Guided navigation is the ability to add and remove keywords and categorizations of items to filter your results. As you add these filters,
they appear in the breadcrumb trail above the search results. You can remove any filter from the breadcrumb trail at any time.
Start your search as you've always done. From the home page, catalog home page, or search page, you can select a keyword
and choose a coin type such as "Nickels" or "Barber Half Dollars", and then click "Search". Much of the time, this will be all you need!
You can add a filter in the left column, such as "Category", "Current Bid Range", "Reserve Status", "Grade Range", and so on. Each time you
make such a selection, the listing of results will become smaller, showing only those items that meet all the criteria you have selected.
You can also enter one or more keywords, such as "The Godfather", if that will help your search. Sometimes a new selection will open up new
sub-selection possibilities; for instance, once you choose to look for a poster graded between Fine and Very Fine, you can then narrow your search to a single grade.
You can add or drop fields or keywords from your results at any time. Above the listing of results is a complete list of the filters you
have selected. Click on any filter to remove it, and the page will refresh to show all items matching the new broader specifications.
The guided navigation section only lists things that contain results. For example, if you are looking at all items in grade Near Mint to Mint,
then the category filter will only include categories with items in that grade. To expand your list of categories, remove the grade filter from
your breadcrumb trail by clicking on it.
Click here for a full tutorial.
Using "quotes" around your search phrase can help narrow the results to exactly what you are interested in. A search for George Washington
without quotes will return all results that contain both "George" and "Washington", in any order. A search for "George Washington" in quotes
returns all results with the exact phrase George Washington, in that order.
This will produce more items, and once you see how the items are listed, you can narrow your search results with more accurate words.
If you're looking for only political signatures, choose "political" from the drop-down list. If you're searching for items that span multiple
categories, choose ALL from the drop-down.
The search from our home page covers everything we have to offer, whether in auction or inventory. If you are only interested in either
auctions or buy now items, select the appropriate check boxes in the search area ("Search within Inventory" or "Search within Auctions").
Maybe it's a name (like Washington), or a document (letter), or a year (1750).
When you use multiple words, the search engines will try to find items with all of those words in the description. Try using "OR" and "NOT".
If you're interested in all items from 1750 and 1751, you can enter "1750 OR 1751". This would limit your search to just items with either of
those two dates in the description. Or, if you are interested in a signature from Franklin, but not the Declaration of Independence, then you might
search for "Franklin NOT Declaration of Independence".
Don't use commas, periods, dashes, etc., unless required - such as in a name like O'Doul.
Perhaps we don't have the item you are looking for now, but chances are we will soon. Add the particular item(s) you are looking for to our
"MyWantList" and you'll be notified as soon as it/they become available. If you would like further assistance,
please don't hesitate to contact us.
View the Archives
Descriptions, images, pedigrees, and how much a particular item sold for in a past auction. Also access our archives for a variety of other valuable collectibles.
The top rung of the ladder, in terms of popularity, is a relatively small group of people who can be called "icons". These are people whose names and images stay with us, appearing with regularity in our culture. They are known, often admired and intensely sought after. In Sports, we have Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig as prime examples. Within American history, Abe Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington fit this description. From the world of Entertainment, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Humphrey Bogart deserve this title. Within the Arts, Charles Dickens, Mozart and Cervantes command attention. There are many other areas of interest, which have their own "icons"; the foregoing are meant only as illustrative examples.
Next in order of value determination is availability of the person's autograph. This collecting field exemplifies the term "Supply and Demand". We can use a few of the names above to illustrate: Babe Ruth's signature has strong and continually appreciating value, yet it is not rare. Here, the supply is not the driver — it's the intense demand. James Dean's autograph value, on the other hand, is driven by good demand.... and an extremely small supply resulting from his premature passing.
The next aspect of autograph value is the format. In ascending order of value, the base price of a person's autograph typically is on a small piece of paper, from an autograph album, a small card or a "cut" from a larger document. Next is a document — a legal agreement or contract, even a check — followed by a typed letter signed (TLS). After this comes a signed photograph (SP) and, normally, at the top of the value chain, a handwritten and signed letter (ALS). The nature of the document or the content of the letter can greatly affect value. Babe Ruth's signature on a signed check, for example, can be $5,000 or more. His signed contract to play baseball for the Yankees is worth many times this amount. Using a letter to illustrate, Albert Einstein accepting a dinner invitation might be valued at $2,000; his letter to a scientific colleague regarding the Theory of Relativity would command much, much more.
Condition of the autographed item is a significant factor, too. A document in pristine condition, signed boldly in ink, is far more desirable than one bearing obvious damage, or with a faded signature. A signed photograph of a famous actor "in character' — James Dean in "Rebel without a cause" for example — will have a value much higher than a signed "generic" image.
Finally, societal trends can impact autograph values. For example, the hit movie "The Aviator" created more demand for the autograph of legendary personality Howard Hughes and values appreciated measurably in a short timeframe. Whether a new and higher value structure will be established, or whether the values return to levels in place prior to release of the movie remains to be seen.
Many are concerned with purchase of an item, in fear that it is a "fake". While there are many forgeries in existence, especially when the particular autograph is of real value, the most common examples of non-authentic autographs are not created to mislead or defraud the collector. Most of these came from an earlier time, when autographs had very little value. In Sports, it was common practice for a clubhouse attendant to sign baseballs on behalf of a star player, just to save him time; these are commonly referred to as "clubhouse signatures". In other fields, especially Entertainment, fans would write to obtain autographs of their favorite stars on pictures or letters. It was common practice to send out items with preprinted signatures or an original signature signed by one of the star's staff members; these are commonly referred to as "secretarial signatures". Finally, it was common practice for many years to have the notable's actual signature applied to the paper with a mechanical device known as an "autopen". These mimicked the signature of the person perfectly and can be difficult to determine without knowledge. This practice was extremely common with famous politicians and business people.
Determination of an autograph's authenticity is part science and part art. It requires knowledge and great attention to detail. Purchasing an autograph on your own, especially from an unknown source and without supporting documentation from a respected authenticator can be a risky proposition. Autographs purchased from Heritage are reviewed by our own experts and then passed on to independent third party experts such as PSA/DNA for final authentication.
As a registered Heritage customer, you have instant access to our vast autograph image archive. We urge you to compare your autograph with the authenticated examples shown.
If you would like a knowledgeable opinion on the likelihood of authenticity for your autograph, you can send good, clear images to JohnH@HA.com. However, in many cases, it does require a personal, "hands-on", review of the autographed item(s) to be sure.
Due to staff limitations, Heritage does not have the capability of reviewing, evaluating or providing informal opinions on authenticity for contemporary Entertainment or Sports figures. In most instances, these autographs will be valued in the $25 to $50 range and we simply cannot devote proper attention to them.
For a current estimate of the value of your autographed item(s), contact Heritage by email at JohnH@HA.com — there is no cost for this collector service.
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Dallas, Texas 75219-3941
Fax: (214) 409-1425