First let me say , I have always been a proponent of 3rd party independent authentication, because I believe it curtails the forgery industry.  And I still believe that.

However I have always had mixed feelings about the competency of these 3rd party authentication services.  And sometimes their questionable competence is enough to drive me to Rant, on internet autograph forums…  Here’s why:

1. It is a sloppy highly subjective process more than any other collecting genre.
2. After all these years, STILL No standards that the public is aware of, which 1. above is a product of. 
3. Most Authenticators have no documented governing credentials.    
4.There’s a “good ole boy” network of players that influence (often negatively) the autograph collecting industry.    For example, the same autograph can fail from one source but Pass from a “network member” source.     Just look at the examples below of PSA and JSA certified JFK signatures and note that some are a dead match to the one I sent JSA, that they could NOT authenticate.   But, PSA ad JSA seem to authenticate countless cryptic very similar JFK signatures for autograph auction houses that offer high volumes of business for PSA and JSA. 

A couple months ago I acquired a JFK Signed campaign insert (see below).   I thoroughly researched it with Hamilton’s “JFK Robot” book, JFK Presidential appointments and letters, and PSA and JSA certified IN-person style signatures of that era (1960).  And found Several highly consistent matches to the one below I sent to JSA.     After about 4 weeks JSA returned mine with one of the “we can’t opin” letters and a credit of my $150 to use on future authentications.      Not sure I’ll ever have to use it as my confidence with PSA and JSA has dwindled over the years.  If you cant opin after 4 weeks with my JFK  how can I expect you to authenticate other signatures?

One of the reasons I option for JSA over PSA is at least they will Opt out . Whereas my experience with PSA has been if they don’t know , they’ll just fail it and cash your check.    But, that’s another story.

These repeating experiences with PSA and JSA has been the #1 reason I have gradually lost interest in autographs.     I won’t use the word ”shady” but it is a highly flawed collecting genre with no reliable resource of "experts" to consult, far more vulnerable than any other genre I have experienced.  And being born with Collecting ADD, Ive collected about everything over the past 35 years..

So today after getting Another “Cannot Opin” from JSA, I am truly dispirited with autograph collecting and selling.   

And dont get me started on these self proclaimed "best in the business" chest thumpers... ,.... I'd just ask, based on what data or examination credentials ??

 I guess I could always send this JFK Signed item into one of the auctions houses or dealers who have closer "relationship"  with JSA or PSA and get an immediate letter of authenticity. 

Rant over…

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u missed the lovely steve gradd facebook posts telling people not to rush to buy tom petty autographs now as there are to many fakes unless ofcourse the have a beckett coa on

Beckett passes just as many horrible sigs as PSA or JSA.

Most likely.    But, I’m not even sure PSA (and certainly JSA) would pass this .  Unless as stressed before, it was from an "inside player"..

Think about this.  When Grad goes on Pawn Stars and tells Rick his Star Wars signed poster is worth $150,000 based on signature rarity, now you have the "Conflict of interest" issue that has contaminated the hobby.    Such as, what will be Grad's motivation to REJECT ANY other Star Wars signed posters that are submitted to PSA or Becketts and deem his "one of a kind" claim and already Ludicrous value from plummeting..?    

i.e.  these “inside players” that are Dealing and/or SELLING the same items they are authenticating is an invitation for dishonest subjectivity to put it mildly..

I just had another long time collector tell me this is exactly why he Also is getting out of autographs after decades of collecting... 

for the record, BAS did not specifically authenticate this... it's just a regular BGS ungraded slab. Leaf's Executive Collection is just a program where an owner of a previously authenticated item can have it placed into a "1/1" card by the company for a fee, who then contracts with BGS to have them slabbed for protection.

It "might" have been BAS authenticated, no real way to know unless Leaf keeps the TPA number on file, I don't know if they do. But Leaf does state that they will not slab anything without a major TPA on it. From the above web site:

"In order to qualify to be custom made into a Leaf Cut Signature Executive Collection Cut Signature Card, your item must be authenticated by PSA/DNA, BECKETT Authentication or James Spence Authentication (JSA) and individually certified with the certification sticker still intact. Auction letters or JSA Stamp of Approval will NOT be accepted as proof of authenticity. If your item is not previously authenticated by PSA/DNA, BECKETT Authentication or JSA, LEAF can process the authentication for you by submitting to BECKETT Authentication. Pricing for authentication is determined by BECKETT fee structures. All terms and conditions can be found in the documents above. If you are unable to access the Internet or to inquire about quantity authentication discounts, please contact a LEAF representative."

That odd explanation might be more bizarre then the Beckett "Authentication" itself... :)

It was slabbed in 2013, so it couldn't have been authenticated by Beckett.
Is there any way you can post a picture of the letter you got from JSA?

I browsed through all of these posts and didn't see where it had been posted.

it was just a "Cannot Make an Opinion" letter. 

this is a great thread and as a new guy to buying sigs, I have already noticed too many discrepencies that make me nervous.

But it does make me glad I found this site and can get several eyes on an item before purchasing to ease my weary mind




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