It seems as though the novelty of the autograph has decreased over the past few decades. These days, when a fan meets their favorite artist or band, they are more likely to get a photo on their smart phone and upload it to Instagram or Facebook than to ask for a signature.
However, there are still some John Hancocks out there that will undoubtedly stop even the most contemporary music fan in their tracks, and make collectors shell out some series dough.
But, with every rare autograph comes hundreds of fakes, and the US memorabilia authenticators PSA/DNA have ranked Elvis Presley and the Beatles at the top of the list of the most commonly forged celeb signatures.
Reuters reports that the autographs of the late Michael Jackson, Neil Armstrong and President Kennedy are also among the highest ranked on the list, which has been reevaluated and re-released since 2010.
So why are there so many fakes?
Mostly, the forgeries don’t come from those trying to capitalize of the value of the signatures, but rather from studio secretaries and assistants attempting to appease fans who would write letters asking for an autograph in return.
According Heritage Auctions’ director of entertainment and music memorabilia, Margaret Barrett, the best way to differentiate a fake signature from the real deal is by comparing it to a legal document, such as a contract, which could only be signed by the celebrity themselves.
So, the next time you have the opportunity to meet someone famous, it may be a good idea to bring along a pad of paper and a pen with that iPhone 5. In a few years, you could be trading in your cool memory for some serious cash.