Mighty Vinyl - Rare Music Memorabilia and Collectible Vinyl Records
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Standard Goldmine Grading:

Grading is COVER/RECORD.

SS Still Sealed - in original factory shrink wrap.

M Mint - I RARELY use this grade - once an item is handled it's usually no
longer MINT.

NM Near Mint - a near perfect, probably unplayed record. NM covers have no
folds, seam splits or signs of wear.

VG+ Very Good Plus - close to like new with only superficial signs of use that
don't affect
play. Only well cared for records will grade out to VG+. Will satisfy all but the
demanding collector. Except for a couple of minor things, this would be near
mint. VG+
coveres are close to their Near Mint counterparts but will be marred in some
fashion with
some signs of handling and/or wear at the most vulnerable areas.

VG Very Good - a used, reasonably-priced copy. There will be obvious signs
of wear and
surface noise between tracks or during quiet passages, but still very playable.
Should not
contain any skips. VG covers have more signs of wear and seam splits,
especially at
bottom center, middle of the spine, and upper and lower right where the
record is
removed from the cover. Writing, tape or stickers will detract from this cover
and wear on
cover will be obvious. VG records are often amongst the biggest bargains in
the record
collecting hobby as the big money goes for the more pristine (and rarer)

VG- Very Good Minus - significant wear and marks and very noticeable
surface noise. VG-
covers has significant seam splits, tears, tape, markings, or similar

G Good - in the record world, 'Good' is not good! From here on down (Fair,
Poor), we're
talking about beat-up records.


bb hole = drill hole in label or jacket

notched or cutcorner = saw mark or cut corner on cover

cw = cover wear

dj = promotional issue 45

dj time strip = dj timing strip (12" x 4" white sticker on cover detailing titles
and playing

Goldmine Grading Standard:

Mint [M]: Absolutely perfect in every way - certainly never played, possibly even still sealed. (More on still sealed below). Should be used sparingly as a grade, if at all.
Near Mint [NM or M-]: A nearly perfect record. Many dealers won't give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record shows no obvious sign of wear. A 45 rpm sleeve has no more than the most minor defects, such as almost invisible ring wear or other signs of slight handling. An LP jacket has no creases, folds, seam splits or any other noticeable similar defect. No cut-out holes, either. And of course, the same is true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves, and the like. Basically, Near Mint looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap.
Very Good Plus [VG+]: Shows some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Record surfaces may show some slight signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don't affect one's listening experience. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are OK. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but is should be barely noticeable. The center hole is not misshapen by repeated play. Picture sleeves and LP inner sleeves will have some slight wear, lightly turn-up corners, or a slight seam-split. An LP jacket my have slight signs of wear also and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation or corner indicating it was taken out of print and sold at a discount. In general, if not for a couple of minor things wrong with it, this would be Near Mint. All but the most mint-crazy collectors will find a Very Good Plus record highly acceptable.
Very Good [VG]: Many of the defects found in a VG+ record are more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise is evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during the song's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as will light scratches deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time, only two or three of them.
Good [G], Good Plus [G+]: Good does not mean bad! A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be put onto a turntable and will play through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear. A jacket or sleeve has seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the object. If it's a common item, you'll probably find another copy in better shape eventually. Pass it up. But if it's something you have been seeking for years, and the price is right, get it.
Poor [P], Fair [F]: The record is cracked, badly warped, and won't play through without skipping or repeating. The picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavily marred by wear and/or writing. The LP jacket barely keeps the LP inside it. Inner sleeves are fully seam split, and written upon. Except for impossibly rare records otherwise unattainable, records in this condition should be bought or sold for no more than a few cents each.

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