When we first started selling records, Goldmine was the source for all things vinyl. The Goldmine Guide set record values; Goldmine Magazine connected sellers & buyers; and the Goldmine Rating System set the standard. Though many things have changed (thanks to the internet and web sites like Discogs & ebay), one factor has remained the same–the Goldmine Rating System. As a buyer, it’s critical to understand the rating system of your seller. If your dealer is using Goldmine ratings, as we do, this is the deal:
Records should always have two grades–one for the cover and one for the record.
SEALED: A sealed record will be MINT/UNPLAYED but should be graded for the cover as well (condition of shrink; cut-outs, seam splits, ringwear).
MINT: A mint record is an open but unplayed record in perfect condition with no evidence of wear. A mint cover is open but perfect (no cut-outs, no spine or seam wear, no ringwear).
NEAR MINT: A near mint record will play beautifully but may have minor surface or spindle wear (no scratches). A near mint cover may have minor wear but no cut-outs, splits, ringwear.
VG+: A VG+ record will play nicely but may have minor noise in the lead in or trail-off and may have a minor scratch or scuff. A VG+ cover may have typical wear but any obvious issues (cut-outs) should be noted.
VG: A VG record will play without skipping and will have some background noise and visual wear. A VG cover will have visible wear (ringwear, some seam wear or the start of a center split, some spine wear).
Records that fall below VG are graded FAIR or POOR. Records in this condition should be play-graded and issues to both the cover and the record should be fully described. The only poor/fair records that we sell are records that are records that are rare finds in any condition.