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  #1  
Old 02-01-2005, 08:57 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: Richard Simon

Jimmie Spence, who was/is(?) their head authenticator, is located in Pennsylvania. Steve Grad who worked with Jimmy in Pennsylvania, and was previously an autograph chaser, is now at PSA headquarters in California. The advertising for PSA autograph authentication asks people to send their items to PSA headquarters in California. Is Jimmie Spence examining these items? Their most recent COA's are actually being signed by Joe Orlando, the President of PSA, not by their authenticators. Facsimile signatures of their authenticators are printed at the bottom of their COA's. Who is actually authenticating autographs for PSA now? Is Jimmy Spence examining the autographs? Is Bob Eaton examining the autographs? Is John Reznikoff examining the autographs? Is Roger Epperson examining them? Is Steve Grad the only one examining the autographs?
An associate of mine has an e mail from one of the PSA authenticators, whose facsimile signature appears on their COA's, stating that he does not look at most of those items, even though his facsimile signature appears on the COA.
Perhaps Jeremy can answer this question? How about it Jeremy, I know you are reading this.

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Old 02-04-2005, 03:29 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: WP

Could it possibly be the case that Joe Orlando is authenticating for PSA/DNA? Is Jim Spence still with the firm?

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Old 02-04-2005, 03:46 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: Richard Simon

Joe Orlando is not authenticating autographs as far as I know. However I think perhaps it would be nice if the collectors who submit their items to PSA knew who was authenticating their items.
There are rumors about who is and who is not going to be working for PSA, but at this point in time, they are only rumors.

I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

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Old 02-04-2005, 03:58 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: Rob L

The PSA/DNA letter is now complete crap as far as I am concerned. The placement of signatures on the bottom of the LOA should mean that any of these folks should agree that an autograph is authentic. However, it's obvious that all of these authenticators have not examined the autograph, nor are they all experts in types of autographs (ie. sports, historical, entertainment, etc). At least the LOAs were more credible when Spence and Grad would sign them.

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Old 02-04-2005, 04:50 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: PASJD

Is it really any different from cards, where one doesn't know which grader(s) graded the cards? It seems that for better or worse they have made a decision to offer a "corporate" authentication rather than authentication by specific authenticators and presumably collectors collectively will decide what that is worth. As long as no representation is being made that a particular authenticator examined an item when in fact he didn't, I don't see the issue. I don't know if the facsimile signatures convey such a misimpression to anyone, but they wouldn't to me.

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Old 02-04-2005, 08:35 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: Dan

You can't compare PSA's Card Grading Service to the Authenticating Service. With autographs, the item is either 'Good' or 'Bad'. A Ruth cut is either worth $1,750 or nothing. With Cards, you have to wonder whether the card is a '7' or an '8'. Either way, the card is the genuine article unlike autographs where roughly 7 (or 8) out of every 10 signatures are likely 'bogus'.

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Old 02-06-2005, 07:38 AM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: dan mckee

Helen Keller is the new authenticator.

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  #8  
Old 02-06-2005, 12:46 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: PASJD

I don't see the sharp dividing line between cards and autographs that Dan does. A major part of PSA's job in cards is to reject cards outright for trimming, bleaching, recoloring, and so forth. My point is that PSA has chosen on both fronts to go with a corporate authentication and collectors can place whatever value they wish on it. Perhaps they will place no value on it, I don't think that I would if I collected memorabilia, but there is nothing wrong per se with PSA's approach unless they are misrepresenting the nature of the authentication, and it doesn't seem to me that they are.

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Old 02-06-2005, 01:03 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: warshawlaw

With PSA, at least w/r/t the encapsulation-type authentications, the item is either yes or no. There is no SCD style degree (A1-A10). The autographed cards I've had authenticated by PSA are thumbs up or thumbs down, so Dan is right on the money.

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Old 02-06-2005, 01:54 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: Richard Simon

Not knowing which 20 year old is grading your baseball card is a far cry from not knowing which person is authenticating your autograph.
If you submit an autograph to an authentication service, don't you want the authenticator to be familair with Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, etc or whatever item he is authenticating?
At the present time, you send PSA an autograph and you don't know who is examining it. Is it one of the experienced authenticators whose facsimile signature is on the COA, or is it one of the less experienced people on their staff, someone who became an autograph collector by hanging around in hotels at 1 am to try and get some guy on the Red Sox.
And rumor has it that their authentication staff will be undergoing a shakeup shortly.
-----

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  #11  
Old 02-06-2005, 02:53 PM
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Default Who Is Authenticating Autographs for PSA Now?

Posted By: PASJD

My point is not that PSA is any good at authenticating autographs, or that their corporate authentication policy is a good one, only that there is no deception. If you think PSA is incapable of authenticating your Lou Gehrig autograph, and you don't like their practice of not telling you which authenticator stands behind it, then do as Lenin said and "vote with your feet" -- in other words, don't send it to them.

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