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AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC Authentication Process


Welcome to AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC authentication process section.  Whether you collect autographed sports memorabilia for the mere joy, for investment purposes, or both, AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC is dedicated to bringing you the most exciting sports memorabilia available on the market.  Our product line comes direct from the most prestigious sports companies in the the field that have been in business for years.  These companies have set the standard that we enjoy today in the sports memorabilia field.

Our autographed sports memorabilia is obtained from paid athlete signings and appearances from across the nation.  AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC has participated in some of these fabulous events.  We also obtain our sports memorabilia from the most reputable companies in the country.  These companies include Steiner Sports, Upper Deck Authenticated, Schwartz Sports, Mounted Memories, Locker Room Memorabilia, Athletic Promotional Events, Tri-Star, Highland Mint, Ironclad Authentics, and others. Each of these great companies have their own authentication process which we will describe here.  Even though they each have their own standards, they each have one thing in common - they witness every autograph from every athlete.  This is how they absolutely guarantee their memorabilia is authentic and that is how we can provide this guarantee also.  Each memorabilia item is accompanied by a Certificate of Authentication, tamper-proof holograms, and some come with a photo of the athlete signing the memorabilia.

We provide this information to educate our valuable customers, new and experienced collectors alike.



Steiner Sports is one of the leading sports memorabilia authorities in the market today.  They entered the sports business world in 1987.  Over the last 10 years, they have established themselves as a leading provider of sports marketing services and authentic memorabilia.

Steiner Sports is one of the leading producers of authentic hand-signed collectibles and one of the best sources for all our sports gift needs.  Autographed memorabilia by athletes like Hank Aaron, Joe Namath, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali is the hottest new solution for personal and client gifts, as well as sales incentives, employee recognition and charity fundraising auctions. 

Steiner Sports has exclusive autograph deals with Derek Jeter, Tony Hawk, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Joe Torre, Eli Manning, Tiki Barber, Paul O'Neill, and Curt Schilling among others.  

Steiner Sports has a unique process of authenticating their products.  We will describe that process here for your benefit when researching the best sports memorabilia for you.  

Each and every hand-signed collectible that carries a tamper-proof hologram is witnessed by a Steiner Sports representative.  Once the collectibles have been autographed, they are cataloged and inventoried. 

A notarized affidavit is prepared and signed by the athlete and a Steiner Sports representative.  The notarized affidavit records the date and location of the signing and also details the items that were signed by the specified athlete.  This document is then secured within the Steiner Sports main offices.  

Each hand-signed collectibles is examined for quality and signature condition.  If the collectibles meets the Steiner Sports standard of excellence a tamper-proof Steiner Sports hologram is affixed to the product.

Once the hand-signed collectible has passed the steps listed above, a Steiner Sports Certificate of Authenticity is created for the collectible.  The collectible is then sealed and stored within their main office and is not handled until it is delivered to a sports collectible enthusiast.  

Below is a sampling of the Steiner Sports Certificate of Authenticity with a view of the front and back.

If you have any questions about Steiner Sports' authentication process, please contact us or visit Steiner Sports for further information.



Upper Deck Authenticated has been committed to authenticity since the company's inception back in 1988 (that's over two decades of service).  Upper Deck revolutionized trading cards using sophisticated printing technology to improve the overall quality of products and adding a trademark hologram that prevented them from being counterfeited.

Upper Deck expanded the company's focus on authenticity in 1992 to include fine autographed sports memorabilia backed by a patented five-step authentication process which guarantees fans are receiving genuine autographs.  

The heart of the five-stop process is the company's policy that an Upper Deck representative must witness each autograph signed by any one of its stable of high-profile athletes including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Ken Griffey Jr., Peyton Manning, and Kevin Garnett to name a few.


Today Upper Deck Authenticated dedicates more resources than any other sports collectibles and memorabilia company to ensure the authenticity of its products.

At the heart of the company's patented five-step authentication process is the company's policy that an Upper Deck representative must witness each autograph signed by any one of the high-profile athletes with whom it has a relationship.  The five-step process goes like this: 

  Every autograph is witnessed by an Upper Deck Authenticated representative. After all, observation is the ONLY WAY to truly guarantee authenticity;  
  A record of the autograph session is signed by both the athlete and the UDA official and is stored in a secure permanent file;  upper-deck-2.jpg
  An Upper Deck Authenticated serial numbered hologram is affixed to each signed piece of memorabilia;  
  A certificate of authenticity is assigned to every piece of memorabilia and includes a matching hologram to the one affixed to the item; upper-deck-4.jpg 
  Every piece of signed memorabilia is packaged with a registration card. The owner has the opportunity to register the item with Upper Deck Authenticated. If for some reason the item is sold and/or transferred to a new owner, a full detailed record of the item's history is readily available.  

