Carat Grading – Review

As we have announced recently, the site will be taking a closer look at Card Grading Services and we will be reviewing the quality of these services. While many will have heard of PSA, Beckett, and CGC, we will be trying to do our best to provide our readers with opinions of local grading companies as well. To kick things off, we are taking a closer look at Carat Grading, which is based in Belgium, and also offers its clients special diamond-shaped slabs. Carat Grading is immediately a special type of grading company, as it only grades collectible cards, such as sports cards, or even the older TOPPS cards. This means that Carat Grading does not grade Trading Card Games such as Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, or even the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The Pokémon TOPPS cards are, however, perfectly fine.

Note: to learn more about terminology for card grading, and card grading service reviews, be sure to check our announcement article that will be updated frequently. You can do so by clicking here.

Ordering process

As a whole, the ordering process on the site is very clear. When submitting cards, you’ll have to fill in a submission form, detailing each of the cards you’ll want to send over. You’ll have to fill in the type of card, name, the series, special remarks, card number, and so on. At a certain point, this may feel like you’re doing the work that the company is supposed to do, but eventually, you’ll actually love the process. In the end, you’ll have a detailed form of what you’re sending over, and the grader just needs to check for certain inconsistencies or perhaps wrongfully submitted information. Forms such as this also make it clear in what order you wish your cards to be graded.

We do have to mention that small hiccups may occur when ordering. Be sure that you have an account and are logged in before filling in the submission form. If not, you may lose all your data. If you’re only getting one or two cards graded, this is not a big issue, but if you have just compiled a big list, this can be very tedious to fill everything in again.


We knew we would be getting a very original package when having our cards graded by Carat Grading, as the company has unique patented slabs. The slabs in this case are in the shape of (2D) diamonds, and it’s a design you either love or hate. We loved the original approach, and we got a lot more than we bargained for. When our cards got returned to use safe and sound, they came in a very nice-looking display box, safely stored inside a bag, and we also received a pair of gloves, to make sure we didn’t get our fingerprints all over the slabs. All of these items had the Carat Grading logo and name on them.

The holo label of the slabs is neatly designed, has clear information on it (name, set, final grade, subgrades), as well as a small diamond logo. We loved the simplicity of the labels, as it conveys all the information properly, without too many bells and whistles. The back of the label has a nice print on it, and a simple depiction of the QR code with a white background. Each card has a unique QR code, and a unique number (grading number).

We were quite impressed with the slabs themselves, as they are sturdy and actually very good-looking. We did notice some small scratches on the surface, and we reckon this is where the machine presses on the slabs to eventually seal them. The company is investing a lot in creating special ‘screen protectors’, very much akin to those we use for our smartphone screens. This is mainly due to the original shape of the slabs, thus normal sleeves do not work for them.


In terms of database, Carat Grading offers a proper experience. Each graded card comes with a unique QR code that will lead you to a dedicated page for that graded card. This page will show you the card’s details, the final grade, as well as the subgrades. The company is still working on a population report option, as well as adding a direct link from the main site to the database page. Nonetheless, the QR codes work perfectly, and it’s a great way to immediately check the authenticity of the graded card. Most importantly, the page you end up on looks very clean and clear. We do hope the company does work a bit on its general layout for the database, as things feel a bit off-center.

Preservation or worthy investment?

Carat Grading might just be a new grading company, but the owner is very committed to creating a proper premium experience. While at this point in time the company provides a valid service to put your graded cards in protective cases, it will probably not increase the value that much. We do believe that, if the company stays true to its current path, there’s a good chance that Carat Grading can become a valued name in the business. As for now, if you’re a fan of the unique diamond-shaped slabs, this one is certainly worth looking into. We do believe that having cards graded by this company may add some value to your cards in the future, boosting your collection’s value, or offer an interesting option for (re)sellers.


While there are a few minor working points, we were absolutely enamored with the graded cards that showed up at our doorstep. Even though the additional case, gloves, and bag are merely accessories, it did give us the impression that our products were truly treated like the (nostalgic) gems they are. Those looking for a very competent grading service for their collectible cards (TOPPS, Panini, or sports cards in general) cannot go wrong with Carat Grading.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)
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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Carat Grading - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

Aspiring ninja.


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