Mint. Gem Mint. Pristine.
These are all words that each & every grading company use as standard descriptors of a given trading card's condition. Some companies will give you a "Gem Mint 9.5" with three 9.5 and one 9 subgrade. You also get the exact same Gem Mint designation for two 10s and two 9.5 subgrades. Funny how all gem mint cards aren't even equal, and yet, your card is given the same title as the other guy with lower subgrades. You'd think someone would've created a new system by now.... If only....
How are we different?
First off, your grade is determined by the total score of the card's four subgrades. Each subgrade is scored out of 10, and thus 40 "points" would be the maximum score your card can receive.
Additionally, we created three divisions of Pristine grades and four divisions of Gem Mint & Mint grades using a number scale for each total score possibility. If you've ever purchased a diamond, you know gemstone inclusions are not created equal. They use the 1,2,3 level of grading to value the differences of inclusions.
This allows for more pristine & gem mint grades to be give out in a consistent, objective manner, at the same time clearly outlining why your gem mint grade is better than the next guy's (or worse!)
See below for our divisions of Mint, Gem Mint and Pristine. Subgrade combinations are shown
(Mathematically there's a lot, showing any with subgrades of 9 or higher)