The most forged autographs submitted to authentication company PSA/DNA in 2014 have been revealed, with Babe Ruth, the Beatles and Eminem on the list.
Each year, PSA/DNA releases a list of autographs commonly rejected as fakes as a warning to autograph collectors. The list highlights why it is so important to buy from reputable sellers.
In sports, Babe Ruth - the most sought after autograph in sports collecting - tops the list, with PSA/DNA stating that it rejects around 60% of all those submitted. With signed baseballs selling for $388,375, it's easy to see why forgers concentrate their efforts on Ruth.
Others in the list, which is dominated by baseball stars, include Lou Gehrig, whose autograph is in high demand, and Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, who share third position. PSA/DNA states that Mantle remains one of the most desirable autographs, despite signing thousands during his career.
Current baseball star Mike Trout makes an appearance in this year's list, with the company attributing the growing number of forgeries to his increasing fame - following the retirement of Derek Jeter, Trout is the new face of the game.
Among the historical autographs, The Beatles - like Babe Ruth - lead due to popularity, as well as John Lennon's early death, which makes a complete set of autographs hard to find (but easy to forge).
Elvis Presley and Neil Armstrong follow. Armstrong stopped signing autographs long before his death, but his status as the first man on the Moon means his signature continues to see high demand.
JFK, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe are also included, as well as music legends Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, who both died after a short-lived career, leaving few examples of their autograph and enabling forgers to create a supply to meet demand.
Among the modern autographs featured are The Walking Dead cast signed photos. While the cast readily sign autographs for fans, a complete set is difficult to acquire as the cast is constantly changing and rarely seen in one place together.
Eminem gets an honourable mention as a hugely successful artist who remains elusive in his personal life. PSA/DNA attributes the rise in forgeries to the "pent up demand for his autograph combined with his general inaccessible nature."
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