Original Photo Authentication

original photo authentication

Not all photos are created equally! The value of a photo can vary dramatically depending on the photo’s ‘Type’ classification.

When it comes to photos, this classification is key.

Using PSA's unique photo classification system, each photo will be certified for life. This process, coupled with PSA's detailed letter of authenticity and/or encapsulation, helps to set photos apart from the rest and ensure that its legacy and legitimacy is preserved.

With this thorough four-step process, photos are examined, labeled, certified and documented on PSA's vast archive by a PSA certification number.

Max Security

Elite protection for your photograph collection

original photo authentication

PSA now offers encapsulation of certified original photographs. Our tamper-evident, sonically sealed holders are a great way to safely store or display your special photos. Plus, all the photograph's pertinent information is easily referenced on the encapsulated label, along with the certification number. For additional information, please review our Photograph Authentication Process.

Any item requiring a Jumbo holder will incur an additional charge of $30. Encapsulated items do not receive a LOA or COA, or the PSA tamper-evident label. You may request to receive a Letter of Authenticity in addition to encapsulation for an additional fee of $10. Call (800) 325-1121 for details.

Submitting your original photos to PSA is easy. Follow this process.


and Download the Submission Form for Your Order Type


your Shipping Charges

Max Value

Is the photo a first-generation image from the period or was that photo generated 10, 20 or even 50 years later?

Is it an original news service photo made from the original negative or a wire photo printed off a teletype machine?

Knowing the difference in time between the date the photo was taken and the date the photo was printed from the original negative is what might separate a $100 photo (Type IV) from a $3,000+ photo (Type 1).

babe ruth type 1
  • Type I – Value = $3,000+
  • Underwood & Underwood
  • March 1920
babe ruth type 4
  • Type IV – Value = $100
  • United Press International
  • September 1961

Using PSA's Original Photograph Authentication will help ensure that buyers are getting exactly what they pay for. In addition, this service will help sellers of photographs realize the highest prices possible in a market that demands authentication.

Have any more questions? Check out these references:

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