View Full Version : James Spence Authentication: Authenticating Memorabilia or Pushing An Agenda?

02-22-2011, 10:10 PM
We have heard people in the autograph and memorabilia collecting community say that James Spence Authentication (JSA) will fail anything that has previously been certified by any other forensic examiner. We decided to put this assertion to the test, with an unusual twist. We had several pieces certified by JSA. We then had them certified by Christopher L. Morales, Forensic Document Examiner (Chris Morales). What would JSA do with the pieces that already had JSA certifications after they also had certifications from Chris Morales? Would JSA really fail pieces it had already certified? Look at the results and you can decide for yourself what a JSA examination really amounts to. The first item is a pair of boxing trunks signed by Joe Frazier (detail below). http://www.autographalert.com/joefrazier1.jpg The piece comes with a JSA sticker affixed to it, W54017. It states that Joe Frazier signed the piece in front of a JSA staff member. It is part of their "Witnessed Protection Program," the highest guarantee JSA can give (below is the cerification). http://www.autographalert.com/joefrazier2.jpg We showed the same piece to JSA again after it had been certified by Chris Morales. The only difference is now it has a hologram and certificate from Chris Morales (see below). http://www.autographalert.com/joefrazier3.jpg http://www.autographalert.com/jsa4.jpg As seen, it is the same pair of boxing trunks. It has the same signature. What did JSA do with the piece? http://www.autographalert.com/joefrazier4.jpg That's right, they failed it. JSA gave eight reasons to explain the flaws in the JSA "Witnessed Protection Program" piece of memorabilia. Apparently, the mere presence of Chris Morales' certification has caused the JSA "Witnessed Protection Program" to grow atypical letter slant, angle and/or pitch. Did this problem occur when the JSA staff member witnessed the piece or afterwards? Not only did JSA fail the piece, but Larry Studebaker, James Spence's main authenticator, laughed out loud and said the piece was "™™™™ing horrible." Really? A piece from JSA's "Witnessed Protection Program"? According to Larry Studebaker, James Spence himself personally checks all of the items before he issued a JSA certificate. James Spence did not overrule Larry Studebaker. According to JSA, their previously witnessed piece is now a forgery.
Did the irregular letter shape and/or formation occur when Joe Frazier signed the piece in front of the JSA staff member? Did it occur after JSA put its identifying sticker on the boxing trunks? Did it occur after Chris Morales certified it?
Just what does the "guaranteed to be authentic" on the original JSA certificate mean if JSA fails its own witnessed piece? How could this happen? Would it happen again? To read the rest of the article please click the link below.


02-22-2011, 10:28 PM
Yeah I read that the other day. It makes me sick to my stomach to think how dirty that company is. I only wish they would get shut down but I doubt thats gonna happen since they will always have business coming in.

02-23-2011, 06:12 PM
I knew they were nothing but politics. Send something in Psa, maybe they will do the same thing.!?

02-23-2011, 06:30 PM
That makes it easy for me. No buying of JSA certified items. I don't currently own any JSA items but I have bid on several items and considered JSA to be a top authenticator. Any authenticator that conducts business like that is not a trustworthy authenticator IMO.

I wonder what JSA has to say about this?

EDIT: Although I wish they had submitted items certified by someone other than just Chris Morales. There could potentially be a beef between JSA and Morales that we are unaware of and JSA is just rejecting anything with his name on it. it doesn't make it right but that could be a factor.

02-23-2011, 06:49 PM
Ya its to the point I don't take JSA or PSA serious at all. I sure won't waste my money sending anything to them.

02-24-2011, 02:24 PM
Wow, that's pretty shocking to me, I've always had respect for JSA authentication. Despite Morales' reputation for pushing forgeries, JSA should still authenticate the auto and not care about the previous authenticator (no matter who it may be). Anybody know if JSA has responded to this article?

One thing to remember too is that the Autograph Alert site is run by Steve Koschal, who himself is a VERY shady character and linked to tons of autograph forgeries. The entire purpose of that site is to undermine PSA/DNA and JSA, so I tend to question the legitimacy of their articles. That said, that JSA article seemed legitimate and certainly raises serious questions about JSA.

02-24-2011, 06:06 PM
Update on this story: Looks like Koschal (publisher of Autograph Alert) is being sued by John Reznikoff (works for PSA/DNA), JSA, and R&R Auctions for libel and deceptive trade practices. Like I mentioned early, Koschal is one shady dude, and this lawsuit brings even more doubt into the validity of that article on JSA. Not taking JSA's side in this story, just trying to add to the conversation.

Link to article: http://autographmagazine.com/2011/02/steven-koschal-sued-for-libel-deception/