If you have questions about Upper Deck's authentication process, please contact us or visit Upper Deck Authenticated for further information.



 Schwartz Sports spent several years in building a brand that is recognizable and reputable in theschwartz-sports.jpg sports memorabilia industry.  Schwartz Sports is a full-service sports memorabilia and marketing company.  Schwartz Sports became the exclusive autograph distributors for legends such as Barry Sanders, Ron Santo, and Derrek Lee.

Schwartz Sports conducts hundreds of public and private signings each year, which gave them one of the most extensive selections of authentic hand-signed memorabilia from the stars of today and the heroes of yesterday.  Schwartz Sports Memorabilia, as well as memorabilia from our other suppliers, are perfect for gifts, corporate premiums, incentives, charity auctions, raffles, private sports collections, etc.

Schwartz Sports is able to guarantee that their autographed memorabilia is 100% authentic because they witness each and every signing they conducted.  They also provide a Certificate of Authenticity with each item along with matching tamper-proof holograms.  Schwartz Sprots also provides photos of the athlete signing on the majority of their memorabilia.  

In August 200schwartz-sports-hologram.jpg7, Schwartz Sports was acquired by Dreams, Inc. (owner of Mounted Memories).  With this acquistion, Schwartz Sports will be able to continue their efforts in becoming a leader in the sports memorabilia industry.     







 Locker Room Memorabilia is another leader in the sports memorabilia industry that has built a strong reputation and following.  Locker Room Memorabilia also has an extensive and stringent authentication process for their autographed sports memorabilia items. 

Locker Room Memorabilia has secured exclusvie privileges for great athletes such as Bj Upton, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Shawn Green, Ryan Zimmerman, Clay Buchholz, Justin Upton, and others.  

Locker Room Memorabilia's authentication process consist of the following steps:


Autograph Signing Process

  • Signings are witnessed by an authorized representative of Locker Room Memorabilia.
  • Photographs are taken of the athlete during the signing of products or an official letter from the agent is provided.
  • To ensure customer satisfaction, additional items may be signed by the athlete to replace smudged items, returns, and any items that do not meet our quality signature grade.

Inventory Process

  • The athlete's signature is carefully inspected to ensure the highest quality and condition.
  • A tamper-resistant hologram is affixed to the item after it has passed our high quality inspection.
  • A certificate of authenticity is then assigned to every piece of memorabilia. This will include a product identification code.
  • The code is then entered into the Locker Room Memorabilia database.
  • The item is then secured using the finest care until purchased.

Online Product Authentication


All items purchased from Locker Room Memorabilia can be found online following this simple process:

  • Enter the product identification code on your certificate where indicated in the box at the top of this page.
  • We will list the Player, Product Description, Signing Location and Signing Date.

    This will absolutely insure your item is authentic and allows you to inform potential buyers of your item.

Game Used Items

  • These items will include a Letter of Authenticity signed by the athlete OR a letter received from the agent describing how the items were obtained and describing the game used item that was signed. A photograph of the athlete signing the game used item will be included on the letter of authenticity when available.




 Mounted Memories, Inc. is another great leader in the sports memorabilia industry.  They have been serving retailers and collectors like you since 1989.  Mounted Memories is an industry leader in sports memorabilia collectibles and acrylic cases.  They've also been as a top organizer of athlete appearances.  

Mounted Memories has over 50,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturer space in Colorado and Florida.  They are also licensed as official distributors of autographed products by the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and NASCAR.

Due to the reputation that Mounted Memories has established because of their integrity and absolute commitment to authenticity, some of the greatest athletes of all time have agreed to autograph products just for Mounted Memories and their customers.  These products are not available anywhere else.  Some of these exclusive athletes include Brian Urlacher, Matt Holliday, Ben Roemounted-memories-hologram.jpgthlisberger, Dan Marino, Dick Butkus, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Archie Manning, Pete Rose, Chad Johnson, Jim Thome, and Tom Glavine. 

Mounted Memories (a division of Dreams, Inc.), provides a Certificate of Authenticity for each autographed item along with a tamper-proof hologram that can be checked on their website.  As with other great authenticators above, a representative from Mounted Memories witnesses each signing.  




Almost two decades ago, Scott Kupersmit had a vision to establish a company that could distribute autographed sports memorabilia to retailers everywhere while eliminating the problems of inflated prices and rising forgery rates.

In 1995, that vision emerged as Athletic Promotional Events, Inc. and ever since, A.P.E. has been living up to the high standards set by the President and Founder Scott Kupersmit. 

