On the surface, some might say that collecting autographs isn’t as impressive as collecting, say, coins. After all, an autograph doesn’t have an intrinsic value the way that metal does. What rare autograph collectors know, however, is that there’s simply nothing like owning something that a person you admire has touched and signed—it’s a personal connection with someone who has made an impact on society. Autograph collectors recognize this, and that’s why we’re willing to pay good money for signatures. But, which are the most valuable autographs in history?
Who on earth is Button Gwinnett and why are people willing to pay $150,000 for his autograph? Mr. Gwinnett signed the Declaration of Independence, which is part of what makes his signature so valuable. The other factors contributing to the worth of his autograph include the scarcity of his signature and his lurid death. Gwinnett died when his political career could only be described as “nascent,” so there aren’t very many examples of his handwriting. He died of gangrene from a wound sustained during a duel, which makes for a fantastic backstory.
In 1991, someone paid $748,000 for Lincoln’s autograph and it’s easy to see why. President Lincoln played a huge role in shaping the history of the United States.
Shakespeare’s autograph is also worth a fortune for obvious reasons. During his life, William Shakespeare was just another playwright. His relative anonymity, combined with the fact that he died several centuries ago, means that very few examples of his handwriting still exist. There are a mere six Shakespeare autographs that we know to be legitimate, and a single one of those is worth £2.5 million.
Jimi Hendrix had a brief life and an even shorter career, and his autograph is all the more precious for it. One example of Hendrix’s signature has been valued at £41,000. This is very impressive for a man who lived so recently!
If you’re interested in collecting autographs, then you should visit Coins of the Realm in Rockville. In addition to dealing in autographs, Coins of the Realm also acts as a coin dealer, a gold coin dealer, and a precious metals dealer. For more information, call (301) 340-1640 today.