This guide can apply to Autographs from many areas of sports, etc. I know the newest fad the last few years has been the COA or Certified Autograph craze. But not surprisingly, most autographs are not certified. This doesn't mean they aren't genuine, still there can be a measure of uncertainty. So there are some simpler things you might use to verify or check an autograph. 1) Check it against other autographed items, and as many as possible. 2) Take into consideration that many celebrities autographs change with age, many don't. Pay particular attention to the ones that do. Mickey Mantle is a good example of this, his autograph style changed in several stages over the years, Yogi Berra's has changed very little. 3) Autographed Baseball bats can be checked for authenticity, one by looking at the manufacturer of the bat and the team the celebrity played for. A good example of this are bats made by the Mizuno Corporation, (used by Ken Griffey Jr, Ichiro and others). Become familiar with the brand of bats used in the Major leagues. 4) Check hand signed autographs against the ones copied onto baseball cards, there are plenty of baseball cards out there with copies of signatures. 5) Before purchasing an autographed item, if you know the players autograph you want, its a good idea to do all of the things listed above BEFORE buying the item. 6) Check the sellers history, get to know more about them, things like reading feedback, but also take into account that an honest seller may have negative feedback that has nothing to do with the actual events or circumstances, (as long as the negative feedback isn't excessive). Mail gets lost, things happen, try to take those things into consideration, but at the same time, "buyer beware". 7) At all times be wary of people trying to sell "copied autographs" who try to word them to sound as authentic autographs! 8) Whenever possible, try to purchase the clearest and most legible autograph, and preferably autographs written with a "sharpie" or magic marker versus pencils or pens, they endure over time much better. Many autographs tend to fade over the years. Magic markers seem to hold up very well. 9) Some of the more well known authenticated autographs are of course the ones done by Baseball card manufacturers themselves or the MLB, then there are the more well known authenicators such as PSA/DNA, JSA (Jim Spence, orginator of PSA), Scoreboard Inc., Ted Williams "Green Diamond", Nolan Ryan and Cal Ripken Jr also have there own authentication system. 10) Whenever possible, especially on Ebay....try to purchase your autographed item from sellers who deal or collect autographed items heavily, as they are far more likely to be familiar with genuine autographs and less likely to cheat you. Most Serious collectors and store owners will take very good care of their memorabilia and will ship it in a like manner to you. 11) Familiarize yourself with the types of Autographed items available on Ebay, they can vary widely from Baseballs, Bats, Uniforms, etc. But some of the most popular are of course Baseball cards. But the less known items might be a better buy even if they are Certified. These include 3 x 5 white cards that have been autographed and are fairly common but a great value, Perez-Steele cards which are highly popular and actually very reasonably priced. 12) Photographs seem to be the biggest area that you run the risk of finding forgeries, sadly. It's sad because there are some awesome autographed and genuine photos out there, especially the ones with multiple well known players, although you can expect to pay a premium price for these items. 13) A Game Used Autographed item is almost always worth more than one that isn't, for example, a baseball hit by Babe Ruth and signed. An item of this type will also increase at a far more dramatic pace over time then others.
MIKE WALLACE AUTOGRAPHED MINI HELMET PITTSBURGH STEELERS