some old records which look, and play just like new. The highest grade is NM or "near mint". Then EX (excellent) VG (very good) and G (good) Nearly mint records should always be played by a magnetic cartridge with a .7 mil conical stylus, or .2 x.7 elliptical stylus. For the person new to analog and records, the NM copies should never be played on an old record player or a cheapie USB turntable. One play will ruin them, so this caveat, before learning as I did the hard way. Happy record collecting!