In the previous article, we talked about the NBA cards that Panini is releasing to understand the type of NBA cards.
Now, we will share in this article the materials or accessories you will need as well as the process on how to protect your precious collections.
Materials or Accessories
The purpose of sleeves is to protect your card from scratch, dirt and dust.
There are ordinary sleeves which are thin and there are those which are thick. It is recommended to use the thick ones because the card is more protected.
UltraPro Platinum has the thick ones which you can buy in Fun Hub store at Greenhills or you may simply order via Shopee. Thick sleeves can only fit 35pt and 55pt cards.
It is also important that you change the sleeves of your cards at least annually to ensure that the cards will not suffer discoloration, and to avoid the card from sticking into the sleeves especially for those chrome-finished cards.
The purpose of the toploader is to protect the card from (slight) bending and scratching, and keeping the edges and corners from dents.
There are various brands in the market but for me, UltraPro is still the best brand to use.
The resealable plastic is for you to cover your card in toploader. This is to fully protect your card from dirt and dust, and protect the toploader from scratch. Remember, the card in sleeve has opening at the top hence, dust and dirt can still come inside the toploader so it is better to cover them with resealable plastic.
The resealable plastic is available to all toploaders from size 35pt to 130pt and you can purchase them in Funhub store or via Shopee.
The resealable cover is also available for magnetic case.
Sleeves and toploaders are the basic accessories. The resealable plastic is optional but to fully protect your card, better to have one.
There are other protective options that you can choose aside from putting your card in toploader. These are:
A mini shell is the harder version of a toploader but this only fits 35pt to 55pt cards.
I haven’t seen any local store in the Philippines that sells mini shell. I bought mine in Shopee.
The recessed snap is another harder version of the toploader but this is will only fit 35pt cards.
I buy recessed snaps from Courtside in Robinsons Galleria.
A magnetic case is also very common to all card collectors. Most of the time, collectors use magnetic cases for those rare (numbered and/or autographed) cards.
Magnetic cases are available from 35pt to 150pt however, it is difficult to find magnetic cases for booklets or long horizontal cards. You might need to buy online outside of the Philippines.
Mini Shell, Recessed Snap and Magnetic case provide an alternative option to traditional toploaders. However, the commonly used protector by collectors is the magnetic case as it is harder and more presentable if you want to display your cards at home.
Silica gel is used to keep the card from moisture damages. This is not commonly known by many collectors.
If your cards are placed inside the box or cabinet, you may put silica gel to absorb moisture and keep the storage dry.
There are two types of binders: one that fits a card with sleeve and one that fits a card in toploader.
UltraPro binder is the common binder used by collectors as it is available in any NBA card store. It fits cards with sleeve while a BCW binder is good for cards in toploader.
BCW binder is bigger than UltraPro binder. I personally use BCW binder for my LaMelo Ball rookie cards collections while I use UltraPro binder for any common cards that I want to keep like Michael Jordan base cards.
If you want to step up, you can slab you cards or have them graded by PSA or Beckett.
Grading a card is one of the best thing you can do to protect it but it should not be done to a common card. There are things you should consider in grading a card which we will tackle in the next article.
This is to me the best protection and more presentable way if you want to display your cards at home. This is costly than having a toploader or magnetic case but I am very sure you will love the design.
I order slabs in Slabs Studio in Facebook and I only put slabs for those cards I love to display at home.
Graded slabs from PSA or Beckett will definitely protect your card at it will be sealed properly by the assessor and grader. Graded cards increase (or decrease) the value of your card depending on the grade level awarded by PSA and Beckett.
Please note that not all cards should be graded not unless you are a hard core collector and budget is not an issue. There are various considerations before you send your card for grading like rarity and condition.
I will share some tips on when to send a card for grading in the next article.
I have some videos in my YouTube channel where I share how I put my cards in the slab. You can watch the video below.
Collecting NBA cards is very fulfilling but at the same time expensive. That is why it is very important that you take care of your cards properly.