Determining a Grade For Booklets

In the case of a complete booklet, the main factor affecting the condition continues to be the centering of the panes contained within the booklet, with the freshness and condition of the booklet cover being the next most important factor. 

So the factors are evaluated as follows:

 1. Centering of the panes - 0-70 points:

  • 70 points - The margins are perfectly even both on the inside of the pane, between the stamps, and the outside of the pane. In addition, the margins will all be of equal width as far as the eye can tell, using a calibrated loupe to accurately measure the width of the margins. Even after staring at the pane for a considerable length of time, it will be next to impossible to pick one margin that as being wider than the others. 
  • 68 points - At first glance, it will appear as though the margins are of equal width. It will only be after very careful examination with a calibrated loupe that it will become apparent that one margin is very slightly larger than the other three, which will all be of equal width. 
  • 64 points - Opposing margins will be perfectly balanced, being the same width, although pairs of opposing margins will not all be the same width (i.e. top and bottom may be slightly wider than left and right). The opposing outer margins will be perfectly balanced and the inner margins will be even in the sense that the perforations are aligned down the centre of the gutters between each stamp in the pane.
  • 54 points - The centering appears to be more or less perfect at first glance. A second glance reveals that the margins are not at all of uniform width, being only nicely balanced.  The outer and inner margins of the pane can either be well, but not perfectly balanced, or the outer margins may be perfectly balanced, but the inner perforations will be ever so slightly off centre in one direction.
  • 50 points - The width of the margins will be well balanced. Upon close examination, it will be apparent that they are not of equal width, but they will be well balanced. The outer and inner margins of the pane will either be well balanced, or the outer margins will be almost perfectly balanced, but the inner perforation rows or columns will be slightly off centre in two directions.
  • 45 points - It is fairly obvious that the outer and inner margins are not of equal width, but they are almost equal, with no margins being much closer to the stamp designs than any of the others.
  • 40 points - The outer or inner margins are very clearly unbalanced, with one or two margins being clearly wider than the others. When one margin is unbalanced, it will be quite close to the perforations. 
  • 35 points - The outer and inner margins are very clearly unbalanced, with one or two margins being clearly wider than the others, and both being very close to the perforations. 
  • 30 points -  The outer and inner margins are very unbalanced with one or two margins just touching the outside of the design.  Either the outer margins will be unbalanced and just touching the design, or the inner margins will be just touching the design on one side, or both sets of margins will be just touching the design, but will not be cutting into the design.
  • 25 points - The perforations clearly cut into the design on one side, although not deeply (i.e. less than 1 mm). This will be true of either one outer margin, or one inner margin.
  • 20 points - The perforations clearly cut into the design on two sides. Again they will not cut into the design by more than 1 mm on any given side. This will be true of either one outer margin and one inner margin, both outer margins, or both inner margins.
  • 5 points - The perforations cut into the design deeply on one side (i.e. by more than 1 mm). This will be true of either one outer margin or one inner margin.
  • 0 points - The perforations cut deeply into the design on two or more sides. This will be true of either one outer margin and one inner margin, both outer margins, or both inner margins.

 2. Cover Freshness - 0-10 points:

  • 10 points - The cover is bright and fresh as the day it was issued. 
  • 8 points - The cover is fresh, but not as bright as the day it was issued. 
  • 6 points - The cover is not toned or discoloured, but is not particularly fresh either. 
  • 4 points - The cover is not fresh, but the discolouration overall is quite light. 
  • 2 points - The cover is moderately discoloured overall. 
  • 0 points - The cover is heavily discoloured overall. 

3. Condition of the cover and edges - 0-5 points:

  • 5 points - The cover is pristine. There are no opening creases on either the front or back cover, and the edges of both front and back cover are crisp and the corners are not rounded.
  • 4 points - There are no opening creases on the front or back cover. One of the covers may have very slight wear on one or two corners, in the form of mild rounding. 
  • 3 points - There are no opening creases on the front or back cover. Both covers may have very slight wear on one or two corners, in the form of mild rounding.
  • 2 points - There is an opening crease on one cover, but no significant wear on any cover edges.
  • 1 point - There are opening creases on both covers, but no significant wear on any cover edges.
  • 0 points - There are opening creases on both covers, and a significant amount of edge wear. 

4. Freshness of the panes - 0 to 5 points:

  • 5 points - The paper is bright and fresh, showing no signs of discolouration.
  • 4 points - The paper is fresh, but not bright.
  • 3 points - The paper is not visibly toned, although not particularly fresh.
  • 2 points - The paper shows some very light overall toning.
  • 1 point - The paper has noticeable toning, although it is not deep.
  • 0 points - The paper is heavily toned or has visible staining.

 5. Absence of visible cover flaws/stains: 0 to 5 points: 

  • 5 points - There will be no pencil or pen notations, no erasures, no stains and no rust near the staples of stapled booklets.
  • 4 points - There may be 1 or 2 small erasures that are no larger than a pencil tip eraser, or a small pencil notation. In the case of a stapled booklet, there may be a slight hint of rust around the staple.
  • 3 points - The cover is not toned or discoloured, but is not particularly fresh either. There may be some larger erasures, or some larger pencil markings or small pen notations. In the case of a stapled booklet, there will be definite light rust along and near the staple. There may be 1 or 2 small stains, smaller than a pencil tip eraser. 
  • 2 points - The cover is not fresh. There may be light overall discolouration. There will be larger pen markings, heavy rust along the staple, or 1 or 2 larger stains that are larger than a pencil tip eraser, but which occupy no more than 10% of the surface area of the cover. 
  • 1 points - The cover is moderately discoloured overall. There will be 2 or more of the above defects as discussed for "4 points" above.
  • 0 points - The cover is heavily discoloured, or has very large pen markings or stains on the cover. 

6. Condition of interleaving and contents - 0 to 5 points:

  • 5 points - There are no faults on the panes contained within the booklet, or any interleaving pages. 
  • 4 points - There are no faults on the panes contained within the booklet. One interleaving page may have a small tear or crease.
  • 3 points - There may be a small fault on one pane within the booklet, but no faults on the interleaving pages.
  • 2 points - There may be a small fault on one pane, and on one interleaving page.
  • 1 point - There is more than 1 fault on one pane, or one fault on both panes contained within the booklet.
  • 0 points - There are small faults on all panes and interleaving pages. 

Actual minor flaws on the panes within the booklet would generally consist of small tears in the outer margins, small creases or wear along the pane edges. Minor instances of these will reduce the grade by 5 points per defect, per pane, in addition to affecting the condition score above. Serious creases that break the paper will reduce the grade by 30 points, and moderate creases that do not break the paper of the pane will reduce the grade by 10 points per pane.