PSA graded 669,000 trading cards in August and more than two million in the last three months as the company continued to work through a record-breaking backlog.
That number is down a bit from what was processed in June and July, but still far ahead of the pace the company was at last spring, according to data from GemRate.com. In June, PSA’s data indicated that nearly 779,000 cards were authenticated and graded. The totals hovered between 500,000 and 600,000 in March, April and May.
PSA has hired additional staff and implemented new technology throughout 2021. The company’s workforce has roughly doubled since the start of 2020.
The bulk of the submissions graded in August were once again basketball cards— 248,000 in all—followed by baseball (140,000+). Gaming cards also saw a high volume, with over 140,000 examined by PSA graders. Only 5,738 hockey cards were added to the population report.
The bulk of grading continues to be for modern and ultra-modern cards, which comprised 68% of the total last month. PSA continues to work through a mountain of 2019-20 basketball, led by Prizm (30,400 cards in August); Mosaic (20,600) and Chronicles (17,500).
The volume of 1980s and 90s cards dropped from roughly 79,000 cards in July to only 17,000 cards in August.
On the final day of August, over 35,000 cards were graded.
According to GemRate, which calculates data from PSA’s reports, the company has graded more than 3.8 million cards since March and is currently on pace to grade about 8.6 million in a 12-month span.
Most of the ongoing backlog is from value, or bulk, orders submitted last year. PSA reports that 84.2% of the backlog are from those lower cost submissions. PSA saw a record breaking 7.5 million cards submitted in 2020 and over three million more in just the first three months of 2021, before putting a halt to all but the highest level services in an effort to catch up.
PSA says it took in over 42,000 packages in January, February and March.
The ten most graded players in August included:
- LeBron James 17,600
- Ja Morant 15,600
- Michael Jordan 15,600
- Zion Williamson 14,900
- Luka Doncic 12,400
- Kobe Bryant 11,900
- Luis Robert 10,800
- Tyler Herro 7,500
- Justin Herbert 7,100
- Fernando Tatis 7,000
The most graded card was the 2020 Topps Luis Robert rookie base, with 2,500. Over half of those were given a grade of Gem Mint 10. Other cards among the top ten most graded in August included the 2020 Topps Kyle Lewis, 2020 Topps Chrome Robert, 2019-20 Panini Mosaic Zion Williamson; 2019-20 Prizm Tyler Herro and RJ Barrett and 2020 Topps Bo Bichette.
All but the Prizm Herro and Topps Bichette were given Gem Mint 10 grades more than 50% of the time.
Cards aren’t the only thing being graded. PSA has examined 3,065 unopened packs in the last 30 days and 1,217 tickets.