ASG Stamp Grading Scale

ASG grades stamps according to an internationally accepted grading scale of 1 to 100. This scale is considered to be the industry standard. Below are ASG's grading standards for each numeric grade as well as grade modifiers and adjectival grades.

ASG will assign a numeric grade to stamps that are genuine and have fully original paper, ink and perforations. Regummed stamps and stamps with a few minor faults may still receive a numeric grade.

For a list of reasons why stamps cannot be graded by ASG, click here.

ASG Grading Scale

Gem 100
A fully centered stamp with no post-production imperfections visible at 5x magnification.
Superb 99
A stamp that is nearly visually indistinguishable from a Gem 100 but is slightly off center. There may be a single shorter perforation or very small blemishes.
XF/Superb 95
A stamp with up to two misaligned margins and only minor evidence of handling, including small blemishes. If cancelled, the cancellation must be neat and only at the corner of the stamp, but a minor amount of ink will be visible on the reverse side.
XF 90
A stamp with two obviously misaligned margins and light handling. If gummed, the gum will be original but may have one or two minor blemishes, such as a hinged mark. If cancelled, the cancellation must be neat and only at the corner of the stamp, but some ink will be visible on the reverse side.
VF/XF 85
A stamp with obviously misaligned margins and light handling, including small blemishes. If cancelled, the cancellation must be neat and clear, but some ink will be visible on the reverse side.
VF 80
A stamp with obviously misaligned margins. The perforations on one side may be shorter, and there will be some small blemishes. There may be one or two minor folds. If gummed, the gum will be original but may have remnants of a hinge and the gum may be uneven. If cancelled, the cancellation must be neat. It will come into the center of the stamp and some ink will be visible on the reverse side.
F/VF 75
A stamp with perforations or margins that come very close to the design. There will be some handling including fingerprints and one or two minor folds. The color may have light fading. There may be a small thin, gum skip and/or margin split. If cancelled, the cancellation must be neat. It will come into the center of the stamp and some ink will be visible on the reverse side.
F 70
A stamp with perforations or margins that come into the edge of the design. There will be obvious faults including minor folds, gum skips, removed gum or pulled perforations. The color may have light fading. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will be heavy.
VG/F 60
A stamp with perforations or margins that come into the edge of the design. There will be obvious faults including folds, a block stain and faded color. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will be heavy and over the center of the stamp, or done with pen.
VG 50
A stamp with perforations or margins that come into the edge of the design. There will be obvious faults including folds and stains. Portions of the design may be blurred. A small piece of the stamp may be missing. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will be heavy and over the center of the stamp, or done with pen.
G/VG 40
A stamp with perforations or margins that come into the edge of the design. There will be obvious faults including folds and stains. Portions of the design may be blurred. A few small pieces of the stamp may be missing. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will be heavy and over the center of the stamp, or done with pen.
G 30
A stamp with perforations or margins that come more significantly into the design. There will be extensive faults including folds and stains. The design may be difficult to recognize. A few small pieces of the stamp may be missing. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will obscure most of the design.
Fair/G 20
A stamp with perforations or margins that come more significantly into the design. There will be extensive faults including folds and stains. The design will be difficult to recognize. Small pieces of the stamp may be missing. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will obscure virtually all of the design.
Fair 10
A stamp with perforations or margins that come more significantly into the design. There will be extensive faults including numerous folds and stains. It will be nearly impossible to recognize the design. Up to half of the stamp may be missing. If cancelled, the cancellation mark will obscure virtually all of the design.

Numeric Grade Modifiers

ASG will use the following modifiers to further describe a numerically graded stamp:

Used
The stamp has been used.
Mint
The stamp has never been used.
Mint, Original Gum
The stamp has never been used and at least 80% of its original gum is intact.
Mint, Partial Original Gum
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations. It will have some of its original gum, but the gum will be disturbed and/or be less than 80% intact.
Mint, No Gum As Issued
The stamp has never been used and was not issued with gum.
Mint, No Original Gum
The stamp has never been used. The gum has either been removed or new gum has been applied after issue.

Non-numerically Graded Stamps

ASG will assign a non-numeric description to stamps either at the submitter’s request or if the stamp does not qualify for a numeric grade. Stamps that do not qualify for a numeric grade include stamps with post-production alterations such as reperforations, repairs, recoloring and/or removed cancellations.

ASG will use the following non-numeric descriptors:

Genuine
A stamp that is an authentic example of what it appears to be. It may or may not have been used. The majority of the stamp must be intact and original.
Geniune, Used
A stamp that is Genuine and has been used. The stamp may have the cancellation, or the cancellation may no longer be present. There may be some minor recoloring.
Genuine, Minor Recoloring
A stamp that is Genuine and has some minor recoloring.
Genuine, Minor Repairs
A stamp that is Genuine and has some minor repairs.
Genuine, Major Repairs
A stamp that is Genuine and has multiple, major repairs.
Genuine, Cleaned
A stamp that is Genuine and has been cleaned.
Genuine, Reperforated
A stamp that is Genuine and one or more of the perforations have been reperforated.
Genuine, Slightly Trimmed
A stamp that is Genuine and has been slightly trimmed at the margins.
Mint
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations.
Mint, Original Gum
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations. At least 80% of its original gum must be intact.
Mint, Partial Original Gum
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations. It will have some of its original gum, but the gum will be disturbed and/or be less than 80% intact.
Mint, No Gum As Issued
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations. It was not issued with gum.
Mint, No Original Gum
A stamp that is Genuine, has never been used and has fully original paper, ink and perforations. The gum has either been removed or new gum has been applied after issue.