Vinyl and Sleeve Grading Guide
Absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly neverbeen played, possibly even still sealed. Should be used sparingly as a grade,if at all.
Near Mint (NM or M-)
A nearly perfect record. A NM or M- record has morethan likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfectionsduring playback. Many dealers won't give a grade higher than this implying(perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record shouldshow no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more thanthe most minor defects, such as any sign of slight handling. An LP cover shouldhave no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable similardefects. The same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyricsleeves, etc.
Very Good Plus (VG+)
Generally worth 50% of the Near Mint value. A VeryGood Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handledby a previous owner who took good care of it. Defects should be more of acosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback as a whole. Record surfacesmay show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratchesthat don't affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affectthe sound are "OK". The label may have some ring wear ordiscoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. Spindle marks may bepresent. Picture sleeves and inner sleeves will have some slight wear, slightlyturned-up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs ofwear, and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation, or cut corner. Ingeneral, if not for a couple of minor things wrong with it, this would be NearMint.
Very Good (VG)
Generally worth 25% of Near Mint value. Many of thedefects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surfacenoise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during asong's intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wearwill start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel witha fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, orhave tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true ofpicture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problemsat the same time. Goldmine price guides with more than one price will list VeryGood as the lowest price.
Good (G), Good Plus (G+)
Generally worth 10-15% of the Near Mint value. Arecord in Good or Good Plus condition can be played through without skipping.But it will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear.A cover or sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on thespine. Tape, writing, ring wear, or other defects will be present. While therecord will be playable without skipping, noticeable surface noise and"ticks" will almost certainly accompany the playback.
Poor (P), Fair (F)
Generally worth 0-5% of the Near Mint price. The recordis cracked, badly warped, and won't play through without skipping or picture sleeve is water damaged, split on all three seams and heavilymarred by wear and writing. The LP cover barely keeps the LP inside it. Innersleeves are fully split, crinkled, and written upon.