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10 December 2013

 

 eBay link: http://www.ebay.com/gds/National-Geographic-Magazine-Grading-Standa...

There is no universally applied standard for grading National Geographic Magazines; this is my attempt at establishing one – the standards by which I have collected this magazine.

 

The guidelines that follow are loosely based on a common grading standard for comic books. Grading is based only upon the appearance and condition of a magazine. The age or comparative rarity of an issue does not affect the grade it receives. Likewise a new or unused issue is not necessarily mint. Shipping damage, printing errors, and bindery mistakes can each cause an uncirculated magazine to be graded as less than perfect.

 

Please feel free to contact me through this web site with any comments or questions.

 

 

Mint

 

       Cover Condition:

  • · Flat
  • · Free from soiling, stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Free from surface or edge wear
  • · Corners square and sharp

 

      Cover Appearance:

  • · High reflectivity
  • · Minimal fading
  • · Borders are bright National Geographic gold, no other colors showing
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine tight and flat
  • · No bindery tears allowed
  • · Covers secure and centered
  • · Staples centered, clean, free of rust
     
    Contents:
  • · Free from stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Paper supple and bright

 

 

Near Mint

      Cover Condition:

  • · Flat
  • · Free from surface or edge wear
  • · Free from soiling, stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Subtle printing defects allowed
  • · Corners square and sharp, with minor blunting permitted
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · High reflectivity
  • · Minimal fading
  • · Borders are bright National Geographic gold, very few flecks missing
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine tight and flat, minor crease marks allowed
  • · Subtle binding defects allowed
  • · Bindery tears up to 1/16" allowed
  • · Covers secure and centered
  • · Staples centered, clean, free of rust
     
    Contents:
  • · Free from stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Paper supple and bright  

 

 

Very Fine

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Nearly flat
  • · Free from soiling, stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Negligible surface or edge wear
  • · Subtle printing defects allowed
  • · Corners square and sharp, with minor blunting permitted
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Moderate to high reflectivity
  • · Minimal fading
  • · Borders may show minor color variation
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine tight and nearly flat, minor crease marks allowed
  • · Subtle binding defects allowed
  • · Bindery tears up to 1/16" allowed
  • · Covers secure and centered
  • · Staples may show minor discoloration

      Contents:

  • · Free from stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Paper supple but may appear somewhat off-white
     

 

 

Fine

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Moderately flat
  • · Free from soiling, stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Minor surface or edge wear
  • · Minor printing defects allowed
  • · Corners may be blunted
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Moderate Reflectivity
  • · Minor fading
  • · Borders may show minor color variation
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine tight and nearly flat, some crease marks allowed
  • · Minor binding defects allowed
  • · Small bindery tears allowed
  • · Covers secure
  • · Staples may show minor discoloration
     
    Contents:
  • · Free from stains, marks, abrasions, creases and tears
  • · Paper supple but may appear somewhat off-white
     

 

 

Very Good

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Minor soiling permitted
  • · Store marks, name stamps, and initials are permitted
  • · Minor creasing and up to two minor tears permitted
  • · Moderate surface and edge wear
  • · Common printing defects allowed
  • · Up to 1/4" may be absent from corners
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Moderate reflectivity
  • · Moderate fading
  • · Borders may show minor discoloration
  • · Inside of covers may be brown but not brittle
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine may be loose, but not detached
  • · May be rolled, or show a center crease
  • · Common binding defects allowed
  • · Moderate bindery tears allowed
  • · Staples may show discoloration
     
    Contents:
  • · Minor soiling permitted
  • · Common printing defects permitted
  • · Store marks, name stamps, and initials are permitted
  • · Minor creasing and up to two minor tears permitted
  • · Paper supple but may appear somewhat off-white
  • · Minor tape repair permissible  

 

 

Good

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Moderate soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Creasing and moderate tears permitted
  • · Moderate surface and edge wear
  • · Common printing defects allowed
  • · Both covers must be present and intact
  • · Up to 1/2" may be absent from corners
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Low or absent reflectivity
  • · Fading permissible
  • · Borders may show moderate discoloration
  • · Inside of covers may be brown but not brittle
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine may be loose, but not detached, up to 1” of material may be missing
  • · May be rolled, or show a center crease
  • · Common binding defects allowed
  • · Moderate bindery tears allowed
  • · Covers must be intact
  • · Staples may show discoloration

