gave me a full page (with picture showing the item) COA. They also placed their PSA sticker on the 3X5 wherever I wanted it. They charged me $10. I didnt think that was too bad.

Sean1125
12-08-2012, 06:46 AM
I went to a show once and one of the dealers had a ton of vintage cards each in their own frame... I asked him if they were reprints because they looked so nice... Turned out each of these was PSA graded and he just matted around it to make it look like a nice holder... I know it is possible to keep it slabbed + frame them, I wish I could tell you how he did it!

dgo71
12-09-2012, 01:16 AM
Pulled the trigger on the item today, probably a little mundane compared to some of the collections I've seen here, but I've wanted Billy's autograph since before he made the HOF. I've always thought he had a really cool graph!

Can't wait to free it from bondage and matte it with a nice sepia 8x10! :D

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae158/DGO_11/BSouthworth.jpg