A Brief History of PSA, the Sports Card Grading Company
February 05, 20232 min read
Collectors Universe is a company that was founded in 1986 with the purpose of providing authentication and grading services to collectors of rare coins, stamps, autographs, and sports cards. Over the years, the company has become one of the most recognized names in the world of sports card collecting and is often referred to as the "gold standard" in the industry.
The company's sports card grading division, PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), was established in 1991. Prior to PSA's formation, there was no standard method for grading sports cards and collectors had to rely on their own opinions and subjective assessments. PSA changed this by creating a standardized grading system that relied on objective criteria and a team of experts to grade cards.
One of the key factors that contributed to PSA's success was its use of third-party grading. This meant that PSA did not buy or sell sports cards and therefore had no conflict of interest in its grading process. Instead, the company relied on a network of authorized dealers and collectors to submit cards for grading.
In its early years, PSA focused primarily on grading cards from the major sports leagues such as baseball, football, and basketball. However, over time the company expanded its services to include cards from a wider range of sports and other collectibles such as trading cards and memorabilia.
As the popularity of sports card collecting grew, so did the demand for PSA's services. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company experienced explosive growth and soon became the leading sports card grading company in the world. Today, PSA is considered the largest and most respected sports card grading company, with millions of cards graded and a global network of authorized dealers and collectors.
In conclusion, Collectors Universe and its sports card grading division PSA have played a major role in shaping the sports card collecting hobby. By creating a standardized grading system and establishing a reputation for impartiality and expertise, PSA has given collectors a reliable and trustworthy source for assessing the value of their collections. The company continues to be at the forefront of the sports card grading industry and is an essential resource for collectors of all levels.
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