Record grading, Using "Mint" as a grade for opened vinyl.


I have a very good friend who regularly calls me to update me on his latest vinyl finds. Almost every time, he claims to have found a "Mint" copy of a record.
I have noticed that he's far from unique in his very liberal use of the "Mint" grading designation.
I am interested in others' thoughts on using mint as a grade for opened vinyl.
Does "Mint" mean "as pressed", or does it mean absolutely flawless, which would exclude even some sealed copies that have imperfections?
On a side note, in many cases, when I hear a collector saying they found a "Mint" record, I am tempted to ask them if it is peppermint or spearmint... :)

peaceunderearth
Mint = original, unscathed condition.
Mint most people don't know what that means it means no marks or scratches however a record may look that way and have surface noise or have been played with a worn out cartridge.
The Goldmine record guide (Krause Publications) grading scheme has become the standard for assessing the condition of records. Their pricing guides use Near Mint (NM) as the baseline condition for their valuations. Here’s what they say about Mint (M) records:
"These are absolutely perfect in every way. Often rumored but rarely seen"

Goldmine says "A good description of a NM record is ’it looks like it just came from a retail store and it was opened for the first time’, in other words, it’s nearly perfect".

What most people mean when they say Mint would probably fall within the Goldmine categories of NM or even Very Good Plus (VG+). Personally, I wouldn’t call a record Mint if it has ever been played, but playing it is probably necessary to be totally sure of its condition! Hmmmmm.



So if record has never been sealed, you can't call it MINT can you?
czarivey:
I would say that a record that has never been sealed could definitely be considered Mint, if it meets all the criteria. In fact, sealed records present a dilemma due to the fact that the record could be defective in a number of ways, but cannot be inspected.


I started trading records when I was very young where there were only two grades: Mint or Not Mint. 
If record had finger print anywhere than it's Not Mint.
Depends on the record as to whether MINT CONDITION is even relevant.  If the record is an old Beatles or Stones or Dylan Mono you absolutely won't find any MINT examples. And if it's a MINT Barbra Streisand who cares?  Nothing against Barbra Streisand.