Near Mint (NM): A poster that is close enough to perfect that there are no noticeable defects to describe. In the case of postcards or handbills, this grade denotes an item that is essentially perfect. Nearly everyone wants the posters they own to be this grade, but it is rarely the case.
Near Mint Minus (NM-): A poster or handbill with a corner crease or two, or perhaps some handling. Corners might be slightly rounded, and there could be very small pinholes in the corners—but not larger tack holes. Think of this grade as a poster that may have been hung once or handled a little too much. This grade will usually frame to look NM or better.
Very Fine (VF): The “cream” of used posters—still great-looking and crisp. This grade may have folds in the corners or light creases in the image area. May have more noticeable tack holes in the corners or margins, but no paper is missing. There might be minor tears in the margins or light, even aging. A poster with an abundance of these flaws will be graded VG. Most of the posters we are offered by collectors are consistent with this grade.
Fine (F): A poster grading Fine might have minor damage in the image area. Or it could have light tape stains, abrasions, tape pulls, or tears. This grade usually exhibits multiple tack holes and may have heavier aging of the paper or noticeable staining.
Lower Grades: While we usually don’t buy posters of these grades, sometimes they come in collections. Unless they are ultra-rare, we simply put them on eBay and sell them. If you have an interest in lower-grade posters, let us know and we will let you know when we get some.
Split Grades: Often a poster will not fit neatly into one of the above categories. In that case, we use a split grade to more accurately describe the item’s condition.
CGC Certified Posters, Postcards and Handbills
Many of the items on our website have been graded by CGC, a subsidiary of the Certified Collectables Group, the largest authentication and grading company for collectables in the world. CGC uses a numerical grade from 1-10 as well as an adjectival description of the quality.
Near Mint +
Near Mint -
Very Fine/Near Mint
Very Fine +
Very Fine -
Very Good -
In addition, CGC uses several different colors of labels to denote different things:
Blue – Universal
This label is applied to posters and handbills that are simply the grade as marked, with no qualifiers or special considerations.
Yellow – Signature Series
This label is applied to posters or handbills that have been signed by someone of significance to the piece, under the direct observation of a CGC representative, and are thus certified as an authentic signature by CGC.
Purple – Restored
This label is applied to any item that has evidence of repair so that it will appear as it did when it was in its original condition. Restoration can come in a variety of degrees, from slight professional restoration (SP) to extensive amateur restoration (EA). The degree of restoration is noted using a code that can be found here: CGC Restoration Scale
Blue/Purple – Conserved
This label is applied to any item with specific repairs done to improve the structural integrity and long-term preservation. These repairs include tear seals, support, piece reattachment and certain kinds of cleaning.
The images on our site are usually stock images and are not of the actual item being sold. In the case of rare or unusual items, we will be happy to email you a scan of the actual item if you request it. Items we grade as NM- or better usually do not have flaws that would show up in a scan, so we try our best to describe these in the notes area of each individual item offered for sale.
We strive to accurately describe every item we sell. If you are not satisfied, you may return the item in the original package within 10 days for a full refund, less shipping—no questions asked.