Card grading activity was robust in March.
A tally by Gem Rate indicates more than 1.2 million cards were graded and authenticated by the four major grading card companies last month alone.
PSA entered about 987,000 cards into its population report over the 31-day period. That’s a new monthly output record for the company, which continues to work through the huge backlog that had reached 13 million cards 12 months ago. PSA is on pace to grade about 11.3 million cards this year but that number could certainly be higher as productivity and submissions increase.
PSA’s biggest grading category remains gaming, with nearly 300,000 examined last month—more than any sport. Basketball and baseball topped the list of sports cards graded at PSA, while SGC and CSG graded more baseball cards than any other sport.
Gem Rate indicated SGC had graded about 103,000 cards last month for the number two position in terms of total output and a record tally for the longtime Florida-based company.
The vast majority of the cards being graded by PSA are modern. About 63.5 percent of the cards entered into the pop report at PSA were those produced over the last 12 years, with only 4.1 percent dating from the 1970s and earlier (over 40,000 total cards).
About 57 percent of the cards dating from 2010-present are receiving Gem Mint 10 grades from PSA and with those from 2000-2009 garnering 10s at a rate of about 23 percent.
At SGC, vintage grading was more popular with 17.5 percent of the total number of cards dating prior to 1980. However, the highest percentage of cards from 2020, 2021 and 2022 that were graded last month by any of the major grading companies was also via SGC (40.8 percent). Baseball was the top sport at SGC with basketball and football well behind.
CSG graded the highest percentage of cards from the 1990s among the four major grading companies at 18.7 percent.
In a clear indication that PSA is still working through the backlog, Zion Williamson cards were still responsible for a large volume of the number of sports cards graded (11,600), tied with Ja Morant and Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan (25,400) and LeBron James were still the most heavily submitted athletes.
At SGC, Jordan, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow topped the list while CSG’s most heavily graded player was Brady. SGC did grade 440 Topps Wander Franco rookie cards during the first few weeks of the release of Series 1.