Information obtained from:
December 1, 2008
PSA/DNA, How Do You
Go to the PSA/DNA web site and read about autograph authentication. They
state: "Have your autographs examined and certified by the world's foremost
Their authentication process includes a four-level authentication system.
Level One being "The Authentication Process." The first step of Level One
includes: "Ink/Medium Analysis, autograph structure analysis, object
evaluation and also side by side comparisons (when necessary)".
This Level One step also includes the use of the controversial Video
Spectral Comparator. PSA/DNA claims using this machine can tell "differences
in ink types."
Several names are listed as autograph experts at the bottom of PSA/DNA
Certificates. However we can find no instance where anyone of these so
called experts will take the blame for a mistake.
By now, most everyone in the autograph collecting hobby should be well aware
that "people authenticate autographs not companies".
Some questions need to be asked.
With so many documented mistakes, many being sophomoric, why would any
company still claim they have "autograph experts" on their staff?
Why would any company who claims to authenticate autographs hide who the
individual is that passed or failed any autograph?
Most interesting is why do some dealers and auctions houses continue to use
the same authenticating companies that have made in the past and continue to
make so many inexcusable mistakes?
An inexcusable blunder made by the "experts" at PSA/DNA could be found in a
******** Auction #612. Lot #22262. Cataloged as a Mary Pickford
Signed Photograph. "RARE, vintage photo signed by the ‘Pollyanna' star, one
of the greatest actresses of the silent era." This supposedly RARE item is
accompanied by a COA from PSA/DNA. See illustration below.
Item # 22262 from ******** catalog #612
are by no means rare. They have been around for nearly 100 years and any
dealer with the slightest experience most likely has come across these
photographs. With a little effort a collector and surely an "autograph
authenticating expert" can go to the educational web site of
www.isitreal.com, click on the Reference Directory, type in Mary Pickford
and voila, an identical photograph with the same signature comes on screen.
On this site, the photo is accurately described as a photograph bearing a
rubber stamped signature of Mary Pickford.
Can you imagine, someone paid for this quality of service?
How could such a mistake be made by the "experts" at PSA/DNA?
Who is the one or more "experts" at PSA/DNA that passed this as a genuine
How can an autograph "expert" not be able to tell a real ink signature from
a rubber stamped signature?
PSA/DNA's website states they do a side-by-side comparison (when necessary).
Wasn't this case necessary?
Who was at the helm of the controversial Video Spectral Comparator which PSA/DNA
claims can tell "difference in ink types?"
Lastly, why oh why, do these embarrassing mistakes continue to happen?