Autograph Question

Discussion in 'Card Chat' started by Fitzythird, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Fitzythird

    Fitzythird Member

    I need to know the technical definition of autograph.

    I have an autographed Ernie Banks with Certificate of Authenticity. He physically signed it with a blue magic marker.

    I also have the printed autographs from the company. For instance, I have a 1993 Leaf/Studio of Bo Jackson, with his signature in gold, silvery print across the bottom going onto his White Sox shirt.

    How do I list each one? The Bo is not really an autograph, it's a print. The banks really is an autograph, even if it didn't have the CoA.
  2. IQless1

    IQless1 Active Member

    Forgive the forthcoming rambling...

    The Bo is what's called a "facsimile". It gives no additional value to a card, as it is the card itself, and not a card signed by a person. I've been duped by one manufacturer who called a card "autographed" by a character in a movie. This was "guaranteed" on the back of the card in the same manner as genuine autos are. BS. The "auto" was printed on the card and not actually signed by the person playing the character. I can tell because it was supposedly in black marker, which is solid, but this card had colored dots, which is a dead give-away that it was printed. I was very angry...still am lol... So yeah, call it for what it is: a facsimile, or people are gonna be real mad at you.

    A COA is better than nothing, but there are fake ones out there, so cards signed this way generally don't rate the typical price a manufacturers authorized issue would bring. An example of that is my William Shatner. In this case, I don't have a COA, but even with one it would only be worth something like 25% of an authorized issue. Since his authorized cards go for $250 and up, one with a COA would only likely bring a max of somewhere around $50 to $75, maybe close to $100 on a good day. Without a COA, it's a bit less than that, maybe $ 40 to $50, $75 tops.

    BTW, Some of the more valuable cards are fake too. Scary, but true. In general, the low to mid-range cards are usually safer from counterfeiters, but you never know. Fakes can usually be detected by experts, and anyone can become one if they have enough examples to compare cards with.

    So, the Banks can be listed "with COA", and the Jackson can be listed as "facsimile auto", IMO.

    The typical auto-card is one produced by a manufacturer specifically with the intent of having the person on the card sign it. They usually take steps to ensure it's actually signed by the person, but sometimes in the past they've just sent the person a bunch of stickers and had them sign 'em and send 'em back to the manufacturer. I'm pretty sure they don't do that anymore, and have a witness, an agent of the manufacturer,present while they sign 'em today...as far as I know.

    Rambling over. :eek:
    Fitzythird likes this.
  3. Fitzythird

    Fitzythird Member


    Not rambling at all! Very informative and exactly the information I was looking for. The Ernie Banks card has the COA from Nabisco and it is in blue magic marker. I'm pretty confident that is a real one. Glad to find out the others are just what they are....cards with a signature printed but not an "autograph". I really appreciate you taking the time. You should ramble more often....
  4. IQless1

    IQless1 Active Member

    lol...Oh, I will...I most definitely will. :D

    One other thing:

    When I have a card with a COA, I look for other examples of that person's auto online. If it's an older auto, the person's style may have changed, so look for that person's autos from roughly the same time period. An example of that is my Shatner. I got it in the mid-90's and found several spot-on examples of his sig online. Today though, he signs stuff a bit differently, and so comparing the old to the new doesn't match as much.

    Look for the year of manufacture on the Banks card, then look online for his auto from roughly the same period. I'll bet his sigs have changed over the years. Easy to find out, just look for early examples and then current examples.

    It'll either give you some peace-of-mind (if it matches) or anxiety (if it doesn't), but if nothing else you'll get to see some cool cards lol
  5. Fitzythird

    Fitzythird Member

    Great tips. Last time I saw Shatner was on American Pickers about 3 months ago. Love the dude....grew up with him at the helm of the Starship Enterprise....
  6. nonsiccus

    nonsiccus Member

    Hehe, back in a time when he weighed aboued 40 lbs less, and was much less senile. Have you seen those Howard Stern interviews where he's on the show with George Takei? Bit of a feud between those two.

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