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Autograph Authentication and Grading

A fair amount of collectibles are signed goods.

But authentication and encapsulation of these items can be difficult. Many other companies require proof or documentation of the signing in order to authenticate such collectibles. But what if you were not physically present at the signing, or if you failed to record it? 


Here at CardsandGrading, we are able to authenticate signatures to a high degree of accuracy regardless, using our pattern recognition algorithms. 



Autograph authentication

Our experts analyze the ink, structure of the autograph and, when necessary, reference our database and lithographic signatures to make a side-by-side comparison of the signature. 


We utilize a slew of techniques to identify a signature's authenticity, including human analysis and machine pattern recognition algorithms.


We also make use of state-of-the-art tools like UV illumination and imaging to identify discrepancies in ink type and writing patterns.

Spectral Overlay

Superimposition of signatures allow a direct comparison of two signatures, usually referencing a known sample from official sources. 

Identical signatures are usually indicative of lithographic forgeries.

Stroke sequence/direction recognition

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The most basic way of confirming a signature's authenticity is identifying its stroke order. The sequence and directionality will likely not change across a person's lifetime. 

These dynamics are also indicative of pressure and thus ink output in the signature.

While these strokes can be learnt, a different stroke order is a definitive red flag indicative of a forgery. 

Relative pressure

Stroke pressure can be taken from ink output and relative thickness of strokes as compared to the others in the same signature. 


The jerk of a signature is indicative of hesitation, since a forger will need to check their strokes as they sign.

An original signature is smooth and without hesitation.


Autograph grading guidelines

Autograph grades reflect the condition of the autograph only, the condition of the signed medium is not taken into account. However, if there is something present on the medium which obscures or alters the condition of the autograph, it will be reflected in the final grade. (For example, if a card has been folded through the body of the signature, that has now affected the appearance of the signature, and will be reflected in the grade).

*Deterioration of autographs may occur over time through handling and exposure, therefore, the assigned grade cannot be guaranteed for the life of the piece. The grade is a reflection of the condition of the autograph at the time of authentication only. With the proper precautions and storage, many autographs can be preserved in their current condition, allowing the grade to stay true over time.

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