Regular people are not the only ones hurt by non-authentic collectibles and goods. Celebrities, businesses and brands all suffer when trading activities are dishonest. PROVA was an idea that resulted after PROVA founder, Emmitt Smith asked a single question, “How do you know it’s real?"

Several years ago, Mr. Smith entered a sports collectible store. After perusing the shelves of collectibles, he found a football helmet with his autograph on it.

Intrigued by the find, Mr. Smith took the helmet to the counter and asked the store owner how he knew the autograph on the helmet was truly Emmitt Smith’s autograph. The shop owner told Mr. Smith he had bought the helmet from a reputable source and that it had come accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Knowing the signature on the helmet was not his, Mr. Smith challenged the shop owner again and the shop owner became upset. To prove his point, Mr. Smith showed his ID to the store owner and stated that he knew the autograph wasn’t his because he was Emmitt Smith! As a result, he asked the store owner to remove all fake Emmitt Smith memorabilia from the shelves.

After experiencing this firsthand, Mr. Smith decided he needed to find a solution to solve the rampant problem of fake collectibles. From this, PROVA was born.

You can learn from Emmitt’s experience.  Consider these statistics:

  • 20 percent of all Lou Gehrig merchandise is genuine.
  • Half of all autographed memorabilia is fraudulent. 

This is just a sampling of the larger problem, however there are things you can do to ensure your collectibles purchase is legit. 

  1. Learn the signing habits of your favorite celebrities. Become aware of which companies hold their signing contracts and how much they charge for their autographs. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.Keep in mind, signature forgeries are easy money for dishonest dealers.
  2. Always ask for a certificate of authenticity. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee authenticity, but if it comes from an issuer other than what your research finds, chances are it’s a fake. Always make sure the certificate issuer is a legitimate company before buying.

PROVA wants you to have a safe collecting experience. We invite you to explore PROVA and how we can help you buy only authentic goods and collectibles.