At Oxxbridge Galleries we strictly adhere to the Goldmine Records Price Guide grading protocols. This is the standard used in the United States. We follow these rules regardless of the age of the vinyl record. All our records are graded by two different graders with the lowest grade attained being the one given in the listing. We pride ourselves on our conservative accurate grades and back them up with a NO HASSLE RETURN policy! Below are the standards we use.
NEAR MINT (NM): A nearly perfect record. VINYL: The record should show no obvious signs of wear. Surface areas should be shiney on both sides with no discernable imperfections. The label must be well centered with absolutely no writing on either side. The label color must be vibrant with sharp print. Center hole must be free of any wear. COVER: A record cover must have no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-outs, writing or other imperfections. The paper color on both sides must be vibrant with no foxing whatsoever. And of course, the same must be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves and the like. Basically, an LP in Near Mint condition looks as if you just got it home from a new record store and removed the shrink wrap. Like most serious audiophiles we do not believe any vinyl record is ever truly perfect and this is the highest grade we give.
VERY GOOD PLUS (VG+): Sometimes referred to as Excellent condition. Record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. VINYL: Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that do not affect one's listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are allowed. The label may have some minor ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. The center hole will not have been misshapen by repeated play. COVER: Record Cover will show slight signs of wear. These may include a bumped corner; minor writing or corner stamp indicating it was sold at discount. A small seam split of less than 1 inch is allowed. In general, if not for a couple things wrong with it, this LP would be Near Mint. Most audiophile collectors will find a Very Good Plus record highly acceptable.
VERY GOOD (VG): Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. VINYL: Surface noise will be faintly evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song's intro and fade. This in no way will overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail). COVER: A Very Good record cover will show moderate wear. Though the cover must be free of serious obtrusions it can show the effects of heavy writing, discoloration, or other imperfections of not being kept as it should have been. There may be a seam split but this must be limited to no more than 3 inches. A taped seam, small cutouts, and imperfections are common. What is important to note is that this grade only allows one or at most 2 of these imperfections. Anymore and the record would be graded as only Good (see below).
GOOD (G): Sometimes referred to as VG-. Good does not mean Bad! VINYL: A record in Good condition can be put onto a turntable and will play through without skipping. But it will have significant surface noise and scratches and visible groove wear (on a styrene record, the groove will be starting to turn white). COVER: A cover or record sleeve will have seam splits, especially at the bottom or on the spine. Tape, writing, ring wear or other defects will start to overwhelm the object.