A few years back, one of my aunts took me for a film shoot which involved one of my most favorite stars. After the shoot was done, my aunt prompted me to rush to my heartthrob and get an autograph. I was on cloud nine, or seven or whatever it is called, after I managed to get the autograph, after squeezing through a fast developing crowd around my favorite star. It was such an amazing feeling for me! Totally beyond my imagination. Nevertheless, my joy was short lived as a few months after I got it, I lost it! (sob). I guess for people like me, who lose such precious things as autographs, there should be something which will help us get autographs that are as good as the original ones. Just when I was thinking about this, I came across this amazing bit of information about authenticating autographs. In case you too have had such a heartbreaking experience, this is for you!
One of the most sought after collectibles, autographs can help you preserve special memories of a celebrity once that moment of actually meeting him or her has passed. Interestingly, authenticated autographs are available through a lot of resources. You can do it by yourself too! Here's how.
You will have to start off by categorizing the person having signed the autograph as classic or contemporary. Typically, classic signatures can be authenticated. On the contrary, contemporary autographs, that have a lot of scribbles or loops, need lot of efforts to be authenticated. The easiest method used by professionals is to compare it with known examples keeping them side by side.
The next thing to do is to see if the signature that you want to get authenticated, is available on the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator)/DNA website. After you find the availability, download the authentication submission form and fill it up completely online. Remember that, the process of autograph authentication is a paid service.
After you have finished filling the form and are about to submit it, get two printouts of the form. You will keep one with you and the other one will go with the signature. Further, you will have to mail the submission form, signature, and the payment to the DNA/ PSA address as listed on the site.
If you are looking at authenticating baseball autographs or even otherwise, you will need to pick a tag, as PSA will tag your item, if it is deemed authentic. Once you get it, you can adorn your collection as sports memorabilia, if it's a sports person's autograph.
Analysis of whether the autograph is authentic or not can be done by observing the flow, size, and the overall structure of the letters of the autograph. The slope and shape of each letter can also reveal a lot of things in the process. Sometimes, a celebrity's autograph as an adult, can be different than when he or she was younger. Some unique curves and ways of writing certain letters too are considered.
That's all! As a last resort, you can select between a signature tagged with an invisible ink and a discreetly tagged authenticated autograph. To understand if the autograph is authentic, a good idea would be to analyze the structure of individual letters of an autograph.
Autograph Authentication Services
A number of services help you in authenticating autographs. PSA/ DNA are the most prominent of them. Professional Autograph Dealers Association is another organization which deals in the same field. Apart from these there are smaller companies too, who are in this service. However, according to government surveys, almost 80% to 90% of authenticated autographs are fake. The best option is to get them yourself! Personally. But if that cannot happen, then please make sure that you research well, about the signature and company you are buying from.
At the end of the day, even if you do manage to authenticate an autograph, it is not going to be the real stuff! Autograph authentication is like a replacement for what you can actually get from a celebrity.