a referral, search the internet for information on that so-called “expert” as such an authentication may be worthless to the “reputable” autograph community. For example there is one forensic expert that has been banned on eBay for highly questionable COAs with his name on them. Amazingly there are STILL dealers referring him to collectors. Authentication services are operated by humans, so none are 100% perfect. But, some are far more accurate and reputable than others. Most of the major auction houses and dealers rely on PSA or JSA for authenticating autographs.
9). Another observation I have had over the years is people telling me they “know” so and so’s autograph because they knew them personally. That is a bit absurd when you think about it. WHY would a relationship with someone mean you are an expert with his/her signature? I had someone send me a couple autographed photos of Jack Haley that were clearly not authentic. The gentleman insisted I was wrong because he personally knew Jack Haley. So does that make him an expert with Haley’s signature? Did he sit and watch Jack Haley write his signature several times? I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between my parent’s genuine signature and a forgery because I have never studied their signatures. Do you think Nancy Sinatra is an expert with her father’s signature? I doubt it, unless she is an avid autograph collector and has acquired a skill to analyze and “sense” authentic signatures and handwriting.
But, there have been extensive signature studies done for a number of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra. These studies have been accomplished by very skilled collectors who have several years of experience collecting and studying signatures like Frank Sinatra.
They are the guys who can spot an unnatural look and flow to a Sinatra signature, a fabricated “F” in Frank, know Sinatra never “rounded” his ”i” in Sinatra, know the typical genuine width of the F, or the height of the “S” in Sinatra relative to all the others letters, along with several other (possibly hundreds) of variables and nuances that makes the difference between a genuine and fake autograph. To the inexperienced eye these nuances are invisible. To the experienced eye, they are deafening.
As part of their analysis, they use known authentic examples such as legal contracts, checks, and in person examples, along with an acquired “sixth sense” in handwriting and signature application. The latter of which formal training and certificates can not provide.
Remember, this is NOT about promoting (or bashing) a certain company or organization but about establishing a STANDARD by which collectors and dealers can follow AND ADHERE TO.
In the world of technology including the one you are using right now (the internet), and cells phones and email we are only able to communicate with each other because Standards have been set. I recall 15-20 years ago when all this technology was being born it was like the "old wild west" where many companies were innovating their