Photograph Certification from CGC

CGC provides professional third-party certification services for collectible photographs in three classifications: VINTAGE, which were printed from the original negative at or near the time that the photograph was taken; ORIGINAL, which were printed from the original negative; and CONTEMPORARY, which were derived by photographic processes from an original image.

Our impartial professionals assess the quality and authenticity of each submission, and then they are encapsulated in our high-quality holder made from archival materials for long-term storage and superior display. Photo certification offers you a host of benefits:

Ensured Authenticity

Our guaranty of authenticity appears on our detailed label, identifying the photo’s key elements and providing an accurate description of its attributes.

Accurate Value Assessment

Impartial grading and encapsulation gives both novice and experienced photograph collectors a true assessment of the photo’s grade (condition), which can be a major determinant of its worth.

A New Level of Protection

CGC’s hermetically sealed holder, made of heavy-gauge archival plastic, serves as a barrier against liquids, gasses and improper handling. It is completely transparent to allow maximum visibility for years to come.

CGC grades vintage photographs printed from the original negative original negative at or near the time that the photograph was taken.


(gold label)

CGC offers original vintage photograph grading for photos printed from the original negative.


(silver label)

CGC grades contemporary vintage photographs derived by photographic processes from an original image.


(bronze label)

The Grading Scale

The condition of a collectible photograph is described using industry standard terminology.


One of the best existing examples with exceptional eye appeal. May have very minor flaws that do not affect the overall look of the photo.


Above-average condition, with very few defects detracting from the look of the photo.


Average condition, with signs of use such as tears, creases, small stains and dents that don’t compromise the integrity of the photo.


Very obvious signs of use affecting the overall appearance of the photo, such as large tears, missing pieces, heavy staining or tape repair.

More From CGC

CGC authenticates and grades comics CGC offers magazine grading for Sports Illustrated and Playboy magazines CGC’s Signature Series designation means signed comics, magazines and photographs have been witnessed and authenticated.