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Q: Autograph authenticity ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Autograph authenticity
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: 505-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 28 Feb 2005 19:57 PST
Expires: 30 Mar 2005 19:57 PST
Question ID: 482665
Hello, this is my first time with you all,and have a question
reguarding autograph authenticity.What does it mean when someone tells
me that they have a C.O.A. with a holographic serial no. with matching
holigraphic serial no. on merchandice, from an EBAY POWER SELLER. Any
thoughts on if it is real just by what I told you.The name of the
C.O.A. IS LAST CHANCE SPORTS.Any help on this matter would be greatly
appreciated.Thankyou for your time in this matter.      Joe
Subject: Re: Autograph authenticity
Answered By: journalist-ga on 01 Mar 2005 13:02 PST
Greetings 505,

A C.O.A. or Certificate of Authenticity with or without a hologram is
designed to guarantee that an autograph or a product is totally
genuine.  However, when it comes to the C.O.A.s, it's basically a

For instance, I have an autograph from Lily Tomlin that I personally
obtained.  I was there, and I asked for and watched her sign the
paper.  If I were to sell this autograph to someone, I would offer to
sign a C.O.A. stating that I authenticate the genuine origin and
history of my autograph (time/date/place).  However, I could also
choose to forge multiple copies of the autograph and still issue
C.O.A.s to buyers and probably no one would be the wiser because most
people purchase collectibles to *keep* for a long investment, not to
turn around and resell them quickly.

Remember, even art musuems are duped by forgeries every now and then,
and they have respected art experts that may have authenticated the

Basically, a C.O.A. is worthless, and below are a few takes on them
from various dealers. For copyright honor, I have only placed part of
the text below.  Please visit the each of the links after each snippet
to read more.


"We do not issue hand signed certificates of authenticity.  The reason
is simple - they are worthless.  What is valuable is a dated receipt
with a description of the autograph.  And this is only useful if you
need to make an authenticity claim.

"Once you have purchased an autograph from us there are several things
that you may do with it.

"1. You will keep it forever.  So, this makes a certificate of
authenticity unnecessary.

"2. You will sell it to another dealer.  Again, the certificate is not
necessary because no legitimate dealer cares about another dealers

"3. You will sell it or give it to another collector.  In this case,
you may not want to part with your receipt because it contains
personal information.  For these cases, we provide an electronic COA
that you may download from our web site and print at your leisure. 
When you purchase an autograph from us, your electronic invoice and
COA will remain available forever.  Once a transaction is completed,
you will be emailed a link that will give easy access to this

"Please understand that the issuance of a certificate of authenticity
does not make a bad autograph legitimate.  Unfortunately, there are an
increasing number of fly-by-night dealers who would want you to
believe that this is the case."



"...there is tremendous abuse in the "certificate of authenticity" or
COA business, especially at online auctions, particularly on eBay.
Unless a certificate of authenticity originates from and is signed by
either the artist, the publisher of the art (in the case of limited
editions), a confirmed dealer or agent of the artist (not a third
party or reseller), or an acknowledged expert on the artist, it's
pretty much meaningless. A legitimate COA must contain specific
details about the art such as when and how it was produced, the names
of people or companies involved in it's production, the art's exact
title, dimensions, and the names of reference books or similar
resources that contain either specific or relevant information about
the art and/or the artist. It should also state the qualifications of
the individual or entity that authored the certificate, and include
his or her complete and current contact information.

"A formal certificate of authenticity is not necessarily required to
prove that a work of art is genuine. Any valid receipt, bill of sale,
or proof of purchase from either the artist herself or a confirmed and
established dealer or agent of the artist will do. An appraisal from a
recognized authority on the artist is also acceptable. To repeat: Only
documents from QUALIFIED individuals are acceptable, not those from
anyone who appraises art, or from any dealer or agent who buys or
sells occasional works by the artist in question."



