If you are a serious card collector then you will more than likely someday want to submit some raw cards to a card grading company for grading. If you ever plan to submit cards and you don’t own a jeweler’s loupe, then you need to get one… Like yesterday!
Let me tell you why...
To some collectors who are submitting low end to mid end cards, the difference between receiving a 9.5/10 grade and receiving a sub 9 score can make or break a card’s value. So much so that sometimes the price difference between a raw card and a sub 9 graded card makes it not worth it to have gotten the card graded at all.
So as a collector, it would behoove you to inspect your own cards that you are prepping for submission, right? This way you can weed out any cards that you may think won’t get the 9.5/10 grade you want and may not be worth submitting.
How A Jeweler’s Loupe Helps
Depending on the model you pick up, a loupe can magnify your vision anywhere from 10X all the way to 60X. You may have perfect 20/20 vision and think that you can spot any damage on a card. But the truth is, you can’t. The naked eye simply can’t see some of the micro-damage that occurs on these sports cards. But you better believe that PSA and BGS graders are using magnifying lamps and loupes to check out your cards and they will see the damage.
If you look at the image above, the left side of the Josh Rosen Rated Rookie Card appears in good condition to the naked eye. However, if you take a peep at it under a loupe you would notice that the entire left edge of the card has extensive micro-damages to it. This is an example where knowing up front that your card has these damages could save you from paying to slab a card that is in poor condition.
Where To Find A Quality Jeweler’s Loupe
Picking up a jeweler’s loupe is very cheap and easy thing to do. Being associated with jewelry, one might assume that a loupe would be a high ticket item. However, the opposite is true. The loupe I use was less than $10 on amazon. I went with the best seller at the time (Jarlink 30X 60X with LED lights). You can also pick up a loupe on eBay if you prefer.
Do you own a jeweler’s loupe? Has it helped you identify damage you missed with the naked eye? What other tools to you use to pre-grade your own cards? Leave a comment below!