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To a sports fanatic, a piece of sports memorabilia may qualify as an MVP: most valuable possession. Whether the item holds monetary or sentimental value, people who care deeply about sports and their teams spend big dollars to obtain a coveted piece of memorabilia. Collectibles run the gamut from rare trading cards, to signed photographs, to pieces of a uniform or an entire NASCAR race car. 

Since collectable pieces can vary so widely in quality and price, a set of guiding factors is used to determine relative worth in individual situations. Depending on what kind of sports memorabilia is being authenticated, the “key value factors” used to ascertain quality can also vary. If a piece is signed, there needs to be a way to establish provenance. If the piece is a photo, size matters, as does the quality of the paper. Is an item framed? Mounted? In a Plexiglas case? These are all important factors to determine how much an item is worth. If the piece is a trading card, the brand needs to be established. The best way is via a reputable card-grading service. If any collectible piece has already been authenticated by a professional company, that authentication becomes a key value factor as well.

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