Let's play you be the authenticator. Paul McCartney.

It's a thankless job being an authenticator. They provide an important service and have become quite influential in the hobby. But sometimes their professional opinions baffle me. Most of all, their final decisions can greatly determine the market value of any given autograph. Like getting a blessing from the Pope.

Here are two examples of a Paul McCartney signature. One passed authentication and the other did not. Same company. Different result. I'm old and my eye sight is as good as it used to be. Can you see a significant different between the two signatures?

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I am not particularly familiar with his autograph, but the ticket looks more quickly signed while the other looks more drawn (last long strokes).

Thanks for the input, JK.

Beckett did respond to my inquiry about my McCartney. Here is their response:


Hi Joe,
Thank you for contacting us!
It is important to note every autograph submitted for authentication is examined by our expert authenticators who analyze the characteristics of the signature and when necessary make comparisons to known authentic examples of the signature. During the examination process, our authenticators, take into consideration how the signature may have evolved and changed over time, as well as, the possible variances in the signature depending on how it was obtained.
After a thorough review, with all factors considered, we render the opinion. After examination, several inconsistencies prevented the item’s certification including:

  • The signature has an atypical letter slant, angle, and pitch
  • The formation of the letters and overlapping of strokes is irregular or unusual
  • There is irregular spacing between the letters and/or names
  • The signature lacks flow, rhythm, conviction, and spontaneity
  • There are baseline issues, including misalignment and undulation
  • The signature has been drawn slowly
  • The signature exhibits excessive pen pressure and/or improper shading

Feel free to reach us at (855) 470-4662 in case of any queries or concerns.
Beckett Customer Service


Hi Joe-  This response was for your signed ticket?


I think it's actually kind of an insult to send out that form letter.  You were asking for specific clarification of the results of what you contracted with them for.  There is a bottom line here and it seems not to be about education and helping collectors learn about their autographs.

a typical beckett bullsh t reply letter when they dont know

Seven different problems with an authentic in-person Macca autograph! They’ve passed what I believe to be fake Maccas that couldn’t have been subjected to that kind of scrutiny.

That is a form letter response to Joe's inquiry.  An acquaintance of mine had the same response word for word when he pressed them to give the rationale for failing a Charlie Chaplin autograph.

The "and/or" usage kind of gives it away.

I believe that a member here received a letter with a subset of these factors, but not all seven.

Here’s one that isn’t included in the list for Joe’s Macca:

The sizing of the letters are exaggerated and/or undersized.

Sounds like a standard reply. 

It is what it is. I still win because I own an in person Paul McCartney signed Concert for New York City. Can anyone else say that?

Both Beckett and Roger Epperson may not be believers but I am.



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