Autographs Make Great Gifts

Do you know someone who’s gaga over a particular celebrity? Wouldn’t they enjoy one of that person’s autographs?

Have you ever considered giving people autographs as gifts? Not your own autograph, of course — unless you’re a hotshot celebrity, or it’s on a check (or both). Nope, here’s what I mean…

There’s an episode of the TV series “The Big Bang Theory” in which Penny gives Sheldon a used napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy, Sheldon’s idol. The gift renders Sheldon speechless, for once.

That’s what I mean.

Now, That’s a Wow! Gift

While your giftee may not be intrigued by the possibilities of cloning Mr. Spock (as Sheldon was in the example above), imagine how your nephew or sister or Dad would feel if you gave them something signed by their celebrity idol, whoever that person may be.

You’ve got a world of possibilities, from simple signed slips of paper to signed photos (a fan favorite) to autographed sports or fandom memorabilia.

Got a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” action figure, still in the box, that might appeal to someone you know? They’ll love it more if you get it signed by the actor who was the model for that figure. So keep an eye out for sci-fi and media conventions in your area!

Venues

In addition to live events where the celebrities might appear and sign things (which are surprisingly common), you can often buy signatures at specialty memorabilia stores. Card shops, for example, might carry everything from autographed baseball cards to Magic: the Gathering cards signed by the artists.

Who counts as a celebrity often depends on the person defining “celebrity,” after all. Some of those Magic cards can go for a pretty penny, signed or not.

Physical auctions are a decent source, though you’ll probably find it easier to locate autographed memorabilia on eBay and similar online auction houses. There’s always the possibility of fraud, so stick to auctions that offer photos of the exact autographed item you’re buying — and inspect it carefully when it arrives.

Pricing

While you’re not going to find a baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio for less than a few thousand bucks, celebrity autographs and autographed items don’t have to cost a fortune. It depends on whom you’re talking about, how popular they are now, and how common the item is.

I have a friend who purchased a photograph signed by Mary Badham, the woman who played Scout Finch in the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” as a girl, for around $45 about five years ago. Ms. Badham isn’t hugely well known now, but my friend loved the movie and treasured the photo.

So as you can see, even if you can’t help someone clone Spock, you can at least make their day with autographs from their favorite celebs!