GemRate FAQ & Methodology

Which categories do you cover?

  • We currently work with PSA's categorization.
  • The overall and category data presented by GemRate includes all of the categories featured by PSA.
  • The set, item, and player level data (including data replay) currently includes the following subset of categories:
    • Baseball Cards, Basketball Cards, Boxing Wrestling MMA Cards, Football Cards, Golf Cards, Hockey Cards, Misc Cards, Multi-Sport Cards, Soccer Cards, TCG Cards

How do you know what was graded on a given day or over a certain period of time?

  • The primary methodology for capturing any given day or period on a population report is to compare snapshots before and after that date.
    • For example, if we capture the population report on 12/1/23 and 12/2/23 - we can reasonably understand what was added to the report on 12/1.

When does GemRate data update each day?

  • The classic pop report updates late morning ET. The Universal Pop Report will be updated in the early afternoon ET.

How accurate is GemRate’s data?

  • Quality, integrity and accuracy of data are a huge focus for GemRate.
  • That said, population data is very nuanced and it is subject to changes and recategorizations that can impact our dataset. Generally speaking, the data is only as accurate as the original pop reports. When reasonable, we attempt to reconcile errors and/or inconsistencies in the data. If something looks off, let us know and we can try to get the data sorted out. We appreciate any issues or questions being flagged.

Why do population reports decrease from time to time?

  • The most common reason for this is when a grading company re-categorizes something - a card, a set, etc. For example, there have been examples where PSA moved sets into the soccer category that resulted in drops in the misc category.
  • On a much smaller scale - grading companies occasionally goes back into the market to buy back a card that was deemed to be graded incorrectly. That can also result in a decrease.

Do items show up on the pop report on the same day they were graded?

  • Generally, there is a 1-2 day lag from when a card is graded to when it appears on the pop report and is captured by GemRate.

Do the dates on site represent the day the items appeared on population reports or the date when data was processed?

  • We reference updated and date graded. Updated represents when the data was captured and processed. Date graded represents when data appeared on the pop report.

Does the player data view really show all the cards for that player?

  • It includes all cards where the name is listed on the label.
  • There are certain times when PSA and other grading companies have to shorten players' names to fit them on a label. In that instance, the shorter names get entered onto the label and impact the pop report and our ability to search for them.

What do you do with the autograph data that is separated out on PSA sites?

  • For GemRate, we combine the two different breakouts into a single report as we think that is more aligned with our vision of providing a comprehensive view of population.

What is included in the Gems (or Gems+) category?

  • Gems include 1) PSA 10 for PSA 2) Beckett 9.5, 10, & Black Label 3) SGC 10 and Pristine 4) CGC 10 (+ legacy 9.5 Gem MT), Pristine, and Perfect

Data from Beckett's cert lookup can sometimes differ from what is displayed on their pop report - is that also true for the data on GemRate?

  • Yes, for a small number of sets and cards - Beckett data will show up on their cert lookup - but can be missing from their pop report. This most commonly happens with cards that were not originally on the checklist - think of things like redemptions packs.

PSA, BGS and other grading companies categorize and label set and card details differently. How does GemRate account for that?

  • When possible, we utilize the PSA taxonomy. For example, we use the PSA categorizations and map other grading companies categories to fit.
  • However, in some instances, we also present the data as is. PSA includes parallels as a part of a broader set while BGS breaks parallels into their own set. E.g. For example, Prizm silver is a subset of Panini Prizm while it is a separate set *Panini Prizm Prizms Silver* with BGS. GemRate currently presents the data as is for each grading company; however, we will likely attempt to normalize data across the different services in the future.

Why does BGS data include other text after the player's name?

  • BGS includes additional notes and context with player descriptions - like 'RC' or other details for a specific card. Not all rookie cards have the RC designation. BGS uses it on a case by case basis. Some players have it primarily noted on the base rookie card while others do not have it noted at all. PSA includes parallels as a part of a broader set while BGS breaks parallels into their own set.

Universal Pop Report

Does the Universal Pop Report match all variations of a card at one grader to all varations of a card at another grader?

  • It does not. The Universal Pop Report considers the context and makes use of best possible matching.
  • Only one card from each grading company will get matched to another card of another grading company.
  • If there are other commonly recognized variations without a match, they will also be presented on the Universal Pop Report but may not have a match with all graders.
  • Variations that are not widely recognized / label one-offs / other anomalies may not be included on the Universal Pop Report.

How does GemRate handle matching cards that are recognized differently with different graders?

  • We have some rough guidelines that we follow; however, ultimately, we evaluate each card and set on a case by base basis.
  • Scenario 1: A long-standing variation is likely to be matched across graders, while a newly recognized variation is more likely to be singled out as a solo listing.
  • Scenario 2: Different graders recognize with and without coating. The coating distinction has been in place for quite some time so we can match the more predominantly graded card with the base card at the other graders. Without coating would be considered a distinct variation that may not have an equivalent listing at other graders.
  • As we roll out more of the Universal Pop Report, we will note these types of considerations for each set.

How can I identify which card is being referenced on the Univeral Pop Report?

  • We currently provide links to each grading company's pop report so that you can cross-check which card is being utilized.
  • If you view the grader details for each card and hover over the grading company, you can see the specific details for the card being used.

Iconic Tracker

What is the basis for the Iconic Tracker?

  • We used the PWCC 100 as the starting point as we thought it was a thoughtful, recent proxy for many of the most significant cards in the hobby.

Iconic Tracker - Monthly Grading Trends

Is it possible for data to be different between the Iconic Tracker and the Monthly Grading Trends

  • It is. The Grading Trends and Universal Pop Report are computed via two different methodologies.
  • The Monthly Grading trends dataset is capable of considering multiple versions and variations of a single card (e.g. Type 1 and Type 2 1952 Mickey Mantle).
  • The Universal Pop Report matches best possible and most frequently graded options. Variations are not merged into a single card on the Universal Pop Report (at this time).

Are you providing investment advice?

  • Nope! GemRate is presented for information and research purposes. How you choose to use the data is up to you!