Want to pre-grade your own cards? Let us help

Blake Bowman

Dec 15th, 2021

Learning how to grade your collection can be a daunting task. Perhaps you know the basics, but lack the confidence to make the decision yourself, or maybe you don’t have the first clue on what to look for when grading cards. Whatever the case, we are excited to launch a new service that we are offering; a Zoom call consultation service. 

What does this service entail? Facebook/Twitter/Reddit can be intimidating communities for someone just cracking into the hobby. There is a wealth of information, but with that comes with the feeling of not knowing where to start. This situation makes some folks feel a little trepidatious in asking what they feel is a “dumb” question. We do not feel there are any dumb questions, which makes our consulting service perfect for those “beginner” questions. So if you have general questions about the hobby, how to start building your collection, the do’s or don’ts of buying on eBay, or anything hobby related, the zoom call is a great place to pick our brain and allow us to use our experience to help you.

This service is also great for those who want to learn how to grade their own cards, or who would like an opinion on a potential grade without the risk of shipping the card and have it damaged along the way. Below I will lay out what we will need in order to give our opinion on the potential grade.

Pics, pics, and more pics!

Pictures do not tell the whole story on how a card will grade, but there are ways to take pictures that will help us get as close as possible. These are the key things we will need when you send the pictures over to us

Front and Back of the card

Make sure the picture has good lighting, without glare, and hopefully taken and sent over with the highest clarity/quality available. With the front and back of the card, it will help us determine the centering. With PSA, they can be a little lenient, which bodes well for grading strictly based on pictures. 

Try and avoid glares


Take as many high quality pictures of the edges as possible. Take a pic of the entire edge on all 4 sides, but also some close up areas as well. This will help us determine if there is any fraying or dings along the edges.


We will need pictures of all 4 corners, front and back. This will help us determine how sharp they are, and if they have been touched. One tip when examining the corners, be EXTRA mindful of areas with a dark background. When the background is black for instance, a white mark where a corner has been dinged will stand out that much more. So when taking and sending us the pictures, be mindful of that. 

Corner damage will show white on dark backgrounds


This one can be the trickiest with photos, but with a little persistence and attention to detail, you can expose most flaws that will be present on the card. Make sure there is plenty of indirect lighting, like close to a window on a sunny day, and play around with angles when snapping the pics. What to look for? The obvious answer is scratches, but also look for smaller flaws like print lines that may not stand out at first glance, and also any fingerprints, oils and smudges from handling the card. Gloves are your friend, use them!

Be mindful of print lines. Play with the angle and lighting to help us spot them

Once you have all your pictures taken, send them over to us at Blake@diamondelitecards.com. You have some options on the zoom call length, and the pricing is reflected on the “Schedule Zoom Call” page. Once your appointment is confirmed, you will jump on the zoom call with either Brian, myself or both, and we will discuss your cards. After that, whatever time we have left is your opportunity to pick our brain on what to look for when buying on eBay, who are great buy low candidates, where to find cards at stores, or whatever other questions you may have for us. We look forward to helping you!

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