PSA’s Jumbo Holders: To Protect and Preserve4 min read

PSA Offers New Way to Protect, Preserve and Display Your Favorite Signed and ‘Original’ Photos

There are plenty of collectors who amass signed 8” x 10” photos of their favorite stars. This represents their way of connecting with their idols and depending on who they might collect, it could be one of the more economical pursuits within the hobby.

An original, Type I photo like this one of New York Jets QB Joe Namath earns PSA’s red label.

For example, a mass produced 8” x 10” color photo signed by one of the NFL’s newly selected draft picks – take New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, for instance – will certainly not command the same buy-in price as, say, a signed “Type I” photo taken in 1951 of the late, great New York Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. A Type I photo, for the record, is defined as a 1st generation photograph, developed from the original negative during the period (within approximately two years) of when the photo was taken.

For archival purposes, perhaps the collector has placed his or her photos in neatly arranged binders, housed inside clear, one-pocket style pages. Or, maybe each of the photos has been placed behind glass, inside individual frames that are now decorating somebody’s man cave or office walls.

But now, collectors have yet another option with which to preserve and display their favorite 8” x 10” signed photos and original photos. It comes via “jumbo holders” that are now available through PSA. The oversized holders will encapsulate the prized photos and offer collectors not only a way to preserve the photo and its authentic signature, but a very cool way to display it.

An authentic autographed photo that’s not classified as an original photo gets PSA’s blue label treatment.

Photos are sonically sealed inside a hard-plastic case, just like a PSA authenticated and graded trading card, with the outer dimensions of each jumbo holder measuring 9.73” wide by 13.21” high by 0.322” thick. The insert sizes, however, can vary depending upon the item that is being encapsulated, and will include the standard inner size of 8.5” x 11” as well as 8.5” x 10.5,” 7.5” x 9.5” and 6.25” x 8.25.” For this reason, the jumbo holders can easily house the very popular 8” x 10” sized photos. As for displaying the jumbo holders, just make sure your stacked shelves are positioned vertically more than 14 inches apart and you’re home free.

As part of the encapsulation service, PSA utilizes its established red labels on all original photos, whether signed or unsigned. Autographed photos that are not classified as original photographs receive PSA’s blue label. Rest assured, the photograph’s pertinent information (subject’s name, classification type, size, era, etc.) is easily referenced on the encapsulated label including its unique certification number. The differentiation and classification of photographs is key. There are distinguishing characteristics that define the differences between Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV photographs, so make sure you understand what it is you’re submitting. PSA does offer jumbo holder encapsulation of important documents and oversized cards as well, but for purposes of this blog post, the content here will focus solely on photos.

This dual-signed, Type I photo showing Yankee greats Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth gets PSA’s red label and presents beautifully inside a jumbo holder.

Each submitted photograph is examined to determine if it was made from the original negative, a duplicate negative or a wire transmission. The stampings on the reverse of the photograph are identified to date the photograph to the approximate era of production. There are a couple of important questions you will need to ask before submitting an aged photo:

  • Is the photo a first-generation image from the period or was the photo generated 10, 20 or even 50 years later?
  • Is it an original news service photo made from the original negative or a wire photo printed off a teletype machine?

Knowing the difference in time between the date the photo was taken and the date the photo was printed from the original negative is what might separate a $3,000+ Type I photo from a $100 Type IV photo. And if you’re just not sure, that’s okay, too. Simply submit to PSA’s professionals to be certain. Let the experts at PSA do the work for you. Naturally, Type I photos are the most desirable and valuable of the four photograph types because of their vintage and originality.

The retail pricing for each photo encapsulation is $30, not including the autograph authentication fee. Encapsulated pricing for original photos, however, will cost more. See Original Photo Authentication fees for details. For the record, encapsulated items do not normally receive a Letter of Authenticity (LOA), PSA/DNA tamper-evident certification sticker or DNA daub. Collectors may, however, request both the encapsulation and the LOA for an additional fee of $10. The choice is entirely up to you.

Posted by Terry Melia

Terry Melia is a hobby veteran who has served in various PR and marketing roles for industry movers and shakers including The Upper Deck Company and SCP Auctions and is currently working as PSA's Public Relations and Content Specialist.

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