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Old 05-12-2006, 06:32 AM
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Default How to grade a matchbook.

Posted By: John S

I have a number of these in my collection...baseball, football, and hockey. How do you assign a grade to these issues? I have discussed this with a few other collectors. Even the most pristine examples have remnants of creases where the matchbook was originally folded. Should these folds/creases not be considered when grading (like the folds in T202's). Both PSA and SGC are beginning to grade these. It will be interesting to see if any of the matchcovers receive a grade higher than VG-EX. Just to make the debate a bit more confusing...salesman's samples exist in the hobby that were never folded and never had matches attached.

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Old 05-12-2006, 12:28 PM
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Default How to grade a matchbook.

Posted By: drc

If the neat fold lines are natural to the issue (which they are with matchbooks), my opinion is the grade shouldn't be lowered. The only way they could be missing is if they matchbook was restored or if the matchbook was never folded. The neatness of the lines will be part of the grade no doubt.

If I were selling a matchbook I would say something like "Near Mint with expected fold lines."

A few years back I won a bunch of 1930s hockey and football matchbooks from MastroNet. They were all flat, with matches removed and fold lines. MastroNet graded them as ExMt.

It's all relative. If a grader says a matchbook can't get above Vg with folds and another says folds themselves don't detract from grade, it's two opinions about the same matchbook with the same folds. If they switch opinions the next day, it's the same matchbook with the same folds. If the grading company details their grading rules for matchbooks, the collector will be able to understand what the grade signifies.

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Old 05-12-2006, 03:58 PM
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Default How to grade a matchbook.

Posted By: drc

Having thought it over, an item should be able to receive the highest possible grade Poor to Mint if it is in the manufactured state. If a matchbook is manufactured with and leaves the factory with fold lines, then it should be able to receive a Mint grade with factory fold lines.

It would be ridiulous to say a 1956 Topps wax box can't be graded above Poor because it's folded together. It would be ridiculous to say a magazine can't be graded mint because the sheets of paper are folded in half.

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