"If you shop on ebay or online autograph dealers you are going to
encounter the sales pitch that the item comes with a "Certificate of
Authenticity."  At the risk of angering a lot of dealers I'm going to
make a blanket statement.  I consider most of them absolutely
worthless.  Now I will explain why.
"Did you see the example I put up of a forged signature?  THAT came
with a "COA."  It was worthless.   What they provided was a printed
form, containing a "Certification Number" which in fairness did
correspond with the photo they sent.  It was unsigned, undated and did
not include the price paid for the photo.  They also failed to provide
any information on where and when the so-called "autograph" was
"The are some very reputable dealers.  Dealers who trade in
presidential, classic movie stars, where you will frequently see
"authenticated" autographs selling for thousands of dollars.  If you
are trading at that level of investment a "COA" does become very



"This is an example of an actual COA that was stamped on the back of a
Patrick Roy autograph. A COA autographed picture will normally list
from $30.00 to $75.00. This particular COA was about $40.00. Prices
will range depending on who certified the signature, the age of the
photo, whether the athlete is still living, or how rare the photo is.
Always remember that a COA is not conclusive evidence that the
autograph is  legitimate. There is never a definitive answer on
whether the signature is real or not, but a COA can help in raising
the value of the item."


Here's a place where you can purchase blank C.O.A.s

"We also do custom "COA's" if you don' want to create your own "COA's"
right from your computer. The cost is the same - Only $29.95

"The choice is yours - purchase "COA" template package and design your
own - or we can custom design "COA's" for you

"For autographs or collections - the Template can be used over and
over for each "Certificate of Authenticity" and it can be slightly
different, but have basically the information as the Master Template
"Certificate of Authenticity"


"Also important is the role that holography plays in the security
aspects of packaging. In the 1990's a major software developer tracked
down counterfeit software manufactured in China because the hologram
on the package was of very poor quality. Now, the machinery required
to produce holograms is more accessible to product counterfeiters, and
holograms are perceived by manufacturers as one of several measures to
be used in packaging legitimate products to thwart counterfeiters.

"Recently, the maker of a popular "bean bag" style toy collectible
incorporated a hologram as an overt measure for consumers to look for
when purchasing the product, while also adding a security ink and a
security thread to the item as covert authentication measures. The
combination of an overt and a covert feature in the packaging of a
product (or on the product) gives the manufacturer the best chance to
expose the counterfeits in the market, as long as customers are
educated on what to look for."

Holographic labels are less easier to counterfeit but as you see
above, it can be done.


And here are a few places that will custom make many different types
of holographic stickers that could be used with C.O.A.s:


ON H.R. 3632, FEBRUARY 12, 2004

"For example, Microsoft packaging has for many years included a
certificate of authenticity (''COA'') that incorporates special inks,
holograms and micro-text. Microsoft has invested several millions of
dollars to develop an edge-to-edge hologram that covers the entire
surface of the CD-ROM. (Examples of these features are included in
Attachment A to this testimony.) The edge-to-edge hologram involves a
highly sophisticated, proprietary technology that is etched into
recent versions of Microsoft Office."


"So far, counterfeiters have found it impossible to replicate the
edge-to-edge technology. As an alternative, they have developed
holographic stickers that, when attached to the CD-ROM, closely
resemble the look of the edge-to-edge hologram. Recent versions of
these fake stickers found in Asia are of such high quality, few
consumers would be able to detect the counterfeit."


So, the choice to accept or not accept the authenticity of the item is
up to you.  With Ebay, intergrity among buyers is considered
paramount, and Ebay will quickly rid their system of unscrupulous
sellers.  I would wager that you can trust the C.O.A. from the Power
Seller you mention as much as you can trust *any* C.O.A.

I hope the information I have provided has assisted you better in your
understanding.  Should you reuqire any clarification, please request
it before rating and closing this question, and I will be happy to

Best regards,


"certificate of authenticity" worthless
"certificate of authenticity" valid
"certificate of authenticity" holographic worthless
"certificate of authenticity" holographic valid
"certificate of authenticity" blank
"certificate of authenticity" template
'certificate of authenticity" buy now
holographic "certificate of authenticity" custome OR blank

Clarification of Answer by journalist-ga on 01 Mar 2005 13:04 PST
Sorry, I incorrectly spelled the last search term in the answer, but
not while searching.  It should read
holographic "certificate of authenticity" custom OR blank

Best regards,
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