A card that receives a grade of ISA 10 is nearly flawless. This card has tremendous eye appeal that is unaffected by any minor print dots. It has all of its original gloss. The centering on the front of the card is between 50/50 and 55/45. The centering on the reverse of the card is no worse than 75/25. An ISA 10 possesses no staining and is in sharp focus.
A card that receives a grade of ISA 9 is in excellent condition. This card has fantastic eye appeal but suffers from some small flaw. Print dots, off-white card borders, and minute staining could be examples of these slight drawbacks. ISA 9’s are centered at least 60/40 on the front and 80/20 on the back.
A card that receives a grade of ISA 8 appears to be in superb condition until the card is scrutinized closely. This card has additional flaws that make it impossible to grade an ISA 9. Print dots, off-white card borders, wax stains on the reverse, or a weak corner or two could be examples of these problems. An ISA 8 is centered at least 70/30 on the front and 90/10 on the back.
An ISA 7 may have weak corners. Much of the original gloss of the card is maintained, but the surface of the card may be worn some. An ISA 7 could have staining on the reverse of the card. It’s possible that the card will be slightly out of focus or suffer from print dots. An ISA 7 is centered at least 75/25 on the front and 90/10 on the back.
An ISA 6 could show signs of more serious surface wear than an ISA 7 such as a detectable scratch. You may see rounding corners on an ISA 6. Out-of-focus pictures, absence of original gloss, and off-white card borders are characteristic of ISA 6’s. Centering must be at least 80/20 on the front and 90/10 on the reverse.
A card that is graded ISA 5 will usually have rounded corners. Small scratches and other surface wear is prevalent. Chipping of edges, loss of gloss, and off-white card borders are typical characteristics of an ISA 5. The card must be centered at least 85/15 on the front and 90/10 on the back.
An ISA 4 has more serious surface issues than an ISA 5. There could be scuffs or scrapes that diminish the original gloss of the card. An ISA 4 may possess a minor crease. Centering must be at least 85/15 on the front and 90/10 on the back.
A card that is graded ISA 3 probably has significantly rounded corners. Most of the original gloss of the card is diminished due to scuffs or scratches. A crease may be found in this card. An ISA 3 is likely to have yellow or discolored card borders or be out of focus. An ISA 3 must be centered at least 90/10 on both the front and back.
An ISA 2 has seriously rounded corners. There could be several creases found in this card. The original gloss is missing because this card is badly scratched, scuffed, stained, and/or chipped. This card must be centered at least 90/10 on both the front and back.
An ISA 1 is so defective that almost all of the eye appeal of the card is gone. An ISA 1 is likely to have major creases throughout. The card may be dirtied or significantly discolored. There are no centering requirements for this card. An ISA 1 could be warped or missing pieces.
Half-point grades will be assigned to high-end cards within a particular grade from ISA 1 to ISA 8. Half-point grade increases are issued with a primary focus on eye appeal.