The passion of collecting autographs mainly started as a sign of affection. Nobody ever expected an autograph to become so valuable and now we see them being sold in auctions for thousands of dollars. Have you ever wondered what the top 5 most valuable autographs are? We did and that is how we managed to come up with this list. We’re sure you will find some surprising entries, just as we did. The especially interesting point to look at is the worth of the autograph coming in at number 1.
These are the top 5 collectible autographs:
5. Babe Ruth
When you say baseball, you automatically think about Babe Ruth. Many of the records he made were shattered but he is still known and loved in the U.S. and other parts of the world. The Babe ranks third all-time in home runs with 714 and hit .342 over 22 Major League seasons. His autographed memorabilia is available in various stores and there is huge competition between collectors to put their hands on the latest merchandise that becomes available. In 2005, a Ruth signed baseball sold for $150,000. It graded a 9.5 out of 10 by PSA. Babe Ruth never would have imagined a baseball he signed would be so popular!
4. Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe
It is obvious that the autographs of both Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio are worth some money but an item that includes both of them is considered to be priceless by fans. The couple was married less thn a year. They married in Jan. 1954 and divorced in Oct. 1954. There is one baseball that is signed by both while on a Florida vacation, when the couple was reportedly trying to get back together. One photographer had a baseball with him and that created a set of autographs that has been so far exchanged between collectors for a total of $191,200.
3. John Lennon
Many say that John Lennon was the real creative genius behind The Beatles. While that is still debated today, the fact that an autograph of the rock legend costs a lot of money is not debated, it is reality. You can find various memorabilia with items ranging from pieces of paper to really old records of Beatles album. Just to give you an idea about what to expect if you might want to buy one, a double John Lennon/Yoko Ono autograph starts at around $1,900 and an Abbey Road album that features Lennon’s and Ringo’s autograph has a starting point in an auction of around $3,000. The last copy of the Double Fantasy album signed by Lennon before he was killed by Mark Chapman was sold for $525,000, making it the most valuable record in history!
2. Abraham Lincoln
Even if Obama is in office and the highly mediated George W. Bush Jr. sat in office before him, there is no president in the history of the United States that is as well known as Abraham Lincoln. He was credited with many different things and contrary to what you might be tempted to believe, there are actually many autographs by him that are available on the market. Even copies of autographs by Lincoln are sold and considered to be very valuable in some cases. A fragment of an Abraham Lincoln autograph sometimes has a value of around $30,000 and a document signed by the president can only be bought for a minimum of $150,000. A signed letter defending the Emancipation Proclamation on January 8, 1863 sold for almost $750,000 in 1991.
1. William Shakespeare
We are quite sure you did not see this coming. William Shakespeare managed to change the way we look at theatre but he might actually have even changed the way we look at autograph prices. At the moment there are only 6 autographs that are recognized as authentic and each of them has a value of $3 million a piece. If this autograph would have appeared on a play that the writer actually wrote in his own hand, the value would be 10 times higher. There you have it, the most expensive autograph in the world is that of William Shakespeare and there is a very strong chance that we will never get to see it in front of us because of the security that is required to protect it.
For more information on autographs be sure and visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autograph.