Glossary of terms

Card terms
Sticker
is used in reference to a sticker which is autographed and then placed on a card. This is a very common practice for card makers like Panini and Topps which allows them to produce more autographed cards. In general, on-card autographs demand more value than sticker autographs.
Breaking
refers to opening boxes of cards.
Trimming
refers to the act of altering a card by cutting off an edge of the card in order to remove an imperfection and improve the chances of a card grading high. This practice is frowned upon in the hobby and grading companies usually recognize these kinds of cards and will either not grade them or grade them as “Authentic”, the lowest possible grade.
NT
Stands for National Treasures, a brand of cards; NT & RPA are commonly used together "NT RPA" as this is generally a player's most iconic card.
RPA
Stands for rookie patch autograph. An RPA has both a piece of jersey in the card and an autograph from a player in their rookie year. This is often considered to be one of the player’s most high end valuable cards.
GU
Game-used and signifies the piece of jersey on a card was worn in a game. This will be denoted on the back of the card.
Parallel/Variation
a version of a card that is not the standard base version. Colored cards, image variations, cards with print runs are all generally parallels or variations of the base card.
Base or 
Base card
The simplest form of a card. This card is not a variation, does not have a print run, does not have an autograph or any other factors that distinguish it from other base cards.
SP
stands for short printed, meaning a card is not serial numbered but the company has released a stated number of copies of the card, generally less than 100.
Serial number
refers to the number printed on the card that indicates what specific numbered version the card is. ie) the serial number of a card with 10/100 stamped on it is 10.
The hobby
The card market as a whole.
Wax
refers to sealed boxes and packs of cards.
On-card
is used in reference to an autograph being directly on a card.
Player worn
or event worn means the jersey piece was worn at an event or photo shoot instead of a game- this is less desirable but roughly 90% of all jersey piece cards are player or event worn. This will be denoted on the back of the card.
1/1
means a card is the only one of its kind.
Print Run
refers to the number printed on the card indicating how many copies of the same card were made. ie) a card with 10/100 stamped on it has a print run of 100. Cards with print runs are often referred to as ‘numbered’ cards.
Rookie card
Rookie card and is printed in the year the player makes their professional debut in the top leagues.
Grading terms
Pop
The number of cards graded by the same company in the same grade. ie) if a card is a PSA 10 and it is a Pop 5, this means that there are 5 other PSA 10’s in existence.
Bump or Sub bump
refers to bumping up the grade (usually a single subgrade) on a card. Can be done by either: Crack or Resub - means to remove a card from its graded case and resubmit for a better grade Graded Card Review or Review - means to submit a card for grading while still encapsulated in its graded case Cross a card/cross grade - means to send a PSA graded card to BGS or vice versa- similar to bumping, this can be done by cracking or submitting a card for graded card review
Raw
refers to a card which has not yet been graded.
Mint
refers to a card graded a 9 by either BGS or PSA.
PSA 10s
even though they are also labeled "PSA 10 GEM MINT", collectors hardly ever refer to these as Gems or Gem Mints.
Min Gem
stands for minimum gem and means a BGS card has 3 9.5 subs and 1 9 sub (least valuable type of gem mint 9.5- particularly when centering is a 9).
True Gem Plus
refers to a card which has all four BGS subgrades of 9.5 or higher (most valuable type of gem mint 9.5)
True Gem
refers to a card which has all four BGS subgrades of 9.5.
Gem or Gem Mint
is commonly used to refer to a BGS 9.5 Gem Mint card.
.5 away
is in reference to a card's subgrades, indicating that a card is a .5 subgrade upgrade away from receiving a higher grade.
Subs or Subgrades
refer to the 4 conditions that are given a grade on a BGS graded card: corners, centering, edges, and surface Corners: condition can be impacted from the factory production, wear and tear, transportation, etc. Centering: condition is all dependent on how the card is printed. This is out of the control of the card owner. Edges: condition can be impacted from the factory production, wear and tear, transportation, etc. Surface: condition can be impacted from the factory production with print lines or from the card owner with scratches.
Black Label
refers to a BGS graded card with all 4 subgrades as 10.
Pristine
refers to a BGS graded card with 3 10 subgrades and one 9.5 subgrade.