PSA Expands Grading to Include Metal Pokémon, Sketch and Star Basketball Cards

SANTA ANA, CA (Mar. 22, 2023) — After much research and deliberation, PSA officials are now expanding the company’s card grading services to include several previously restricted releases. Starting this month, PSA will be accepting card submissions that contain metal Pokémon cards, confirmed “sketch” cards from major manufacturers, and the majority of all remaining Star basketball card releases from the 1980s. 

“Due to new, verified discoveries by our Research team as well as advancements made to our card holders with the recessed area, we’re now allowing these types of cards to be submitted,” said PSA President Ryan Hoge. “We are confident these new offerings will be met with great enthusiasm from countless members of the collecting community.”

Metal Pokémon Cards

Metal Pokémon cards were released in just a handful of sets, but the most popular ones come from the 2021 Celebrations Ultra-Premium Collection, which included metal reprints of the classic Charizard and Pikachu base set cards. PSA initially halted the grading of these cards because the encapsulation process was causing some of the paint on the cards to chip off. But after reassessing the sealing process, adding protective Mylar padding and expanding the inner design of the holder to accommodate these types of cards, PSA is now greenlighting metal Pokémon cards for grading. This move will allow many collectors to complete their cherished sets in PSA-graded fashion.

Sketch Cards

Another category consumers have requested for PSA’s card grading service is “sketch” cards. These drawn-to-size artists’ renderings are incredibly rare as most of them are original 1/1s. But because there were many unlicensed examples surfacing that could not be verified as authentic, PSA discontinued the practice of grading them. However, as it stands now, if a major manufacturer such as Panini, Topps, Upper Deck, Cryptozoic, Rittenhouse, etc., has, in fact, released an artist’s sketch card and included it as part of a set checklist, PSA will grade it. 

Sketch cards are highly coveted so the authentication of each one is incredibly important. Therefore, if the artist can not be identified, PSA will not grade the card. Also, since sketch cards often sport incredibly delicate surfaces, the protection that a PSA card holder offers via preservation purposes is a must-have for any collector lucky enough to obtain one. 

Star Basketball Cards

Last July, PSA changed its policy on grading Star basketball cards by opening up submissions specifically starting with the renowned 1984-85 set, which includes the first official trading cards of NBA Hall of Famers including Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon. Now it is accepting the majority of the remaining balance of sets that were released by Star between 1983 and 1986 for grading. 

Here’s the backstory: Sometime in the early ‘90s, after originally accepting Star cards, PSA ceased grading them due to issues surrounding the legitimacy of several cards that surfaced after the card manufacturer lost its license and started liquidating assets. However, after reviewing the Star situation last year, PSA decided that enough information was available to allow PSA personnel to properly examine and grade the cards. This, too, will be a big boost for collectors who have been waiting for years to get their Star cards evaluated, authenticated and graded.

Here are the Star basketball sets now eligible for grading by PSA: 1983 Star All Stars; 1983-84 Star; 1984 Star Larry Bird; 1984 Star Celtics Champions; 1984 Star All Stars; 1984 Star Slam Dunk; 1984 Star All Star Game Denver Police; 1983-84 Star All Rookies; 1983-84 Star Sixers Champions; 1984 Star Award Banquet (label 1984); 1984 Star Arena Sets (Label all 1984 sans Celtics, which is 1984-85); 1984-85 Star Julius Erving; 1984-85 Star Mr. Z’s Pizza; 1985 Star Miller Lite; 1985 Star Coaches; 1985 Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; 1985 Star Gatorade; 1985 Star Crunch ‘n Munch; 1985-86 Star All Rookies; 1985 Star Rookie of the Year; 1985 Star Schick; 1985 Star Bucks Card Night; 1986 Star Bucks Lifebuoy; 1986 Star Nets Lifebuoy; 1985 Star Team Supers 5x7; 1985 Star Slam Dunk Supers 5x7; 1984-85 Star Court Kings Supers 5x7; 1986 Star Best of the Old; 1986 Star Court Kings’ 1984-85 Star Franz Bread; and 1985-86 Star Franz Bread.

About PSA

PSA is the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading service. Since 1991, PSA has examined and certified over 57 million collectibles with a combined value of over $6 billion. For more information, visit



Terry Melia

PR  Specialist, PSA

[email protected]