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Evaluating Autographed Checks  

Evaluating Autographed Checks

Evaluating autographed checks by celebrities have special interest for autograph collectors. Unlike autographs on other types of formats that may be signed by secretaries or other representatives, cancelled checks usually have authentic signatures. Autograph collectors who focus on cancelled checks emphasize the following points when evaluating signed checks.

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Cancelled A cancelled check is more likely to have the authentic signature of the payee of the check since the bank is responsible for guaranteeing authenticity of the signature. When evaluating autographed checks, endorsements for deposit are not as desirable because a secretary, family members, or another party may execute an endorsement.

Cancellation Effects Cancellations may not be distracting, especially if they are limited to markings on the back of the check. However, cancellations with holes or stamps may partially obscure or completely obliterate a signature.

Date Dates on a check may be important considerations. For example, a check written by Buddy Ebsen during the month he worked on the Wizard of Oz represents an interesting association, or a check written by Thelma Todd just prior to her murder is also of interest.

Bank Certain banks have special appeal because of their historical significance, financial significance, or location. Checks drawn on the Bank of North America are if interest because this was the first chartered bank of in the United States. Checks drawn on the Bank of America with a signature of A.P. Giannini have particular relevance because A.P. Giannini founded the Bank of America.

Stamp Many years ago, check writers were required to pay taxes on checks they wrote. Stamps affixed to checks were proof that taxes were paid. Many of these stamps have individual appeal that enhances the value of a check.

Engravings Checks with engraved vignettes, often detailed and elaborate, are works of art that have visual appeal. Certain engraved vignettes are quite rare and beautiful.

Association Checks written by the check writer to another party with significance can add considerable value to a check. For example, a check written by Babe Ruth to the Spalding Sports Company has a direct and interesting association. A check written by J.D. Salinger for a purchase of gasoline may not hold particular relevance, but his check to the publisher of Catcher in the Rye may be of historic significance.

Rarity The economic principle of supply and demand also influences the value of checks from a particular individual. Checks from Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth, Meyer Lansky, Zane Gray, and Charles Conrad are plentiful. Although many of these autographed checks can be expensive, their value would be much higher if they were not as readily available.