Matthews Grading System

The rating system listed below was designed by TAC owner Dan Matthews and is now the industry standard for grading and describing Petroliana and Advertising signs and collectibles. 

We use this list of Abbreviations, Terms and Rating System in reviews by The Authentication Company, LLC "TAC". 



Condition of signs are rated 1 to 10, 10 being the best grade

9.5 to 10 – absolutely a mint sign no imperfection (I never give “10”)
9 to 9.4 – almost perfect, may have a factory flaw or almost no damage, if there is, there will be none in field, only chips will be around the edge, great gloss
8.5 to 8.9 – may have minor damage, small chips, and minor wear but has to have good or great gloss
8 to 8.4 – has more damage, chips are getting larger or maybe in an important area, still should have good gloss
7.5 to 7.9 – chips are still getting larger or more of them, heavier wear in field, gloss is starting to go
6 to 7.4 – these signs have heavy damage, no gloss, small crease, deep scratches
5 or less – This is a judgment call, poor condition all the way around

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these Terms and Conditions, TAC will not authenticate any single-sided sign that has been restored, nor will TAC apply a sticker over damage to conceal it. 



Rating Globes and other items:

Rated 9 or Excellent – lens rated excellent are either NOS or were not used for long, they have no defects
Rated 8 to 8.9 or Very good – lens may have very minor damage, such as a light scratch in field or a paint flake not in field
Rated 7 to 7.9 or Good – lens may have more scratches in field, weak paint or edge wear
Rated 6 to 6.9 or Fair – lens will have fading, larger paint flakes and heavier wear around edges
Rated 5 to 5.9 Poor – will has heavier paint fading or even some missing, deep scratches in field and large chips around edge
Rated under 5 or Very Poor – lens is broken or repaired poor
Repainted – Has not been done professionally
Restored – Has been done very well but not professionally
Professionally Restored-Has been done by an individual that is a master in their craft.



SSP – Single Sided Porcelain Sign
DSP – Double Sided Porcelain Sign
SST – Single Sided Tin or Metal Sign painted
DST – Double Sided Tin or Metal Sign painted
PPP – Porcelain Pump Plate use to advertise on as pumps
Flange Side is one that has a ninety-degree angle on one end so it can be mounted perpendicular to the wall.
Pam Clock – Clock made by the Pam Clock Company of New York
Pam Clock type – Clock made in the Pam Clock style
Non – Visible or Curb Gas Pump are early gas pump that had little or no means to measure the product that they dispensed.
Visible or Gravity Gas Pump is one that fuel has to be pump or pushed to the glass cylinder at the top of pump. Then the fuel is dispensed by gravity.
Clock – Face Gas Pump is one that uses a metering system that resembles a clock.
Computing Gas Pump is one that uses a metering that has numbers on dials.