Postcard grading system

We don’t use “Mint” or “Near Mint” because cards age like the rest of us … If anything isn’t clear, please ask before you order, and see notes on the “How to Order” page. Regarding Grade 1, please observe carefully: don’t expect any card with this grade to be 100% perfect, with no sign at all of age or transit through the postal system. Don’t worry, not all cards in a grade have all those issues, though they may have more than one.

1. Excellent

Never Mailed​

  • No significant marks
  • Appropriate age discoloration
  • No folds or tears
  • Looks good for its age

Mailed

  • All stamp(s) intact
  • Original contents only; no extra notations after use, unless postal
  • Little or no postmark smudging
  • Appropriate aging

2.Very Good

Never Mailed​

  • Somewhat more age discoloration
  • No significant folds or tears
  • Possible minor dent(s)
  • No extra marking unless intended for the card     

Mailed

  • All stamp(s) intact
  • Some aging
  • No extra notations unless intended for the card
  • No significant stains, folds or tears

3. Good

Never Mailed​

  • Some aging
  • Minor extra notation on back
  • Minor wear and tear

Mailed

  • At least one stamp intact
  • Extra writing apart from original message
  • Age discoloration
  • Minor wear and tear
  • Possibly mailed from a different country
  • Address label

4. Fair

Never Mailed​

  • Inappropriate or extensive handwriting on back, front, or both
  • Age discoloration
  • Travel agency rubber stamp      
  • Undue wear and tear
  • Thumbtack hole(s) possible

Mailed

  • Stamp(s) torn, missing, or defaced
  • Extra writing apart from original message on front, back, or both 
  • Message defaced 
  • Travel agency rubber stamp 
  • Significant wear and tear
  • Age discoloration
  • Thumbtack hole(s) possible
  • Mailed but not postmarked

5. Poor

Never Mailed​

  • Folds, tears, or missing corner
  • Significant staining
  • Inappropriate writing on front, back, or both
  • Space filler only

Mailed

  • Stamp(s) torn, missing, or defaced
  • Folds, tears, missing corner
  • Message defaced
  • Space filler only