Collecting autographs is a favorite pastime for people all over the world. However, when coming across rare autographs for sale, the question inevitably becomes whether or not it is actually genuine. There are situations in which a signed item costs basically the same as an unsigned one, in which case it doesn’t really matter. However, when something is advertised as being rare, and the associated cost is therefore also much higher, it is important to know how to tell whether it is real or not.

Rare Autographs for Sale – The Difference between Counterfeits and Copies

There are copies out there that were never designed to mislead. Some items, for instance, use printed signatures and have been mass produced. Of course, this means that it is not an authentic autograph either, but rather a copy that is used with permission of the individual. Because these do not claim to be real, they tend to be a lot cheaper as well. After all, nothing mass produced is classed as rare either.

Another example of a genuine copy instead of a counterfeit is when an autopen was used. Here, a celebrity will use a mechanical device to quickly and easily replicate their own signature on many different items. These pens leave a pattern, which makes it very obvious that it isn’t real. Similarly, celebrities may allow their assistants to sign on their behalf. That means they are hand-signed, but they aren’t rare nor valuable.

However, if you are looking for rare autographs for sale, then what you want is an item that was signed by the celebrity in person. It is their personal identifier and one that is affected by the emotions and moods the celebrity was feeling at the time of signing. This is also why it is impossible to ever replicate a signature, even your own, exactly. But how can you tell whether something advertised as a rare signature is genuine and not a counterfeit? A counterfeit, unlike the copies described above, is created solely to deceive people into believing that they are in possession of the real deal.

Unfortunately, even the most experience and knowledgeable signature collector may find that they get it wrong every once in a while. It is the nature of the game and even adds some of the value to the signatures. However, there are some characteristics that you can look for:

  1. That the signature is 100% identical to one on a different item.
  2. That it reflects the light when looked at it from the side. You should be able to tell that the ink of the pen used is a different material than the poster, card, or other item that the signature was left on.
  3. That the signature is too light, having left no impression on the paper at all. This would indicate it was made using an autopen.

If you do purchase a rare autograph, then you should make sure it comes with an official certificate of authenticity as well.