May 2022 Grading Recap

Published June 2nd, 2022
  • PSA graded 889,751 items during May - up 8% from April.
  • SGC increased 2%, Beckett increased 24% and the combined CSG/CGC increased 19% vs April.
  • TCG/Pokemon activity surged again - up 92% at PSA, 42% at Beckett, and 15% at CGC.
  • May was relatively quiet on the news front - perhaps the calm before the storm ahead of the National.
May Grading Summary

Category Comparison

Items Graded by Era

Gem Rate Breakdown by Era

May 2022 PSA Grading Recap

  • PSA graded 889,751 items during May - up 8% from April.
  • TCG/Pokemon activity surged 92% following a temporary slowdown in April.
  • The Pokemon surge also increased the mix of 1990s and 2000s cards graded during May.
  • Gem rates as a whole (largely due to mix) continued to fall - declining to 33% in May (vs 35% in April, 40% in March, and 43% in February).

Category Summary

TCG activity nearly doubled following the April dip

  • Beyond TCG, only misc (including F1), wrestling/boxing/mma, and golf increased compared to April.

Set Summary

TCG - both new and old - dominated the top sets in May

  • 1999 Pokemon Game continues to hold down the top spot and will become the second set to cross 500k in June (with 2019 Prizm basketball)
  • Added to the list in May: 2020 Pokemon Swsh Black Star Promo, 1999 Pokemon Jungle & Fossil, and 2000 Pokemon Rocket
  • Dropping from the list: 2019 Hoops Premium Stock basketball, 2019 Prizm basketball, 2019 Mosaic basketball, and 2021 Topps baseball

Player Summary

The usual suspects remain atop the list (Jordan and Charizard)

  • Micheal Jordan grading activity dipped (-3%) but remains elevated
  • Added to the list in May: Mew
  • Dropping from the list: LaMelo Ball

Card Summary

The 2020 Swsh Black Promo Charizard is smashing records as Pokemon headlines the top cards

  • Pokemon added five cards to the top list
  • The 2020 Swsh Black Promo Charizard crossed 20k PSA 10 gems on April 1st. It is now the most gem'd card of all time (by more than 4k) with nearly 26k gems and no signs of slowing.

What's Next for PSA?

  • PSA continues to chip away at the backlog and is checking most boxes. As a result, weekly activity has been less volatile of late and slowly ramping. While PSA did open economy service to Collectors Club members - May was a fairly quiet month on the news front. The current vibe across the industry feels as though we may be in the calm before a flood of announcements ahead of the National in late July.

May 2022 SGC Grading Recap

  • SGC graded 96,435 cards during May - a 2% increase vs April.
  • Baseball continues to be a driving force for SGC - increasing 11% vs April - nearly double the next closest category (basketball).

Category Summary

Baseball, hockey, wrestling/boxing/mma, and golf all grew by double digits in May.

Set Summary

F1 moves into the #2 spot

  • Added to the list in May: 2021 Donruss and 2020 Select basketball
  • Dropping from the list: 2020 Topps Chrome F1 and 2020 Chronicles football

Player Summary

LeBron drops from the leaderboard as the rest holds fairly steady

  • Added to the list in May: Willie Mays
  • Dropping from the list: LeBron James

Card Summary

Baseball and vintage top the leaderboard

  • The top three cards remain unchanged (again)
  • Added to the list in May: 1968 Topps Nolan Ryan #177, 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle All Star #487, 1996 Topps Kobe Bryant #138
  • Dropping from the list: 1993 Topps Derek Jeter #98, 2020 Topps Chrome F1 Max Verstappen #6, 2018 Topps Update Shohei Ohtani #US1

What's Next for SGC?

  • SGC continues to be fairly consistent on a month-to-month and week-to-week basis. They continue to hint at larger announcements coming - which could be what is needed to counter future PSA price drops and an increasingly competitive fight for the number 2 spot in the industry.

Other Charts - CSG

Category Summary

Set Summary

Player Summary

What's Next for CSG?

  • CSG/CGC activity increased meaningfully at both properties in May. The combined company is actually the second-largest grader by volume (by a sizable margin) but you wouldn't know it from most hobby content or chatter. It will be interesting to see if the company can maintain its momentum after announcing (on 6/1) a modest price increase.

Other Charts - Beckett

Category Summary

What's Next for Beckett?

  • Beckett activity has improved and the company has re-opened several service levels over the past few months. Whether or not Beckett pricing and return times are competitive enough to matter is something that appears to be very much up in the air. Can Beckett make a bigger splash in the coming months to move beyond cost of entry announcements?