Athletic Promotional Events has been known to lead the pack in recognizing up and coming talent in professional sports.  In APE's first year of existence, it held Kevin Garnett's first sigape-coa.jpgning ever.  The following year, Athletic Promotional Events held Kobe Bryant's first signing and then it followed up in 1998 with Randy Moss' first autographed signing event.  These guys are some of the greatest athletes of our time. 

Athletic Promotional Events, Inc. stakes it reputation on every item that they sell, and authenticity is their number one priority.  Every signature has been witnessed by a company representative and is marked with their unique hologram.  Each item also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that features a photo of the athlete signing the item and a matching hologram. 

Like Steiner Sports, Upper Deck, Schwartz Sports, and the other described on this page, Athletic Promotional Events has a lifetime guarantee that each and every autograph is authentic.    



HIGHLAND MINT AUTHENTICATION PROCESShighland-mint-authorized-retailer.jpg  

 The Highland Mint is a full service mint that was established in the early 1980's. With state-of-the-art facilities housed in a 40,000 square foot building in Melbourne, Florida, their complete services allow them to take any job from start to finish.  In-house abilities include layout and design, sculpting and die making, processing of precious and non-precious metals, and stock tooling of different shapes and sizes, plus packaging and fulfillment services.

Highland Mint Art Department is headed by Caesar Rufo, one of America's foremost medallic sculptors with pieces on permanent display in every major city in the United States.  His work is also displayed at the Metropolitan Opera House Archives, the La Scala Museium in Milan, the Smithsonian Institute, The Cathedral of Washington D.C., and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, as well as at over 500 major universities and colleges around the country.

The Highland Mint currently hold licenses with Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Player's Association, Minor League Baseball, National Football League Properties, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and the National Hockey League Player's Association.  The Highland Mint has also joined forces with a number of other licensed companies to produce and/or distribute collectibles.

Through the years, the Highland Mint has expanded its production base from the bronze, silver, and gold Mint-Cards to a full line of medallions, and the company now produces and/or distributes a wide variety of fully-licensed sports and non-sports collectibles, including Mint-Coins and Photo-Mints.  The Highland Mint has also added creative elements to a number of its metal products, including mini and jumbo-sized items, color, high relief, sandblast features, and even football-shapped medallions.  All products are limited editions and are individually numbered and accompanied by Certificates of Authenticity.  Collectibles products are presented in custom jewelry boxes as well as other types of packaging.  The latest addition to our product line is the Game-Used Photo-Mint Collection. 

All of The Highland Mint precious metal products are created with the finest craftsmanship possible.  Every detail and image on each medallion is hand-sculpted into plaster, which is then transformed into a die; each medallion is struck several times before going through a variety of finishing processes.   



Ironclad Authentics prides itself for selling only properly licensed merchandise.  Their extensive experience and reputation within the collectibles industry means thatironclad-logo.jpg you can purchase highly sought after signature and non-signature products with complete comfort and satisfaction!  We guarantee it.

Ironclad's commitment has attracted great players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Don Mattingly, Nolan Ryan, and Joe Mauer.  These players have been vocal about making sure the end consumer has the ability to receive a guaranteed authentic signature from their favorite player.  For each item that we sell from Ironclad Authentics, you will receive a special Ironclad Authentics tamper-proof hologram affixed to the product and an Ironclad Authentics Certificate of Authenticity.  Each and every hand-signed collectible that carries their hologrm is witnessed by an Ironclad Authentics representative. 

Each Ironclad Authentics tamper proof hologram is equipped with a unique serial number that can be verified online.  


MLB AUTHENTICATION mlb-logo.jpg   


 The Major League Baseball Authentic Program has set the standard for sports memorabilia authentication.  Major League Baseball has implemented a program that easily distinguishes authenticated autographs and game-used memorabilia from other items on the market.  

The program - which combines the services of an independent third-party authenticator with a state-of-the-art hologram, a serial numbering system and an online verification process - guarantees Major League Baseball fans that the items they acquire are 100% authentic. 

Posting on

Each item and its unique identification number is processed and posted on the official program web site - - for easy reference by consumers.  Soon collectors will be able to register their authenticated items online for proof of possession. 

Assignment of unique id number

Once witnessed, every item will be affixed with a tamper-proof holograms created by OpSec, U.S. to identify its Major League Baseball authenticity.  




 Sports Memorabilia Safeguards

There are hundreds of sports memorabilia companies attempting to stake claim to the high demand of the sports memorabilia market.  If you search Google, Bing, or Yahoo, you will receive probably millions of hits to choose from.

