PSA pauses use of new trading card holder due to ‘flow lines’

Flow lines’ have appeared in select holders introduced by PSA last month

Cover Image for PSA pauses use of new trading card holder due to ‘flow lines’
PSA introduced a new design for its holders in May. (Credit: PSA)

PSA is immediately pausing the use of select trading card holders due to a flaw introduced in its latest slab redesign.

First revealed in May, the impacted 1LR+ holders appear to have cracks or scratches along the inside of the slab near the corners of the card. Collectors immediately raised concerns over the “flow lines,” while questioning whether the holders or their cards had been damaged during or after grading.

According to PSA, flow lines are a result of the encapsulation process and can form when molten plastic “flows around a feature in the part that is a different geometry compared to the other surfaces.”

“We can assure you, these are not cracks in the holders or scratches on your cards, which they have been mistaken for,” PSA wrote in a social post Tuesday night. “But we understand that the aesthetics created by these flow lines are an issue for collectors. With that, we have paused use of the 1LR+ holder while the issue is corrected.”

Expected to return by late July after corrections are made, the 1LR+ holders are currently used for standard-sized, slightly thicker modern sports cards up to 40-point thickness.

Also introduced last month, the standard 1LR holder used for most cards with modern base thickness hasn’t been impacted by flow lines and will continue to be used.

Customers with holders impacted by flow lines can have their items reholdered for free once a corrected slab is available.

The 1LR+ holder was introduced in May as part of a major design overhaul for standard trading card holders. Weighing 20 percent more than previous holders, the new design features medical-grade plastic and an updated interior that attempts to limit any movement of the card.

Ben Burrows is a reporter and editor for cllct.