There’s a new player in town! Certified Sports Guaranty™ (CSG™) has launched to provide the sports card market with expert, impartial and efficient third-party authentication, grading and encapsulation services.
CSG is the latest company to be formed by the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), which also includes the world’s most respected grading services for coins (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation), paper money (Paper Money Guaranty) and comic books, trading cards, magazines and concert posters (Certified Guaranty Company). Since 1987, the CCG companies have certified more than 60 million collectibles with a combined fair market value of more than $30 billion.
The sports card market is vibrant and fast-growing, and there is significant demand for expert, impartial and efficient third-party grading services. CSG will use world-class expertise, advanced technology, innovation and operational excellence to provide collectors and dealers with accurate, consistent and fast certification services.
CSG will grade sports cards on a highly accurate, industry-standard 10-point scale. Every card will be examined by a team of expert graders led by Andy Broome and Westin Reeves, who bring more than three decades of combined experience to CSG. To ensure impartiality, CSG’s graders do not know the identity of a card’s submitter and are prohibited from buying and selling collectibles commercially.
CSG’s authentication and grading will be assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), which will automate many of the more time-consuming aspects of grading, such as attributing a card and measuring its centering. The CSG graders will also use other advanced technologies, including forensic devices that reveal alterations and hidden details through infrared and UV lighting, ultra-microscopic inspections and non-destructive ink and paper analysis.
“Over the more than 20 years that I have graded sports cards professionally, I have seen the hobby grow and change dramatically,” says Andy Broome, CSG Grading Finalizer. “The next opportunity for positive growth and change is utilizing advanced technology to assist in authentication and grading. I am proud that CSG will immediately lead the industry in technological solutions that enhance the grading process and benefit collectors.”
After a card has been authenticated and graded by CSG, it is encapsulated in the archival, durable and crystal-clear CSG holder. An enclosed certification label provides a detailed description of the card, its grade, its unique CSG certification number and a QR code to facilitate quick verification. The CSG holder and label feature extensive security elements that prevent against tampering and counterfeiting.
At launch, CSG will grade standard-sized cards as well as cards sized up to large vintage Topps cards. Starting in April 2021, CSG will accept cards that are up to 7.25 mm thick. These cards will be encapsulated in new-to-the-industry holders that will accommodate more thicknesses than any other third-party sports card grading company’s holders. As an added benefit, all of CSG’s holders will be stackable.
Once encapsulated, cards certified by CSG are imaged in high-resolution. These images, along with important certification details, are available for free at CSGcards.com. Simply scan the QR code on the back of a CSG certification label or enter the card’s unique CSG certification number at CSGcards.com/verify to view its images and details.
Every CSG-certified card is backed by the comprehensive CSG Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which is the strongest in the sports card certification industry. It provides recourse for the owner of a CSG-certified card if it is determined to be altered, not genuine or overgraded, giving collectors and dealers greater confidence in CSG-certified cards.
CSG will be distinguished by the same operational excellence that has enabled the other CCG companies to offer industry-leading turnaround times. In addition, to reduce the time between when credit cards are charged and when submissions are returned, CSG processes credit card payments when submissions enter the grading phase of the certification process. A complete list of CSG services, fees and current turnaround times is available at CSGcards.com/services.
“We are excited to serve the sports card market with the highest levels of expertise, impartiality, innovation and efficiency,” says Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of CCG. “I am confident that CSG will quickly become the leading third-party sports card grading service by leveraging the full scope of our experience and resources.”
It is easy to submit to CSG. Simply become a CSG member at CSGcards.com/join (memberships start at just $25 per year), complete the user-friendly online CSG submission form and send your cards to CSG. Authorized Dealers are encouraged to apply by emailing CSG Customer Service at Service@CSGcards.com.
While CSG focuses on grading sports cards, its affiliate, CGC Trading Cards, grades Pokémon TCG and Magic: The Gathering cards. Launched in July 2020, CGC Trading Cards has already become a major force in the trading cards market, with record prices being paid for CGC-certified cards. For more information, visit CGCcards.com.
To learn more about CSG, visit CSGcards.com, call CSG at 888-CSG-GRADE (888-274-4723) or email Service@CSGcards.com.
Want to join CSG’s world-class team? Visit CollectiblesGroup.com/careers to learn more and apply.
About Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®)
CCG is the world’s leading provider of expert, impartial and tech-enabled services that add value and liquidity to collectibles. The CCG companies include Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), Numismatic Conservation Services™ (NCS®), Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), Classic Collectible Services® (CCS®), Certified Sports Guaranty™ (CSG™), Authenticated Stamp Guaranty® (ASG®) and Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®). Since 1987, the CCG companies have certified more than 60 million coins, banknotes, comic books, trading cards, stamps, estate items and related collectibles. Today, CCG serves the world of collectibles online and at its offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and China. To learn more, visit collectiblesgroup.com.