How Death Affects Signed Memorabilia Value
Posted January 12, 2016

In the world of sports memorabilia collecting, events during the life of an athlete aren’t the only triggers that can affect the demand and value of their signed items. Events after death have been known to revive—no pun intended—an interest in the athlete’s memorabilia possibly even decades after their passing.

It’s no secret that there are many factors that can affect the value of a signed memorabilia item. From the time they are signed until the time of the athlete’s death, value can fluctuate quite a bit. But in the single event of death, a signed item can sometimes skyrocket in value, doubling—sometimes even tripling—in worth.

However, that’s not the case every time. Plenty of athletes’ signed memorabilia see no change whatsoever after their death. In fact there are many instances in which the value of their autograph may even decline.

 But there’s more behind this than just plain old chance. The signing habits of an athlete during their lifetime have a lot to do with the trends that will take on after their death. For example, athletes that were known for signing often may not see a value change in their memorabilia because their signature isn’t exactly scare in the sports memorabilia collecting market.  Just as some may not see a change, others may see a big boost for opposite reasons.

But the specific event of death isn’t the only thing that can affect value after death. While this is typically the time when there is most likely and most often an increase, there are plenty of events that follow death that can trigger a change in value such as induction into a hall of fame, scandal, new discovery or really anything that could re-arouse an interest in an athlete’s career. But while this may only result in a temporary change for some, there are those who were regarded as icons who often continue seeing an increase in the value of their memorabilia.

Whether athletes do it on purpose or not, each athlete has different signing habits that any wise collector is better off keeping track of than not. While no one can say for sure why each works the way that they do, one thing is certain: it can’t hurt to be on the lookout for newsworthy events that could take your collection value to the next level.

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