Conditions of Magic cards

A Magic card fresh from a booster is of course much prettier than a Magic card from the pocket of a pair of freshly washed jeans. The difference between these two cards is their condition. The first one should be without any damage, whereas the second one is beaten to a pulp. The condition of a card (meaning, how much a card is or is not damaged) is one of the determining factors for card prizes: the more damaged a card is, the less it will be worth.

When you buy or trade cards in person, you can immediately see whether or not a card is in a good condition; when you buy or trade cards over the internet, that is a lot harder to see. Because of this, there are some standard terms to describe conditions of cards; a lot easier than trying to describe what’s wrong with a card with words alone. Unfortunately, there often is a lot of confusion regarding the exact meaning of these standard terms. That is why we at Bazaar of Magic made a list of our terms and what they mean: now you know exactly what we mean when we say all of our cards are Near Mint or better. This list can also be useful if you trade with people online; if you both use the same definition of ‘NM’ and ‘EX’, you both know what you’ll get and you won’t have to face any nasty surprises.

General

If a card has a tournament stamp, or a signature or text by someone else than the card’s artist or a Magic celebrity, lowers the card’s condition by one grade. For instance, a NM card with a tournament stamp is EX, and a VG signed by Jan is GD.

Mint (M)

You won’t find any cards more beautiful than mint cards. Mint cards do not have any damage at all and are very rarely found. If you take a card out of a binder or sleeve a few times, the card is no longer mint!

Near Mint (NM)

A NM card is a mint card, except for the fact that the borders and corners of NM can have a few small imperfections. All of our cards are NM or better, unless it is mentioned otherwise on the card’s page.

Excellent (EX)

The borders of this card show quite a lot of damage, but the borders haven’t gone entirely white yet. The center of EX cards does not show any serious defects. Alternatively, the borders can still look like a NM, while there a few small scratches or white spots on the center of the card.

Very Good (VG)

Starting with VG the damage on the card starts to stick out. There is wear and there almost all around the border. Besides this, there is damage to the center of the card in the shape of scratches and white spots. A VG card can also be a NM card with a visible, yet not too large, crease, or a larger scratch.

Good (GD)

These are almost like VG cards, except the wear and tear is worse. The border and surface show more damage. A GD card can also be an EX card with a small crease or a NM card with a larger crease.

Poor (P)

The worse a card’s condition, the harder it becomes to objectively describe in which category it belongs. At Bazaar of Magic, we call all cards in a worse state than GD poor.

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