Collectibles That Are Not Encapsulated

There are several reasons why a collectible cannot be graded or encapsulated by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®). Some of the most common reasons involve authenticity, size and subject matter.

Collectibles that are not genuine will not be graded or encapsulated. They will be returned raw. The full grading fee will apply.

The full grading fee is charged because CGC provides an expert opinion of a collectible’s authenticity. If a collectible is not genuine, that determination has been reached as a result of CGC’s authentication process. There is at least as much, if not more, work involved in determining that a collectible is not genuine as there is in determining that a collectible is genuine.

If CGC believes that a collectible is likely not genuine but its research is inconclusive, the collectible will be labeled “Questionable Authenticity” and not encapsulated. The grading fee will be refunded less a $5.00 processing fee.

In rare instances, a collectible that may normally be eligible for CGC certification will be returned not encapsulated with a label that says “No Opinion.” This notation is used for collectibles that cannot be conclusively attributed, authenticated and/or graded due to their condition, a lack of available research or other factors. When a collectible is labeled “No Opinion,” the full grading fee will be refunded.

On occasion, CGC will not encapsulate a collectible and return it with a label that says “Not Suitable for Certification.” This notation is used for collectibles that are severely damaged or otherwise impaired, so that it is impossible for CGC to even attempt to authenticate them or assign a grade. Then a collectible is determined to be “Not Suitable for Certification,” the grading fee will be refunded less a $5.00 processing fee.

CGC will not certify some floating items, such as free-floating 3-D glasses, or poly-bagged collectibles. All collectibles must be taken out of poly bags before being graded.

Collectibles that display extreme nudity on the front or back will not be certified. For example, if the cover image depicts explicit sexual acts, CGC will not grade it, and the item will be returned.

Size restrictions

CGC will not certify collectibles that are too large for its holders. This includes:

  • Comic books larger than 10-1/2” tall x 7-5/8” wide x 1/4” thick
  • Magazines larger than 11-1/2” tall x 8-7/8” wide x 1/2” thick
  • Concert posters larger than 23” tall x 30” wide

Specific comic book restrictions

Comic books that have severe overhangs, hard covers or jeweled covers cannot be encapsulated.

Specific trading card restrictions

CGC Trading Cards accepts virtually all Pokémon TCG and Magic: The Gathering cards.

For a list of Pokémon TCG cards that CGC Trading Cards grades, including information about specific languages and sets, click here.

CGC Trading Cards also accepts play test Magic cards, “Artist’s Alterations” (altered by the artist of the card) and “Artistic Alterations” (altered by anyone in an artful way). Artistically altered cards are generally encapsulated with the Qualified (Green) Label.

At this time, CGC Trading Cards does not accept the following card types:

  • Cards larger than standard playing sizes.
  • Non-TCG Pokémon cards, such as those made by Topps.
  • Cards other than Pokémon or Magic cards.

CGC Trading Cards does not certify counterfeit cards. A counterfeit card is one manufactured by anyone other than the official company that produces it.

CGC Trading Cards will not grade any card that has been altered to create the deception that it is a rarer version; for example, turning white borders black or changing the set symbol.

Rebacked cards are not eligible for certification by CGC Trading Cards. In most cases, rebacked cards are produced by sanding the face of one card and the back of another and gluing them together.

Certain cards are deemed not suitable for certification on a case-by-case basis; for example, a card with significant missing pieces or with structural integrity issues.

Specific concert poster restrictions

Concert posters that are not from one of the following series are not eligible for certification: Bill Graham, Bill Graham Presents, Family Dog, Grande Ballroom, Neon Rose, Art of Rock, New Fillmore Series, and Moonalice.