An autograph is a person’s own handwriting or signature. Autograph collecting is the hobby of collecting autographs of famous persons. Some of the most popular categories of autograph subjects are presidents, military soldiers, athletes, movie stars, artists, social and religious leaders, scientists, astronauts, and authors. However, autographs are not just for collecting but they are also considered to be a good investing move.
While the autographs of some celebrities will sell for thousands and are highly collectible, others have zero value. It may seem like the realm of obsessed music, movie or sports fans to collect autographs, but it can be an extremely lucrative investment. Those fortunate enough to own a top-quality signed photo of an icon of the 20th and 21st century could sell it today for £ 2,000 to £ 11,000. Prices for many famous names–dead or alive–keep rising and new trends are emerging with buyers around the world keen to hold their own piece of history. But if your interest is picked up by this type of alternative investment, it pays to tread carefully.
Specialists in stamps, autographs and memorabilia say 99% of the time they’re going to fake if you’re looking for celebrity autographs on the eBay auction website. “You need to know exactly with whom you deal–whether you buy or sell,” they note. “Use a trustworthy dealer with a long and proven track record and encryption certificates. Make sure that the dealer lists their full address and contact details if you buy online.
There are a number of trade associations – The Universal Autograph Collectors Club (Uacc.org), Professional Autograph Dealers Association (Padaweb.org), Autograph Fair Trade Association (Aftal.org.uk) and Real Autograph Collectors Club (Racctrusted.com). These websites have lists of registered dealers (look for registered dealers not just members). If a dealer can’t provide the necessary information, perhaps you should re-evaluate a potential autograph purchase.
According to moneywise.co.uk “There will always be demand for iconic figures in history, particularly someone who died young or didn’t sign many autographs. Paul Fraser Collectibles’ PFC40 Autograph Index tracks the value of 40 of the world’s most sought-after signatures since the year 2000, including Princess Diana, JF Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Jimi Hendrix, Nelson Mandela and Walt Disney. On average, these names have grown in value by 11.7% a year (compound interest) since that time – a healthy return. The index tracks the value of excellent quality signed photographs (usually 8 x 10 inches), books and magazines, sold by dealers and at auction.”
It seems that your favourite autograph may not be something you will have stored at your office for the rest of your life, but it can be an investment asset. Imagine that you can get an autograph for free and sell it for thousands of Dollars or Pounds some years later. Sounds great? If yes, then you should pay more attention to autographs and learn their investing potential.