Criteria That Determine The Value Of A Phone Card To A Collector
These factors can change with market fluctuations and are often highly personalized. An image of the Eiffel Tower may have more value to a collector who got married there than to one who has never been to France. Phone Card Grading does NOT consider these kind of criteria when determining the grade or condition of a card.
Age of card
Conventional wisdom tells us that older items will generally have more value or be more desirable. But this is not always the case. The first USA card from the IntelExpo Conference in 1985, is listed for about $500.00 whereas some early AT&T TeleTicket phone cards from 1992 are worth more.
The quantity produced is a major factor. Many telecommunications companies would sometimes print very limited runs of a card for a variety of legitimate reasons. Many of these cards were unknown until the promotion was over and are simply not available. It can be expensive to track these down.
Some phone cards were never available to collectors. Other cards were left over from promotions or conferences. The prudent thing would have been to destroy the remaining cards. However, some companies sold their leftovers at prices well below the established market value, damaging the card’s value.
Collector demand is often increased by the design on a card as many collectors prefer to collect by theme or topic. Cards featuring Disney, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds artwork can be highly desirable. Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, or Elvis and sports-related cards are in high demand.
Some phone cards are beautiful works of art. Landscapes, space images, animals, birds, flowers, and seascapes can be sought after simply for their appeal. These types of cards may also hold a sentimental appeal to certain collectors. For example, a particular dog or cat breed may be very personal.
Additional factors include the phone carrier, dealers' current stock levels, competition, issue price, condition, distribution, trendiness, uniqueness, origin, technology, and whether there is a bull or bear market. As with any other collectible, trends ebb and flow with fashions and current events.
Phone Card Grading's Objective Fixed Criteria
Phone Card Grading utilizes standardized, objective, fixed criteria some of which are unique to phone cards during the grading process. Our guidelines and benchmarks are not influenced by personal choices or market fluctuations but instead are determined by industry standards in judging the condition of a phone card. Each card is evaluated both to the naked eye and under magnification to assess the following criteria. A final, overall grade will be assigned including all of these considerations and the quality of the phone card.
Phone cards surfaces should be free from smudges, nicks, scratches, discolorations, loss of glossiness, and doctoring.
Ideally, the edges of a phone card should not have fraying, chips, or nicks or show any noticeable wear or damage.
Similar to the edges, the corners of a phone card should be crisp and sharp or smoothly rounded without damage or wear.
Both the back and front of a phone card should be properly centered within acceptable industry guidelines.
Both sides of phone cards are evaluated to identify any imperfections in printing, fading, or missing information.
PCG considers card specific information such as batch or serial numbers, PIN codes, and condition of scratch-off areas.
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