Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vinyl Record Collecting: The Outer Sleeve

As an avid collector of many things I know condition is important, but this is especially true in the case of Record collecting. The grading of condition is crucial to the value and overall desirability of all LP's and singles.

There are many things to consider when it comes to vinyl record collecting. So rather than trying to tackle it all, I will break it up into sections and post them through the coming months. In this section I will be concentrating on the outer sleeve. There are too numerous outer sleeves involved to cover them all, but most fall under one of these categories.

  • Paper sleeves
  • 1 pc pocket sleeves
  • 2 pc pocket sleeves
  • Gatefold sleeves
Some things to consider when grading record covers and sleeves. Regardless of age, a mint cover from the 50's should appear equally mint as a LP cover from the 90s. Wear and tear will diminish the value of your vinyl records in general, so protect them by using plastic outer sleeves. This will prevent ring wear and the accumulation of dust, that may scratch your vinyl. Store your records vertically in a cool dry place off the ground, this will prevent any water damage and bowing of sleeves. Heat will also deteriorate the glue used on most vinyl record sleeves from the 80's up, this will usually result in partial or full separation. Another issue I have come across is the dreaded cover warp, this is usually the result of shrink wrap and heat. So some collectors remove all shrink wrap as soon as possible, others feel if stored well the shrink wrap helps protect the actual sleeve even more.

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