CGC Grades and Comic Prices

CGC graded Action Comics #1

I want to take some time to answer a question I was asked by Susan.

I was recently in a comic book shop my boyfriend frequents and saw books in large plastic cases with numbers above them. I was going to buy him one for his birthday and noticed that the prices jumped up. I was too shy to ask the clerk why the books were so much and thought I would pass it along to you. Do you have any idea what I am talking about?

Well Susan from what I can tell you have encountered CGC books. The numbers on the boxes must have been CGC grades. The higher the grade, the more expensive the item.

CGC is the Certified Guarantee Company. This company has helped create a unified grading system to help establish a price of your collectibles. The grade is determined by many factors, but it mainly has to do with the books’ quality in both shape and condition. Owners and sellers can set a price based on the commonly used Overstreet Price Guide.

What about my Wizard Magazine price guide, you may ask. Well, Wizard deals mostly with more recent comic books, Silver-Age to now. Overstreet covers all the bases, giving solid price estimates on all Golden-, Silver- and Bronze-Age books.


Should I get my books graded by CGC? That’s entirely up to you. Personally, I don’t have the resources to do so on a regular basis and I don’t enjoy the idea of having the quality of my books graded. Having some stranger judge me on how I’ve treated my comic books is not something I’m interested in.

However, if you get many of your books signed by their artists or writers, I would highly recommend CGC grading. CGC is set up at almost every convention in North America. They have a witnessing program that allows you to have your book graded and stating that this is in fact the actual artist or writer’s signature. In the past some people have been scammed by this system, but it is a less common issue now.

Thanks to Susan for the question.