On May 23, CGC announced a new class of labels. Starting next month CGC will introduce the Conservation Label and at the same time expand the Purple Label into five tiers. We’ll now have:

1. Slight
2. Slight/Moderate
3. Moderate
4. Moderate/Extensive
5. Extensive
Avengers

To further complicate things, there will also be an A, B or C designation to identify the quality of restoration, i.e.; from amateur to professional with a number to indicate the quantity or the amount of restoration done to the book. So, we’ll soon be seeing certification labels that read like this:

Avengers #55
Apparent: 9.6
Slight/Moderate: A-2

Batman

 

The Conservation Label will differentiate repairs done to a book with the intent to preserve as opposed to repairs done to enhance eye appeal.

I’m all for transparency and more information but is the certification system becoming too complex, especially for novice collectors? In their attempt to clarify, I find it actually has the opposite effect and adds to the confusion (or is it just me resisting change)? Personally, I think all labels should be Blue with all pertinent information listed on the label. This way, the buyer can decide what he or she finds acceptable. At one point in comics history, restored books used to be more valuable than non restored books but something happened along the way and the scale has tilted. I guess this is what Malcolm Gladwell would refer to as The Tipping Point.

I have no idea how the market will react to this expanded system, but it definitely will be interesting to watch. I assume that CGC is hoping that some collectors will re-submit their books to be re-slabbed so that they can get “mo’ chedd-ah”, but will it be worth the effort for the collector? For the most part, a Purple Label is a Purple Label but if a Blue Label with a Purple Stripe starts fetching a premium, you may want to dig through your box of CGC books and pick out the Slight to Moderately restored books for possible re-submission.

You can read more about it here and feel free to share your thoughts below. Is this a good thing, bad thing or… meh.