How to Spot a Fake Autograph

The Autograph Auction is an organization that provides autographed items for charity fundraisers. Each signing is witnessed by The Autograph Auction, which ensures 100 percent authenticity.

Fake autographs flood the memorabilia market, and forgeries are often difficult to spot. It takes a trained eye to tell a fake, and there are certain techniques that one can use to spot a fake. A side-by-side comparison is the best way, but it is also important to note that many individuals have different types of signatures, and that their signature often changes over time.

People have natural tendencies that do not change, mainly the spacing between each letter. The best way to spot a fake is looking at shapes that form between the spaces, which are very difficult to copy. In addition, the start and stop lines are a great way to determine authenticity. Most signatures are barely readable, but individuals always start and stop in the same place. When comparing autographs side-by-side, pay close attention to the start and stop lines.

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How to Preserve an Autographed Photo

The Autograph Auction offers online bidders the chance to purchase authenticated signed items from actors, musicians, and other celebrities. The Autograph Auction adheres to a high standard of quality for each item sourced by its team of full-time collectors.

To keep an autographed photo in good condition for years to come, a conscientious collector must keep it away from heat, intense light, and the touch of human hands. A reliable first step is to take the photograph, which the collector must make sure to keep flat, and place it in an acid-free photo sleeve. To truly keep the photo safe, the collector can then place it between pieces of acid-free foam board, big enough around that the photo is at least one inch away from the edges. This keeps the valuable autograph safe from harmful sunlight.

For collectors that wish to display an autograph, conservation glass (also known as UV protective glass) helps to keep harmful sunlight away from the photograph. The collector should then separate the glass from the photo itself with spacers to protect it from sticking, and select an acid-free backing. Cardboard should never touch the photo, as the acid it contains will inevitably damage the photograph.

The Most Valuable Autographs in the World

The Autograph Auction, based out of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, offers fans and collectors some of the most popular celebrity autographs. While the Autograph Auction specializes in the autographs of actors and musicians, they provide professional athlete signatures and memorabilia, as well.

Given the attention celebrities receive in today’s culture, it should come as no surprise that the world’s most popular autographs can sell for thousands of dollars. Among the most popular celebrity signatures circulating among modern collectors is that of J. K. Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter book series. The author’s signature is valued at just under $2,000, while a junkyard chair she sat in as she composed the first Harry Potter novel sold at a 2009 auction for $30,000. Another popular signature belongs to Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles, whose autograph is valued in the range of $3,000.

The second and third most valuable autographs in the world belong to Prince William and Fidel Castro, which sell for $3,275 and nearly $6,000, respectively. However, both pale in comparison to the signature of Neil Armstrong. The famous astronaut no longer signs autographs and over the last decade the value of his signature has risen 1,000 percent, to an astounding $7,500.

Authenticating Autographs

The Autograph Auction helps celebrity fans and autograph collectors hunt down rare signatures. Some of the authentic celebrity signatures offered by The Autograph Auction include those of Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, and Will Smith.

Collecting celebrity autographs or signed pieces of sports and movie memorabilia is an exciting and popular hobby in the United States. There is, however, always the risk of spending money and time on a fraudulent signature Fortunately, there are a number of services and methods that signature hobbyists can employ to confirm the authenticity of an autograph before purchasing. Sports memorabilia is particularly easy to certify, as a number of organizations exist with the sole purpose of verifying the signatures of famous athletes.

The first step towards authenticating a signed photo or piece of memorabilia is to purchase the item from a trusted vendor. Websites and auction houses that specialize in signed pieces go out of their way to verify the authenticity of their products in order to maintain a good reputation in the industry. Performing some basic detective work can also raise suspicions about forgeries – for example, if a Rolling Stones album being advertised as a first edition signed by the entire band turns out to be a more recent printing, the likelihood of the signatures being authentic is fairly low.

The most basic work a buyer can do is look up further examples of the signature in question.

Space Signatures Heat Up the Autograph Market

The Autograph Auction offers a full spectrum of signatures from celebrities in areas such as film, sports, politics, and the arts. The Autograph Auction takes pride in offering 100 percent authentic pieces that reflect current trends in collecting. One rapidly expanding area of investment interest within the industry is space signatures.

Reflecting inherent scarcity, signed pieces of key figures in space history have long attracted interest and correspondingly high prices. Over the past 12 years, Neil Armstrong‘s autograph has risen in value by an average of nearly 23 percent each year. With the 50th anniversary of his 1969 moon landing approaching, collector interest is expected to reach a historic high in the next few years. Similarly, a full set of Apollo 11 crew signatures has more than quintupled in value since 2000 to a current price of $17,500, while a set of signatures from the 12 astronauts who walked on the moon fetches more than $25,000. In October 2013, a new record was achieved with the sale of an Apollo 11 space-flown autographed flag for nearly $72,000 at the Heritage Auction-sponsored Space Exploration Signature Auction in Texas.

Best and Worst Celebrity Autograph Signers

Offering authentic signatures from top celebrities and public figures, The Autograph Auction takes pride in its full selection of auction items designed to meet any budget. The Autograph Auction team procures pieces from the current hot names in Hollywood and professional sports, including those that are notoriously hard to collect.

An Autograph Magazine recent survey of the signing habits of celebrities identified those individuals with the most and least fan-friendly signing habits. Topping the “worst signer” list are Hollywood stars such as Will Ferrell, Cameron Diaz, Joaquin Phoenix, and Tobey Maguire. NBA legend Bill Russell, who is now active in the civil rights sphere, is perhaps the most difficult person to convince to sign, with stories circulating that he refused a former teammate’s request for his signature. Russell does, however, occasionally sign for charity causes. On the other end of the spectrum, Hollywood celebrities Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood, and George Clooney are known for their willingness to meet fans and provide signatures. For investment-focused collectors, unwillingness to sign can be a positive trait, with difficult-to-procure autographs fetching a significant premium.

Autograph Collectors Benefit from Buying through Dealers

Whether you are a history buff or a pop culture aficionado, you may find autograph collecting to be an enjoyable hobby. Although you can seek out signatures from notable people on your own, you may have better luck working through a reputable dealer like The Autograph Auction. Dealers often have special connections that help them secure hard-to-get autographs from celebrities who do not normally appear at signings.

Autograph experts recommend that you choose signed items that match your interests, rather than seeking out trends or items promoted as a good investment. That might mean that you choose to invest in signed documents, photos, or books, or in sports memorabilia, such as signed balls or jerseys.

The professionals at The Autograph Auction can help you find autographs from a wide range of celebrities and athletes. Because the company’s representatives witness each signature, it can offer a guarantee of authenticity that lets you know you are adding a genuine signature to your portfolio.