PSA announces card-holder redesign

New holders meant to improve durability and aesthetics, company says

Cover Image for PSA announces card-holder redesign

PSA quietly announced a major redesign to its holders Tuesday that it says will improve durability and overall clarity.

In a video posted to the company YouTube account, PSA president Ryan Hoge walked through a variety of design changes he says have been in the works for years.

According to Hoge, the redesign will impact standard trading-card holders, though there will be no change from the current 2 11/16” x 3 13/16” dimensions. He added the redesign included three years of prototyping.

“This is a different kind of grade reveal, medical-grade plastic, a best-in-class debut,” Hoge said. “What you’ll appreciate first, if not the most, is the dramatic change in density. It’s 20% heavier. And if that doesn’t sound significant, wait ‘til you have it in hand. It feels incredibly high-end, and that effect carries over to the card inside.”

Hoge also announced changes to the inside of the holder that could eliminate several frustrations for many collectors. Along with the removal of plastic sleeves inside the holder — many collectors have considered the sleeves unattractive — the new design also hopes to eliminate any movement or shifting of the card.

The decision to revamp the holder also came from a variety of requests over the years rather than the feeling that a major change needed to be made.

“There wasn't a particular "aha" moment or wave of requests from customers that spurred this, but it was an accumulation of minor points we noticed with our holders that ultimately led to us refining and improving the product as a whole,” Hoge told cllct. “From the "Newton's Rings" effect that would occur between the plastic on our existing holders and the surface of certain cards, to the desire to reduce scratching on the outer surface that can make a PSA slab show its "age" sooner than it should.

“Overall, we felt it was worth the effort to make our product look and feel more premium, and offer better protection ultimately ending up in the hands of our customers.”

Expected to be introduced in May, the holder update is the latest change to the PSA slab in 2024. In February, PSA reintroduced blue labels for cards that only had an autograph authenticated with the hope that it would be easier to understand for new collectors.

Currently only available for standard trading cards, Hoge told cllct that the plan is to expand it to all holders.

“We are currently working on expanding these enhancements to other categories outside of modern, standard-sized sports cards, such as TCG cards, with Pokémon making up such a large percentage of our submissions business,” Hoge said. “Of course, beyond that, ideally we want to eventually apply enhancements to every one of our holders, from tickets, to packs, to larger ones for Type 1 photos and beyond.”

Hoge also confirmed to cllct that the price of grading won’t be impacted by the design changes.

By far the industry leader in terms of volume, PSA graded 13.5 million cards in 2023, according to third-party grading tracker GemRate. A 21% year-over-year increase from 2022, PSA owned a 78% market share in 2023.

Ben Burrows is a reporter and editor for cllct.