At Mile High Vinyl, we use the Goldmine Standard of Grading, which is an industry standard through the grading of not only Vinyl Records, but also cassettes, 45 RPM records and CD’s. Having personally graded over 15,000 records over the past six years, Jeremy Hunter, the owner and primary grader at Mile High Vinyl, takes a lot of pride and strives for accuracy through his grading of sales items to ensure that the quality of product is satisfactory among customers every time.
Chad and Jessica Hunter, who will also assist with the grading process, both also have extensive experience with the grading of Vinyl Records and are currently in the process of learning the grading of all other sales items available for sale on the Mile High Vinyl website.
The following is a look into Mile High Vinyl’s take on the Goldmine Standard of Grading:
The record and cover are perfect in every way. The record or specified media must never have been played, and will only be graded as mint if it is still factory sealed. Note that a record or specified media can be sealed and not mint, due to any factory defaults not known about prior.
Near Mint (NM):
A nearly perfect record or form of media. A Near Mint record has more than likely never been played, as with any other specified media. The vinyl or media will play perfectly, with no imperfections or surface noise during playback. The record or media will show no signs of wear. Other than factory sealed items graded as Mint, Near Mint will be the highest grade given to any specified media for sale on the Mile High Vinyl website.
Very Good Plus (VGP):
A Very Good Plus (VG+) record or media will show some signs that the item was played and handled by a previous owner with care. Any defects are cosmetic in nature and do not affect the actual playback. Vinyl or media surfaces may show signs of wear, including slight scuffs or light surface scratches. Slight warps which do not affect playback are allowed. Sound quality will be great overall.
Very Good (VG):
A Very Good record will typically contain several to multiple light surface scratches, minor scuffs and possible groove wear. There will be evident surface noise during playback and possible light pops which don’t overpower playback. In some instances, there may be some slightly visibly deep scratches which cause light pops during playback with no skips. Other media may contain visible scuffs and light scratches on CDs and noticeable handling of cassettes without any major playback issues.
Good to Good Plus (G, GP):
A record in Good or Good Plus condition can be played through without skipping, but it will have significant surface noise, scratches, longer scuff marks and visible groove wear. There may also be some visibly deep scratches which cause increased audible pops during playback. In most cases, GP will be the lowest grade a record or other form of media will be graded as on the Mile High Vinyl website. These albums will also be play graded before being added to the website with documentation of sound quality within the description.
Among CDs there will be a great deal of surface scratches and possible scuffs which may cause some audible sound interference. CDs in Good Plus condition will generally never be added to the website, unless they are of higher value and rarity. Cassettes will show obvious signs of wear, which may include missing labels, scratches and scuffs and fading to the lettering. Expect sound interference during playback.
As a side note, the condition of the jewel cases of CDs and cassettes WILL NOT be included in the grading of sleeve condition. Solely the condition of the labels or included inner booklets of either form of media will be included in the grading. Since the jewel cases are replaceable, this is the primary reason they will not be included within the process of grading.