In this article, we’re going to explain the entire process your cards (Pokémon, Magic, Dragon Ball, YuGi-Oh, or any other collection) will pass through after arriving at FCA facilities. If you want to know which cards are accepted for authentication, click here.

Fantasy Cards Authenticator is made up of devoted professionals that understand perfectly the economic and sentimental value of the cards. Thus, your cards are always handled with the greatest care.

Recepción cartas para gradear en España

Cards arrive at the company warehouse

The process begins when we receive the package containing your cards at our warehouse.

The first step is to register the arrival of the package in our system. This has two different purposes. On the one hand, your order will be placed in the authentication queue. In the other hand, an informative mail confirming that the package has been correctly received will be sent to you.

Preparation of the cards for the authentication and grading process

When the turn of your order arrives, the package will be opened (this process is recorded), and the cards will be carefully prepared for the authentication process.

Next, all the card protection elements will be removed (using gloves) whereas cards will be placed into a protective box with two functions: card protection and identification of all the cards that are contained in the order.

Finally, these boxes (one for each order) are placed in the authentication stand until the next phase begins.

Preparación de tus cartas para ser autentificadas
Autentificación de cartas Pokemon Magic Yugioh Digimon y Dragon ball

Authentication of trading cards

One of our professionals will then start to examine your order. Their employee ID will be linked to your order ensuring a better authentication process traceability.

Once your cards are registered one by one in the system the first verification step will be carried out. This is to determine if the cards are original or not.

The touch, presence, thickness, weight, holographic patterns, internal layer existence and other features such as the colour or something as simple as text spelling mistakes will be analysed. To achieve this objective, we have forensic documentation machinery that allows us to carry out an accurate analysis of the card surface and its chromatic composition. In addition, digital image magnification equipment, measuring software, and accuracy balances will be used.

What happens if your card is not original? That’s simple. It will not be passed on to the next step. It will be marked as IMITATION/FALSE/COUNTERFEIT and directly returned to you. The information from this card will be erased from our system because counterfeit cards are not welcome at FCA.

The evaluation of your cards

If your card has passed the last exam, CONGRATULATIONS! Your card is an ORIGINAL! Now, the real grading process begins.

In this step, comprehensive measurements and analysis will be performed to evaluate the condition of your cards. Precisely, the centering, the surface, the edges, and the corners will be analysed. For more detailed information about these features click here.

The analytical values obtained are entered into our own programme that performs different statistical calculations and returns the grading score of each card.

With all this information in our database we can move on to the next phase, the labels.

Evaluación de cartas originales
Impresión etiqueta de servicio de grading Europeo

FCA labels

The labels for your graded cards will be created by using another programme which is property of FCA. These labels will contain all the relevant information about your card. This includes the card name, the collection number, card set, partial scores, and final score.

It should be noted that the label includes different security features to prevent counterfeiting, such as printing patterns that are only visible when exposed to UV light, holographic patterns, and other features that we like to keep to ourselves ;).

If you want to know more about our labels (for example about the possibility of including a custom message) and their security click here.

Encapsulation of graded cards

Once the labels are printed, your cards go through the encapsulation process. The basis of this process is to seal your card and the label inside of a special acrylic case by using ultrasonic technology. This guarantees its protection and preservation over time.

Our case has been designed to improve the appearance of your cards and also provides security not only against external manipulation but also against sunlight damage (thanks to its UV protection). These cases are made of acid and PVC free materials. If you want to know more about our cases click here.

The first step, performed inside a special dust-free chamber, consists in putting all the elements in the proper position inside the case.  The use of the aforementioned chamber avoids the unwanted inclusion of dust particles inside the case, because they would affect the final product.

The last step is done by using an ultrasonic welding machine. This process is 100% secure for your cards and makes it almost impossible to open the case again. In fact, the only way to open a sealed case is by breaking it. Since this would damage the card, it is not recommended.

Encapsulado cartas gradeadas en Europa
Preparar envío seguro de tus cartas gradeadas

Final steps to get the graded cards back to you

Once your cards have been sealed inside the cases, they are individually placed inside transparent plastic sleeves (additional protection for the case) and subsequently placed into our nice presentation box. 

Lastly, we will prepare the package including the security elements needed to ensure the safe shipping of your cards via on of our distributors. You will, of course, receive an e-mail informing that your cards are on their way back to you. Now, what’s most important is that you enjoy your graded cards!