I know this is a bold statement, but after over 20 years of studying and developing systems  to verify identity, biometrics and signature authentication ( and, I came to the conclusion that a new process need to be developed to allow all collectors, dealers, auctions and authenticators to co-exist and enjoy the hobby as well as allow the market place to thrive.  I have spent last two years developing the database structure that will allow such Registry to become possible.

We are very “emotional” about the certain auctions and authenticators.  Many seem to have drawn lines in the sand identifying the good guys and bad guys.  However, we also need to recognize that even bad dealers can sell some good items and good dealers can potentially sell bad items.  Similarly, good authenticators can make mistakes and bad authenticators can verify good items.  Statistically speaking (in pure mathematical terms), a blind monkey (meaning, in a truly random process) can pick the real item 50% of the time… 

The idea here is to have a centralized location where all good and bad items can be registered, displayed, and transactions recorded, etc.  I know many of you already had this idea before, but the key concept is to preserve the provenance (entire trace of how the item was created to the ownership history).  This may be a little unnerving to have the potential of bad dealers dumping all their garbage right along side very good exemplars of collectors displaying their hard-earned autographs.  It might appear that we are providing “legitimacy” to the bad items by allowing their listings.  However, this is precisely what we want. Unlike Ebay (or any other dealer or auction site), where once the dealer or authenticator is deemed “bad”, the entire inventory is pulled off the site (effectively eliminating the evidence), we want the bad listing to be forever preserved and all transactions (ownership changes) to be recorded and shown.  Similarly, all good items and good transactions will also be preserved so that genuine items will continue to build good provenance with third-party timed stamped transactions.

It is hard for me to explain all the intentions and functions of my site here.  But I do believe that if we take the long-term view of solving this problem, we can contribute positively to all collectors, sellers, auctions and authenticators. I invite everyone to participate and contribute positive ideas toward the common goal of eliminating the fraud.

Richard Kim, Ph.D.


Memorabilia Registry

Tags: Authentication, Autograph, Autographs, Fake, Forgery, Memorabilia, Registry

Views: 527

Replies to This Discussion


I look forward to talking to you at the Show this Friday (April 1).

@ Mike,

Yes, I do agree that the forged items should be completely pulled from the market - and you should cut the physical item in half (or shred it) so that it will never be attempted to be sold again.

However, I believe the "information" should not be destroyed - since it will serve as valuable exemplars in both prosecuting the criminals as well as to prevent future fraud.  By registering the fakes, we are not "celebrating nor showing-off" these fakes.  Rather, we are documenting the evidence.  If you just throw away the bad items, then other people may not know about them.  My study shows that many forgers also have their own unique way of signing - in fact, they are actually "autographing" their attempted fake signatures. Just destroying one bad item (or even many items) in the trash does not necessarily help, since most forgers can create many more items  very quickly to replace destroyed ones.

So, in my opinion, only way to make the forgery disappear from the market (eventually) is to actually document all known forgeries in one location.  Plus, not only document the bad items, but also document all bad transactions associated with those items (meaning, who created them, who sold them, who authenticated them and who purchased them).  It is much harder to generate unique provenance for multiple fake items and pass the test of public scrutiny.

I hope you will be able to participate in the system to make the whole process work.  Your continued input will be much appreciated.

No matter what though . There are still a ton of flaws and bottom line in the end some one is proffiting off it . If it was a free data base then I could see .

We have many different ways to categorize the items.  In addition, we can have multiple signatures per item (with each signature having its own provenance).  Then each signature's authenticity is categorized as:

Authentic (In-Person)

Authentic (Certified/COA)

Authentic (Definitely)

Authentic (Probably)

AutoPen (Definitely)

AutoPen (Probably)

Forgery (Definitely)

Forgery (Probably)

Pre-Print (Definitely)

Pre-Print (Probably)

Secretarial (Definitely)

Secretarial (Probably)

Stamp (Definitely)

Stamp (Probably)


We also categorize each item's received method:

In Person

Through the Mail


Pulled from Pack




Also, I am not "selling" on my site - it is an "escrow" process.  So, we hold the money form the buyer and the title from the seller as a mutual third-party, and then present both parties with all the available evidence & allow enough time for the item to be sent, examined, authenticated, etc. and then when both parties agree to go ahead with the sell/purchase, then the transaction will be completed.   We don't have to "label someone as suspicious".  We just need to record all legitimate transactions and then present the evidence to both the seller and buyer so that they can make the informed decision as to buy/sell.

Since no other "system" currently seems to be working, please try this new system.  I also love this hobby and also would love to see all your items (with the story behind how you got them) to be registered so that everyone can enjoy them - but more importantly, your item will build provenance and can be used as exemplars for other collectors.

As I told Jay Burstein (see the first page of this discussion thread), please help by doing the following: (1) Register your in-person items, (2) Register known fakes and (3) Register your comments on the other people's items.



All you can do is try what you want to do and see if it works. Anything you can do to keep as many people as possible from ending up with fakes--more power to you. Your efforts are applauded and appreciated.

Thank you!



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