GRADE: NEAR MINT
Abbreviated Notation: NM
Overstreet Numerical Equivalent (ONE) range: 97-90
(Highest possible NM grade = 97, Mid-grade = 94, Lowest possible NM grade = 90)
Beautiful, with only minor imperfections that keep it from the next higher grade. Minor imperfections that are allowed in this grade include tiny corner creases or staple stress lines, a few color flecks, bindery tears, tiny impact creases or a combination of the above where the overall eye appeal is less than Mint. Only the most subtle binding and/or printing defects allowed. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Cover inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimum of fading. Corners are cut square and sharp with ever so slight blunting permitted. Staples are generally centered, clean with only light rust, and no paper discoloration or staining. Cover is well centered and firmly
secured to interior pages. Paper is supple and like new. Spine is tight and flat. In rare cases a comic was not stapled at the bindery and is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to FN, but only vintage staples to VF or NM.
Mint books must have original staples.
CHECKLIST FOR THE GRADE NEAR MINT:
Note: Comic books published before 1970 in Near Mint condition are scarce. This grade is commonly viewed by the average collector as the best grade obtainable.
- Only minor imperfections noted.
- Almost no printing defects allowed.
- No bindery defects permitted in this grade except bindery tears (see glossary).
- Small and inconspicuously placed arrival dates and initials on cover are permitted.
- Cover is flat with no surface wear.
- Cover is bright.
- Cover is generally well centered.
- Staples are clean with no rust.
- Spine is flat and tight (no spine roll).
- Minute color fading is acceptable.
- No soiling, staining, or other discoloration.
- No hint of acidity in the odor of the newsprint.
- The overall look of a Near Mint condition comic book is "As if it were just purchased from the newsstand and read once or twice."
Collectors should thoroughly examine any book touted to be in this grade. Further, they should be carefully scrutinized for restoration.
Expensive/key comic books listed as being in "high grade"
often have some restoration. In most cases restoration performed on otherwise near mint books will reduce the grade. A Very Fine comic book cannot be transformed into a near mint comic book through restoration.
Near Mint |
Very Fine |
Very Good |