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CGC Restoration Story

Posted by Thomas Landschulz on
CGC Restoration Story

About 4 years ago I bought high grade raw copies of Fantastic Four #49 and Fantastic Four #50 (these books were represented to be 9.6 NM+).  I was expecting them to be good spec books, which they continue to be.  I bought them from a guy out of New York who has been on eBay a long time.  I negotiated the price and ultimately paid $1,000 each for the books.  I submitted the books to CGC.  After a painfully long time, they came back with lower grades (FF #49 was graded 9.2, and FF #50 was graded 9.0).  And they had purple labels!  I had no idea when I bought these books that they had been restored.  I went back and scoured the original eBay listing, and, to my dismay, at the very bottom of the listing in small type it did disclose that a "small amount of color touch" had been done to the covers of both books.  So while he misrepresented the grade of the books, he did not fail to disclose the restoration.  Lesson learned on my part!  

It turns out the guy did a nice job restoring the books, as CGC gave the books the highest grade on their restoration scale, an "A-1 Slight" for color touch on the cover.  This rating means that the books have only a slight amount of restoration performed "excellently" by a professional.  Previously I didn't even know CGC had a restoration scale!  But they do!  If you would like more information click or paste this link into your browser: 

Fast forward.  I had been brooding about having books that had been restored, and I felt cheated.  Everyone knows that restored books are worth approximately 50% of the value of an unrestored book of the same grade.  This can fluctuate somewhat depending upon they quality of the restoration and the scarcity and/or demand of the book.  Then one day I was watching an episode of Very Gary's YouTube channel (  In that episode, he cracked some restored books out of their cases and sent them back to CGC for a restoration removal.  This is an expensive process, but it can pay off.  You will most likely get books back that are lower grade than the restored grade, because CGC will be removing parts of the restored book and that will likely impact its aesthetic appeal.  But if you get a grade reduction and a blue label back from CGC it may be worth significantly more than the higher grade purple label book.  

That seemed like a great idea, so I cracked my books out of their cases and submitted them to CGC for a restoration removal.  They continue to be horribly backlogged at CGC, so it took about 6 months to hear anything back.  One day recently I got a vague email from CCS (the restoration division of CGC) indicating the books were rejected for restoration removal because they didn't think they could do it without ruining the books.  They then sent the books back to the CGC grading division and the books got graded again.  I received them back a few days ago.  The books inexplicably received lower grades than the first submission.  Although they look exactly the same as when I got them, my FF #49 is a 9.0 and my FF #50 is a 8.5.  So I am a bit worse off than when I started the whole process but I learned a lot along the way.  

These books are available in the Jackal Relic eBay store if you have any interest. 


Fantastic Four


Fantastic Four

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