      Contents:

  • · All pages must be present with no missing pieces, this includes ad pages
  • · Moderate soiling, stains, abrasion and marking permitted
  • · Common printing defects permitted
  • · Creasing and moderate tears permitted
  • · Paper must not be brittle but may appear somewhat yellowed
  • · Moderate tape repair permissible
     

 

 

Fair

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Creasing, folds and tears permitted
  • · Moderate to heavy surface and edge wear
  • · Common printing defects allowed
  • · Both covers must be present
  • · Corners may be rounded
  • · Up to 3/4" of each corner may be absent
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Low or absent reflectivity
  • · Heavy fading
  • · Borders may show heavy discoloration and abrasion
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine may be loose, but not detached, greater than 1” of material may be missing
  • · May be rolled, or show a center crease
  • · Common binding defects allowed
  • · Cover may be split at spine up to 2/3 of its length
  • · Covers must be intact
  • · Staples may be discolored rusted or absent
     
    Contents:
  • · Soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Creasing, folds and tears permitted
  • · All pages, including ads, must be present, but may be missing pieces
  • · Common printing defects permitted
  • · Paper may show brittleness around edges and appear yellowed to brownish
  • · Tape repairs permissible  

 

 

Poor

 

      Cover Condition:

  • · Heavy soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Heavy creasing, folds and rips permitted
  • · Heavy surface and edge wear
  • · Major printing defects allowed
  • · Up to 1/3 of covers may be absent
  • · Covers may be separated
  • · Corners may be rounded
     
    Cover Appearance:
  • · Low or absent reflectivity
  • · Heavy fading
  • · Borders may show heavy discoloration and abrasion
     
    Binding:
  • · Spine may be loose
  • · Major binding defects allowed
  • · Staples may be heavily discolored rusted or absent
     
    Contents:
  • · Heavy soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Heavy creasing, folds and rips permitted
  • · Pages, including ads, must be present but may be significantly damaged with tears and missing pieces
  • · Major printing defects permitted
  • · Paper may be brittle and degraded

 

 

Damaged

 

       Cover Condition:

  • · One or both covers missing

 

      Contents:

  • · Heavy soiling, stains, abrasions, and marking permitted
  • · Heavy creasing, folds and rips permitted
  • · Pages (ad pages may be missing) must be present but may be significantly damaged with tears and missing pieces
  • · Major printing defects permitted
  • · Paper may be brittle and degraded

Unless earlier than 1915, these issues are usually discarded. Issues with missing covers and/or ads can be used in a binding process that discards these items, and may be worth collecting if your purpose is to bind the issues into a volume. This may be a cost-effective method of collecting, especially for the years prior to 1920 when production was near 500 thousand issues per month, for the new collector.

 

Special Note:

If article pages are missing, the issue is virtually worthless unless it is one of the rarest issues. For personal collections, however, the National Geographic Society distributes the entire magazine in digital copy (with print capability). As yet another cost-effective manner, if not time-consuming, the new collector could use this software to fill in the missing pages and/or covers.

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Replies to This Discussion

Mel, 

You've done a masterful job (again). What a valuable contribution and "thank you" for your generosity in sharing it with all of us!

    yours,

              ~ Scott S.

Hi Mel,

Great guidelines to follow.

I was wondering where this digital copy of the magazines can be obtained. I have heard, or read, in a number of places now, about the availability of a digital copy of the magazine. (Not to be confused with the "DVD" set of NGM , which I believe are only for the purpose of reading).

I don't believe I have seen it mentioned anywhere on NG's website as an option for purchase. I would guess it would be produced like the DVD set, in other words, every few years they issue an updated version to include a few more years. Unless of course these were "single" issue digital copies that you could purchase, though I would think that would be a lot more work.

Lloyd,

I believe Mel was referring to the DVD set. There is a print option on the DVD's so you can print pages to supplement "missing" ones in your collection. The other digital copies are for I pads,  tablets, and even PC's The Nat Geo Society sells digital subscriptions with and without a print subscription. 

Phil

You are correct Phil - that's what I was referring to.

Mel

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