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FAQ - How are comics scored?

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In order to rank sets competitively, the Comics Registry assigns every comic book a point value or score in every possible CGC grade and label category. The scores of individual comic books registered in a set are then added together to calculate a set's score. Ultimately, sets are ranked by comparing their scores to other sets in the same category, with the highest scoring set being the top ranked.


When the Registry was first created, there were a few different methods for determining scores to choose from. One method to determine scores was to assign scores based directly on books’ values in the marketplace. This, however, proved impractical because market values are constantly changing and accurate pricing information is not always available. Furthermore values often increase exponentially at the top end of the grade range, which would limit competition by allowing a single book to overshadow a more complete collection. Another method was to use grades alone. Grades, however, do not necessarily distinguish between the individual comics in a set, because grades do not by themselves reflect the rarity of a comic or the importance of a particular issue. Thus a scoring algorithm was developed to overcome these limitations.


The goal of the scoring algorithm used by the Comics Registry is to represent accurately each comic book’s scarcity, desirability, and value, while ensuring a fun and competitive collecting environment.


To calculate a registry score, the scoring algorithm begins with a single "raw score" for each comic book. The raw score of a comic book is the approximate market value of a Near Mint copy of that issue. A number of widely available sources are used to determine this value, and CGC will consult with experts when accurate information cannot be found in these references.


Using this raw score, the algorithm calculates a Registry score for every possible CGC category and grade for that comic book. For example, the raw score is multiplied by standard weights to achieve scores for each CGC Universal Grade. Universal scores are then used in combination with percentage multipliers to determine scores for non-Universal Registry Scores (such as Signatures Series, Qualified, and Restored). The algorithm attempts to weigh the relative value, scarcity, and desirability for each grade and category, and varies based on the comic age and other variables.


Comic scores do not equate to market dollars. A more valuable book will in most cases receive more Registry points, but its score is not directly correlated to its value. The algorithm is also designed to enhance and encourage competition in the Registry by reducing extremes in value differences between grades and categories. For this reason a very valuable book may receive fewer points than might be expected, or a relatively common book will receive more points than might otherwise be expected.


Research is continuing into more advanced methods to provide a ranking system that recognizes the intelligence of the market, while offering a better reflection of relative rarity in higher grades and adjusting for market distortions. The goal of the system is to continually increase the breadth and depth of available sets, taking into consideration valuations and opinions in order to fairly and objectively apply Registry point values.

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