He wrote one autograph per meeting an colletor. More is simply not possible to get from a current World Champion. But never the less he was very kind and in a good mood.
Certificates (COAs) are easily the most misunderstood area for the ill-informed autograph buyer.
“Who to Trust, how do I know its genuine ?”
Firstly it is important that a COA is only as good as the issuer. People who forge autographs are most certainly forge COA's as well.
Nowadays most dealers issue a COA irrespective of whether an item is genuine. On closer inspection many of these certificates do not even have contact details on them! Remember also that anybody can set up as an autograph dealer and become an “expert overnight”.
In most cases COA's are probably worthless. If a seller is consciously selling forgeries he will feel no shame also issuing bogus certificates. The key to the authenticity of any autograph if you did not actually obtain it yourself is traceable provenance. If traceable provenance has gone cold or been forgotten the buyer relies solely on the expertise of the seller.
COA’s issued by most dealers are usually worded such as “In our opinion” and “full lifetime money back guarantee if this item can be proved to be other than stated”. Many questions arise from statements like these.
How do I prove an item is not authentic? Do I go to an expert? How do I find him? How do I know he is? Will his expert opinion invalidate another expert’s opinion? Who is the best expert?
Result: Never ending litigation
How much is authentication?
There really are very few genuine experts around prepared to put their knowledge to the test and sufficiently respected by all for their opinion to really be decisive in litigation. Cost around 100 Euro per item upwards or percentage of value of item. The true test is whether a major auction house will accept their opinion sufficiently to place a lot.
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