Babe Ruth tops the charts for the most frequently submitted counterfeit signature in the collectibles marketplace. The Great Bambino is the most sought-after autograph in the hobby. Autographed Ruth items are worth between $3,000 – $50,000 for a single-signed baseball. It’s difficult in today’s online memorabilia world to analyze if what you are buying is authentic.
PSA/DNA experts evaluated over 350,000 autographs in 2012 submitted by collectors all around the globe. “Unfortunately, a large portion of these autographs were forgeries. In fact it’s not uncommon for our experts to reject 50% or more of the signatures submitted to our company, especially when it comes to the more prominent names,” said Joe Orland, President of PSA/DNA.
For individuals trying to decipher the fraudulent from the authentic on their own, here are some pointers to consider when examining a signature:
- Compare other verified authentic autographs to your piece.
- Check position/spacing. Review several autographs and study the placement with the shapes between letters.
- Note how the name is signed. Individuals sign consistently from piece to piece i.e. full name or initials.
- Review the overall appearance. It should look relaxed and unforced.
- Note the start and stop lines. The point of entry leaves a harder bleed and a light swoop at the end.
- If buying online, the seller should offer a detailed enlarged image of the signature.