I can see the difficulty authenticating Lincoln's signature. I'm adding two examples that are considered authentic and in between these two there are many slightly different versions. Sometimes inscriptions are nice.
GA is trash. Most knowledgable collectors will agree.
Yes, I did notice the lOA
Did they get lucky with one?
Given what I've observed with them, I don't think their issues are limited to incompetence. I think they know exactly what they are and what they're doing. I feel a GA sticker devalues any item, regardless of its actual authenticity.
In a case in which the signer is a notorious scribbler in which authentication may be based more heavily on the source, GA should absolutely be avoided.
I agree that GA has a bad reputation, however I take a close look at every signature no matter where it's from and that includes the top three authenticators. That's how you learn. I don't really care if its a scribble from a good source-a scribble is a scribble. Can a good source authenticate a scribble better than I? Not
So do I, and I encourage collectors to avoid bad signatures (i.e. ugly scribbles) altogether, unless, of course, it is signed right in front of you. If you can't authenticate it based on the signature alone, it's probably worth avoiding - unless it's just something you have to have, in which case the source should be rock solid and, preferably, the price low to reasonable.
My point was that I believe GA is a friend of forgers. My general dislike of PSA and JSA comes down to what I perceive as greed and bad practices associated with them. However, they still generally get it right. But their sticker doesn't instill any degree of confidence in me on its own merit.
On the other hand, I also feel (along with many others) that a GA sticker/cert is a strong red flag for a forgery, because I believe they knowingly authenticate forgeries.
What happened to the first thread about this yesterday or so? I am sure I responded simply by saying "look up those names here and you'll see what you need" but it's gone?