Demos & Unboxings

Published: July 14, 2021


Shadowless Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur Graded; PSA Mint 9

Our 1st edition, Shadowless Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur have come home! Our CCG Manager here at Noble Knight recently sent these three Pokémon beauties to Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) to have them professionally graded.

Shadowless Charizard? What?

Yep, it’s a simple as it sounds! A card is a 1st edition Shadowless card if two conditions are met:

    1. There is an “Edition 1” badge printed below and to the left of the artwork
    2. There is no drop-shadow on the box containing the artwork

Below is a comparison of a first edition, Shadowless Charizard (the left) and a standard base set Charizard (the right) which has a drop-shadow.


shadowless charizard and base set
First edition, Shadowless Charizard (left); Base set Charizard (right)


The Grading Process

Professional Sports Authenticator is the industry leader as far as Pokémon card grading goes. The cards are judged in four major areas:

    1. Surface
    2. Corners
    3. Edges
    4. Border

Magic: the Gathering cards undergo the same general grading process and we’ll use one of those cards as an example below.


magic the gathering card surface scratch damage grading


Any scratches, dents, or other surface markings will affect the grade of the card. Even printing defects will have an effect (though some can actually increase the value).


magic the gathering card corner grading damage

Corners should be crisp with as little white as possible. The card shown above has scratches which have removed the ink on the card and the layering has come up on the corner as well.


magic the gathering card damage edge grading

Much like corners, edged should be nice and sharp without white markings where ink has been removed through wear and tear. The card above has seen quite a bit of wear!


magic the gathering card damage border centered centering grading

Despite being out of the owner’s control, card centering is factored into the grade. The card above has a border that is wider on the right and top while thinner on the bottom and left. A highly-graded card will be well-centered within the borders, as seen in the Shadowless Charizard card at the top of the article.

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