The Effect of Heat on PSA and SGC Graded Cards

A few people have brought up the suggestion that heat affects the labels of SGC graded cards (see Effect of Light thread).

Well, I figured I would test this with an SGC and a PSA graded card.

I preheated the oven to 170º F. I believe this to be an accurate representation of temperatures achieved in the trunk of a parked car in direct sunlight during the summer (It was also the lowest setting on my oven).

I placed the cards in the oven on a metal pizza pan and checked them every 2 minutes for the first 6 minutes. There was no change. I then put them back for an additional 5 minutes. After 11 minutes, the label of the SGC graded card had significantly darkened. I placed the slabs back in the oven and checked them again at 13 and 15 minutes, with no additional darkening of the SGC label. I then placed the cards back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

After 25 minutes of "baking", here are the results (the PSA card was scanned cold and after 25 minutes at 170º F while the SGC card was scanned cold, after 11 minutes at 170º F, and after 25 minutes at 170º F):

image

image


Conclusion:

SGC uses heat sensitive labels similar to older fax machines, label makers, ATMs, and Pay at the Pump gas pumps. PSA uses an ink printed label.


Now, go get your SGC cards out of the trunk of your car (you can leave the PSA cards in there - it will keep them protected from the light! image)

JEB.

Comments

  • Hey, I needed that Jarvis SGC card. It's a 1 of 1!!image
    Frank

    Always looking for 1957 Topps BB in PSA 9!
  • I believe that the SGC labels are printed using a similar technology as receipts at, for instance, Home Depot or CVS. Leaving a Home Depot receipt of a CVS coupon that you get at the register gives you a pitch black stub of paper -- much like the flip in JEB's experiment.

    BTW JEB -- great stuff!!!
    Dr S. of the Dead Donkeys MC
  • That Jarvis label was similar to the one I had mentioned in the other thread.

    However, that label that I saw was so dark you couldnt read a single word or number. It was almost like black paste had been spread on it.

    I was able to determine the grade from the SGC pop report, but then figured the card itself was just as damaged although I would guess that a good part of the heat was probably from being stored in a truck of a car or van during the week with only weekend exposure to the sunlight.

    Either way, interesting test JEB. Thanks!!


  • << <i>That Jarvis label was similar to the one I had mentioned in the other thread.

    However, that label that I saw was so dark you couldnt read a single word or number. It was almost like black paste had been spread on it.

    I was able to determine the grade from the SGC pop report, but then figured the card itself was just as damaged although I would guess that a good part of the heat was probably from being stored in a truck of a car or van during the week with only weekend exposure to the sunlight.

    Either way, interesting test JEB. Thanks!! >>




    Cubfan,

    I cooked Mr. Jarvis a while longer. Actually 30 minutes at 170º F didn't cut it, so I upped the temp to 200º F for about 15 minutes and that did it. Man, the trunk of your car must get pretty hot! image

    image


    Another interesting note: after this additional time in the oven, the label seemed free to move out of its designated spot and there was some warping of the black insert:

    image

    JEB.
  • JEB,

    That wasnt my card or my trunk, but it was (what could have been) a nice grouping of cards that I saw at this outdoor flea market that appears about 2 times each year here. This guy has tons of stuff and maybe 5% of it is worthwhile. But Im guessing those cards were set out in the sun every weekend and stored in some van during the week. All he was asking what what he called "grading costs". But they were too sun bleached and the before heat grade was unreadable so it was a shame.

    Keith
  • That SGC label is interesting. In know that thermal printers are not advised in medicine where long term record keeping is a must. Many times I have pulled old patient charts and found a fax was filed that is now blank. These are stored in cool dark areas so just age in general led to this condition. I have also heard that the inks in an inkjet printer may not be as durable as one would hope.

    Greg
    Buying 1964 PSA 9 Baseball
    image
  • DavemriDavemri Posts: 2,111 ✭✭✭
    I wonder how long / hot it would have to be for the slabs to melt. Id figure 200 would do it.

    dave

    FINISHED 12/8/2008!!!
    image
  • Dave,

    From my recent experiences, it would appear that the black insert in SGC slabs are on the verge of melting at 200º F, but the slab itself was as rigid at 200º as it was at 75º before it went into the oven. I would guess 300º or better before the slab melts. You just want me to melt the slab, don't you? image

    JEB.
  • My favorite SGC recipe is to marinate a SGC 88 1979 Topps Dick Pole in red wine vinagrette for two hours, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and serve with cilantro pesto, a side of field greens and a nice Pinot Grigio.
  • Sorry Debs. SGC is better if cooked cajun style. PSA is petter using your method.
  • If SGC can't stand the heat, it should get out of the kitchen.
  • Actually, if you are using a gas oven, it would depend upon where you place the card and you would need to not have the card in while the oven is warming up. Because the heat coming in "spreads out" to fill the entire oven, it is actually hotter than the setting says that the overall temperature averages out to be. While paper combusts at 451°F, you can easily start a fire in your gas oven with exposed paper at under 300°F on the setting.

    However, based upon your test, it appears that some graded cards are hot right now.

    (typo fixed)
    image

    Heh© / My lawyers will be contacting all of you!™
    DavidVargha@hotmail.com

    soli Deo gloria
  • It was electric and I preheated.

    JEB.
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