The encapsulation machine got quite a workout at PSA last month.
The company graded a record 830,883 cards in the 30-day period that ended last week–an average of 27,696 per day and 1,154 cards every hour. That’s according to numbers compiled by Gem Rate, which has been tracking the company’s progress as it continues to dig out from a backlog of millions of cards.
The grading total represents cards that were entered into PSA’s Population Report. It’s the most cards graded by the Southern California-based company since June and represented a 24% increase over its August output of 669,000. It is now on a pace to grade about ten million items annually.
PSA has concentrated its authentication and grading efforts almost exclusively on reducing the multi-million card backlog since it stopped accepting submission orders for all but the highest levels of service at the end of March. The company has since increased space and staffing at unprecedented levels and also implemented additional technology in an attempt to be more efficient.
The bulk of cards being that piled up are those issued in the last ten years, most of which were submitted at one of the low cost service levels that were an option for collectors and dealers until last spring’s shutdown.
Gem Rate reports that PSA graded over 277,000 basketball cards in September, over 204,000 baseball cards (a 45% increase over August), over 183,000 gaming cards, 91,000+ football cards, over 28,000 soccer cards and 19,000+ hockey cards.
Many of the cards graded are from Panini’s 2019-20 basketball issues. PSA graded 34,900 Prizm basketball cards, bringing the total population to nearly 460,000 by the end of last week. 2019-20 Chronicles (27,900), Mosaic (21,400) and Optic (14,300) also saw sizeable totals graded.
Graders also reviewed large numbers of 2020 Topps and Topps Chrome Baseball. The most graded baseball card in September was Luis Robert’s Series 2 rookie card, with over 2,700 moving to shipment. The company now shows over 24,600 Robert rookies in its system.
PSA graded over 2,000 each of Robert’s Chrome rookie and flagship rookie cards of Kyle Lewis and Bo Bichette. In all, PSA graded 13,600 Robert cards in September, an increase of 26 percent.
The most graded player list was once again topped by Michael Jordan, with about 20,500 Jordan cards examined–an increase of 32 percent over last month. PSA also encapsulated 18,100 LeBron James cards, 16,400 of Ja Morant, 11,800 of Mike Trout (up 74 percent month to month) and about 10,000 of Kobe Bryant.
The company also graded and authenticated approximately 3,000 unopened packs last month.