Interest in sports related items have grown tremendously over the last few years.  This ranges from autographed sports memorabilia to unautographed sports-related items including baseballs, football, basketballs, photos, pucks, and jerseys.  Some of these items can literally costs thousands of dollars.  Most of these items are considered investments as they could increase in value when athletes become more well-known, be inducted into the Hall of Fame, appear in championship games, retire, die, etc.

With so many companies vying for your business, and so many individuals craving these items, there is bound to be businesses designed specifically to fraud the customer.  Recently, a San Diego federal judge sentenced several sports autograph forgers to prison.  The judge state, "Life, liberty and the pursuit of the national pastime, has been undone."  This court trial stemmed from a FBI investigation known as "Operation Bullpen".  This investigation consisted of 60 search warrants, 2 dozen individuals arrested, and a warehouse with 10 million dollars worth of forged merchandise seized.  This was a professional criminal organization that sold forged autographed to unbeknownst consumers.  Can you imagine how much 10 million dollars worth of inventory is?  If they had that much in inventory, how much did they sell?

Unfortunately, the majority of these items are probably still out there and the owners are unaware that they have a fraudulent item.

The Assistant U.S. Attorney (Phil Halpren) who prosecuted the case stated that fraud is so pervasive in the sports memorabilia market.  He claims that odds are greater then 50% that your memorabilia is fake unless you actually observed the athlete sign the item.  He also commented, If you are looking at a Mark McGuire signature, it's almost a gurantee, 99.9% it is a forgery."  It should be known that Certificates of Authenticity can also be fabricated just as easily as the autographed item itself.

The most well respected sports memorabilia companies are fighting this fraud by implementing more security measures on their autographed stock.  One of these security measures is the hologram.  These holograms are encrypted with the item's identifying information and package seals.  Obviously, your most sophisticated forgers can still produce holographic images that appear to be geniune upon casual inspection.  However, the major companies are implementing more sophisticated anti-forgery systems to combat these criminals.  Some of these companies are also providing photos and/or video of the signing itself.

What can consumers do to mitigate their chances of becoming victims of these thugs?  First of all, consumers must use some common sense when purchasing anything whether it is from the Internet or from a retail store.  If it is too good to be true, then it probably is a fake and is too good to be true.  Do some research with several companies that sell authentic autographed memorabilia and determine what the market price is for a particular item.  If the fair market value averages to $1,000, don't buy the exact item that is selling for $200.  More then likely, the $200 item is going to be fraudulent.  This dollar amount is well below the market value of the item. 

If the consumer wants to buy an item that was signed by a legend that played in the early 1900's and was signed during that time, be aware of what type of writing utensil was used during the signing.  Obviously, if the item was signed with a Sharpie pen, then the items is a fake as there were no Sharpie pens during that time. 

During the trial and investigation mentioned above, Phil Halpren commented, "I have seen Babe Ruth balls signed on a Bobby Brown American League President ball.  So, you know, he was president in the early 80's.  That's impossible to have been done.  But someone did it."  In other words, be aware of the type of product that was present during the lifetime of the athlete. 

Be very careful and only purchase from reputable dealers.  The top sports memorabilia companies includes the likes of Steiner Sports, Upper Deck Memorabilia, Locker Room Memorabilia, Schwartz Sports, Mounted Memories, Ironclad Authentics, Tri-Star, Frozen Pond, Real Deal, and SuperStar Greetings.  These companies do have contracts with several "resellers".  These resellers are allowed to sale the memorabilia at a price lower then the retail value (at times), however, they have to follow MAP guidelines.  Basically, this means that the items can not be sold below a certain price.  If these companies catch one of their resellers selling below the MAP guideline, they can and will revoke their reseller contract.  These companies use holographic images and some use a numbering system in order for it to be identified later.

AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC is one of these resellers/retailers.  Our authentic autographed sports memorabilia items come directly from the sources above.  Each and every item has been authenticated by the above companies and comewith Certificates of Authenticities.  Our items are guaranteed for life to be authentic.  If for any reason, your item is declared to be non-authentic, your money is returned in its entirety.  We trust these companies as they have been around for many years and they are well known for their contributions to the sports memorabilia field.  They will not risk their status by providiing fraudulent memorabilia.

Before you invest, do some research.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

We wish you luck and happiness in pursuing your collecting endeavors and we hope that you find what you are looking for.  Don't forget that collecting authentic autographed sports memorabilia is actually an investment and these precious items can be handed down to generations to come. 

Our speciality is Authentic Autographed Sports Memorabilia.  Visit our site at AAA Sports Memorabilia LLC to view and purchase these great collectibles.

We hope that the information on this page has been helpful in making your decision about buying autographed sports memorabilia.  We are proud to be part of this fabulous industry and to be able to provide you the lowest prices from the most trusted and reputable companies in the world.