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:

  1. Compare other verified authentic autographs to your piece.
  2. Check position/spacing. Review several autographs and study the placement with the shapes between letters.
  3. Note how the name is signed. Individuals sign consistently from piece to piece i.e. full name or initials.
  4. Review the overall appearance. It should look relaxed and unforced.
  5. Note the start and stop lines. The point of entry leaves a harder bleed and a light swoop at the end.
  6. If buying online, the seller should offer a detailed enlarged image of the signature.