Grading Errors & Variations: Pro Set Style

I love graded items.  Let’s get that out of the way.  I love graded cards, graded packs, and even graded toys!  I’m a sucker for these types of items.  There’s something about the permanency of a collectible being encapsulated in that acrylic shell that adds to the beauty of the item inside giving it that archival look.

Today though, let’s focus solely on graded cards.  In our hobby today, there exists “the big three” in regards to grading companies including Beckett Grading Services (BGS), Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC).  But, between those three exists major differences in multiple aspects of each’s respective grading system but that’s an article for another day.

Today, I’d like to complain just a little bit and also see what the readers out there think about my complaints and get their opinions.  Recently, I had a friend that wanted to send some cards to BGS to get graded so I decided to add a few cards to his order and save us both some money.  Oddly enough though, we are both Pro Set football collectors, he collects anything and everything and I focus on the rare errors/variations, and thus, the focus of my complaint today lies with those aforementioned errors/variations.

As many of you may know, Pro Set sets had MANY errors/variations inside due to their “living set” idea in which cards were updated during the season (because of trades, free agent signings, etc) and re-released in later series depicting said updates.  In doing so and as a repercussion of doing this so quickly, many errors/variations exist due to printing errors.  Don’t believe me?  Check out Junk Wax Gem’s reference guide to all of the errors/variations produced for the 1990 Pro Set football set.

So here’s my complaint.  I have some of these errors/variations and some of them can be quit valuable.  However, trying to get one graded by any of the “big three” to grade one of these AND label them as an error/variation is (almost) impossible!  Even though they’re not officially recognized by the grading companies, they are recognized by collectors regularly.  Try doing a search on eBay for Pro Set error and see what you can find.  Rarely, does a Pro Set error/variation that’s graded pop up for sale.

Yeah, maybe it’s a small gripe that an even smaller percentage of collectors are upset about, but I just never understood why BGS, PSA, or SGC wouldn’t recognize these if collectors do.

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