Signed sports items are great collectible items and can make a very special and unique gift for the sports fan in your life.
However, autographs are also subject to a high level of fraud, so how can you be certain that the item you’re buying has a genuine signature?
This is where a Tristar hologram can help. In this article, we will look at what a Tristar hologram is and how it authenticates autographs.
Who Is Tristar?
Tristar Productions Inc. specializes in producing and authenticating autographed sports memorabilia as well as organizing and running events for sports collectibles.
The company was founded in Houston, Texas in 1987 and quickly became the industry leader in its field within the United States.
On the events side of things, Tristar has produced several large-scale conventions and exhibitions such as the International Hockey League All-Star Ice Fest, the National Sports Collector Conventions, and Wrestlemania AXXESS.
Tristar is also well known for acting as an agent for obtaining genuine sports autographs.
The company is the exclusive autograph agent for legendary athletes such as Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Jeff Bagwell, and Craig Biggio. In an average year, Tristar manages more than 300 signing sessions.
The Need For Authentication
When selling autographed sports memorabilia, it is of vital importance that the signature is authentic and that buyers can purchase the signature with confidence that they are getting the real deal.
When attending a convention to meet your favorite sports star and get their autograph, you can be certain that the signature is real. After all, you witnessed the autograph personally.
However, if you later need to sell that autograph to a third party, proving the authenticity of the autograph can become difficult. It’s also difficult to know if an autograph you’re buying from a third party is authentic.
This problem only became worse as online shopping and trades became more popular.
A quick visit to a reseller site such as eBay will provide thousands of signed trading cards, baseballs, or football jerseys, but how do you know that the autographs are authentic?
This is why an authentication system is so important.
By being able to independently authenticate that the autograph is real, customers can confidently spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on signed sports memorabilia.
One of the leading companies in authenticating sports autographs is Tristar.
What Is A Tristar Hologram?
Many pieces of autographed sports memorabilia will have a Tristar hologram attached. This is a small sticker attached to the item that confirms it has been authenticated as real by a Tristar representative.
On the left-hand side of the sticker are the Tristar logo and a seven-digit code that is unique to that item. On the right-hand side are a QR code and a holographic background.
The hologram is designed so that any attempt to tamper with it will be obvious. It’s made from several layers which include an aluminum layer with the hologram, two layers of adhesive, and a top layer of transparent film.
If someone tries to peel off the hologram, the hologram will be destroyed and all that will be left behind is a residue in the form of a honeycomb.
There is no way to repair the hologram once it has been damaged.
How Do Items Get A Tristar Hologram?
Unlike some other authentication companies that might authenticate or grade items that are already signed, Tristar will only authenticate autographs that a Tristar representative has personally witnessed.
When an athlete signs an item at a Tristar event or private signing, it is under the close supervision of a representative from Tristar who then sticks a unique hologram to the item.
How Do I Authenticate A Hologram?
As stated earlier, each Tristar hologram has a unique seven-digit number. When a signing is completed, the details of the signed item are linked to this number and it is all entered into the Tristar database and verification system.
To authenticate your item, simply go to tristarauthentic.com, enter the seven-digit code from the hologram, and the online verification system will confirm the details of the autograph.
This means that if you are buying a signed item from a third party and it has a Tristar hologram, you can quickly check if it is authentic before you buy.
If the verification system confirms the details, you can be certain that the autograph is legitimate and was signed under the supervision of Tristar.
What About Older Items?
The hologram and online verification system for authenticating signed sports memorabilia only started in January 2001. If your item was signed before that date, it will not be present on the database even if it is genuine.
Older autographs might come with a paper certificate of authenticity (COA) which will confirm the autograph is genuine and give a few more details about when and where the signing took place and who witnessed it.
If it doesn’t have a COA or you are unsure if the COA is genuine, we would recommend that you contact a company that authenticates already signed items to check if it is likely to be legitimate or not.
Do Tristar Give Certificates of Authenticity?
No, they don’t. The hologram and online authentication system replaced the need for paper COAs which can be easily lost or damaged.
There is no need for a COA as the hologram acts in its place and ensures that there will always be a permanent record of authenticity.
The Tristar hologram is attached to signed items of sports memorabilia to confirm that the autograph is real. Each hologram has a unique seven-digit number that can be checked online.
If you’re looking to buy an autographed item by a top-class athlete and it has a Tristar hologram, authenticate it on their website before you buy.
This is free to do and if the details match, you can be certain that the autograph is genuine.
The Tristar hologram is an easy and reliable system that protects buyers from fraudulent autographs.