Authenticating Autographed Items? sold my adult children two Grateful Dead lps with the band's signature on both. Anyone know how legit is? While I'm touched by my chidren's thoughtfulness is selecting such a cool gift for their "Baby-Boomer Dead Head Father", I have an uneasy feeling they may have been ripped off. Not being a crime specialist I'm seeing too much variation in signatures among the other Grateful Dead items at their web site, and between my own autographed gifts. What do you think? Are they legit? Any Dead Heads out there able to compare their own signed items with what's on Autographsamerica's web page? Similarly, how do you know those autographed items you have framed and displayed are signed by the artists you admire? Do seller's "certificates of authenticity" have any validity? - Restless in San Francisco
The FBI says 80% of autographed memorabilia is fake.
Have you googled this company for complaints or fakes? There is a huge market in sports for items with a stars signature and many of the folks who "verify" an item is legite will take your money and stamp almost anything thrown in front of them and I dont music industry is much different.
Most everything is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Seeing that your kids got this for you as a gift it probably is not something that you are going to being selling off. So assume that the signatures are real, enjoy it and thank the kids.
I think that Davt is spot on. What matters most is the thought your kids put into this gift. The emotional value attached far outweighs any monetary value whether the signatures are fake or not.

FWIW, if the certificate of authenticity indicates that the signature(s) were obtained any time after 8/1/95, then you can be sure it's fraudulent.

As a collector of GD memorabilia myself (hence the screen name) the Dead occasionally provided autographed items for auction and charity events.
I agree that Davt's sentiments are spot on.

I also believe Slipknot1, being a GD memorabilia collector, is likely a valuable resource for info.
if you google autographs america it's not good news
Good thing certificates of authenticity cant be faked.
I have a large collection of autographed items, all of which were obtained in person by myself. Unfortunately, this is the only way to be 100% sure they are real..

Davt's statement is spot on.....
Hey wait a minute!
Tvad and Davt. Kinda makes you think..........
Only a minor revision to Davt's advice:
Nothing is worth more than what someone else is willing to pay for it. That equation changes frequently, based on a variety of factors. Those "collectibles" price books (including Audio Bluebooks) should be taken with a whole pillar of salt. Esp. those published by people in the business. They have a vested interest in keeping "values" up. Anyone try to sell a beanie baby lately?
Off topic a bit, but a few years ago a buddy of mine and I wandered into an antiques store. In one case they had records autographed by all the Beatles, all the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and I'm sure more that I don't remember. The rest of the store was filled to the brim with Nazi memorabilia--everything you can imagine from pins to entire uniforms. Needless to say, we inched our way out of there pretty quickly. I somehow doubt that those autographs were real.
Davt's sentiments are nice, but I don't completely agree. Nobody should stand for getting ripped off. I'm no signature expert, but it doesn't look good. Bob Weir's signature in particular looks way off. I could be very wrong, but I think the stuff sold on that website is very suspect. Some items may be real.

The problem is what to do about it. Signature authentication companies can be just as shady and/or unreliable as the autograph sellers. How to find someone you can trust? I'd start at a reputable rare book store. They might be able to refer you to a trustworthy autograph expert. But that takes time & money. Another resource are people and companies that appraise estates. They have contacts with all kinds of experts.

What to do if that is too much of a hassle? Take Davt's advice.

Here's where