Autograph Authentication Process
To combat counterfeiting and provide peace of mind to collectors, PSA/DNA employs a four-level Authentication System. The process includes:
STEP 1: EXAMINATION
- Ink/Medium Analysis
- Autograph Structure Analysis
- Object Evaluation
- Side-By-Side Comparisons *
Video Spectral Comparator (VSC4) * - A powerful workstation designed to
examine questionable documents and autographs using sophisticated color and infrared imaging, magnification, coaxial
lighting, and side lighting on-screen.
The VSC detects:
- Reveals masked and obliterated signatures
- Differences in ink types
- Other extraordinary tampering
* When Necessary
STEP 2: ANTI-COUNTERFEITING
Covert Tagging - Once an autograph is deemed genuine, the item is marked with invisible ink which contains a synthetic DNA sequence/combination specific to PSA/DNA.
The DNA-laced taggant cannot only be detected in a scientific lab but also with a proprietary infrared laser. In fact, by using the laser, the invisible DNA-ink will glow "GREEN." More importantly, the chances of replicating this exact sequence is 1 in 33 trillion!
Overt Tagging - A label bearing an alphanumeric serial number is applied on the item in a discrete location or on the Certificate or Letter of Authenticity. The choice is yours. Interestingly enough, this label was specifically designed to checkerboard when tampered with and can be completely removed! In addition, the label is non-destructive and does not harm your valuable item.
STEP 3: CERTIFICATION
Certificate of Authenticity - For items submitted at an authentication fee lower than $50, a small 3x3 certificate is issued with your item. The COA features a six-digit, alphanumeric number that matches the tamper evident label and a detailed, color-changing PSA/DNA logo hologram embedded into the COA.
For an additional fee of $10, a Letter of Authenticity will be composed and issued with your item.
Letter of Authenticity - For items submitted at an authentication of $50 or higher, a detailed letter on your authenticated piece is composed and issued with your item. The letter provides several security features to prevent counterfeiting.
- Double-watermarked paper to prevent conterfeiting; simply hold the LOA against a lamp and look for the official PSA/DNA logo and a series of double helix DNA strands.
- A detailed, color-changing PSA/DNA logo hologram embedded into the custom paper: not a sticker placed on top of the page, but rather actually part of the paper itself.
- A high resolution photo of your exact submission.
- Hand signature from one of PSA/DNA's representatives.
- Six digit alphanumeric serial number that matches the tamper evident label.
Autographs that are signed, in our opinion, by clubhouse personnel will receive a "Clubhouse" designation. A special letter is returned with an explanation segregating the difference between these examples and actual autographs.
STEP 4: DOCUMENTATION
All authenticated memorabilia is available online for verification. Simply visit Cert Verification and enter the alphanumeric serial number. The verification page will display:
- The autographs
- The item
- Location of authentication
- Authentication date
- Photo (if available)
Autographs - Items submitted at the fee of $50 or higher that do not meet our requirements and, in our opinion, are of questionable authenticity will receive a "NO PASS" designation. Thereafter, a Letter of Opinion (LOO) is returned with a detailed explanation of our experts' findings. The letter features:
- A high resolution photo of your exact submission
- A summary on the characteristics of your autograph on why it is not deemed genuine
Items submitted under $50 will receive a non-detailed Letter of Opinion (LOO).
Occasionally, our experts cannot express an opinion on an autograph. These will be designated as "Inconclusive" and a credit voucher will be issued in the full amount of the authentication fee. This voucher can be used towards future submissions.