Music CD condition guide - Grades for Disc and Contents with Pictures

CD Condition Grade Guide with Pictures.

by Studio Records (music-cd)

Grades shown on every product will appear as NM/NM or NM/VG etc, the 1st grade applies to the disc and the 2nd grade being for the inserts, booklet and extras.
You should note that generally Jewel cases are not included in grades unless their were produced specially for that album.
However if the case is card, paper or any other material then this should be included in the 2nd grade.

Music CD generally only sell high quality CDs, and unless particularly rare we only list VG+ as our minimum, CD jewel cases will be undamaged or replaced with new ones. 


Disc Grades (play side with no writing)

M - Mint

music cd image showing a mint condition cd

This means the CD is brand new, it can be pre-owned but must be totally mark free and likely unplayed since purchase.

NM - Near Mint

Means the cd is in near perfect condition, it can show handling marks / couple of small surface mark, or a light fingerprint (as seen above, these will wipe off), but no actual scratches.

VG+ - Very Good Plus

A very good plus (VG+) will show more use and light surface scratches, but nothing deep or affect play, mostly under normal light you probably wouldn't even notice them.


 VG - Very Good

Music CD image of a VG condition disc















Very good means that the disc will have many light and deeper scratches and marks, but the disc will still play with no problems. 


G - Good / F - Fair / P - Poor

These grades mean the CD is trashed and may not even play properly.

Insert / Booklet / any other paperwork 

M - Mint 
Means the front cover/booklet, rear tray insert and any other included items are brand New or in New condition.

NM - Near Mint
means the paperwork is in near perfect condition, it can show handling marks maybe a light fingerprint, slight dint on a corner from storage, but no noticeable damage.


VG+ - Very Good Plus (Ex - Excellent used by some)means that the booklet etc will have evidence of normal use, it will show some creasing folding scuffs, slight discolour or blemishes.

    VG - Very Good
    means that the inserts / paperwork have been well used and not particularly looked after, in fact not very good would be a better name? this is the most common grade for CDs bought from boot sales and charity shops, they will have damage, tears and may not be complete.


      G - Goodmeans (far from good!) that the inserts / paperwork have been abused, maybe got wet, or badly torn. 

      F - Fair / P - Poor
      means that the inserts / paperwork are missing, completely defaced or unusable for other reasons.


      There are 2 grading systems used now in the UK and around the world.

      They are: 
      Record Collector UK Grading guide 

      Goldmine US Grading guide (Not specifically for CD grades)

      Although there are arguments with both guides on the whole they both work well, due to the excess of online sales now the majority go with the Goldmine guide.