Protecting Your Sports Memorabilia, Part 1

nolan ryan framed autographed printAfter investing your time and money on autographed memorabilia, it’s important to protect it. If you don’t, your collectible items can get damaged over time. Autographed photos can yellow or discolor, while signatures fade, collect dust, scratch, and even tear. Damage to your item will significantly decrease its worth and, in some instances, can cause it to lose all of its value.

You’ll surely agree, protecting your sports memorabilia is an important investment to make!

One way to protect your autographed photos and jerseys is with custom framing. Many companies offer custom framing, but most don’t understand the special considerations involved in framing sports memorabilia collectibles. While they may provide an array of frame and matting options, they do not use the right materials to ensure sure your collectible stays preserved.

For instance, when it comes to matting options, you need to insist on using acid-free materials. If they use a paper mat with a high acid content, the portion of the photo touching the mat will turn yellow or discolor. Therefore, I always suggest requesting a suede acid-free mat. Suede is a better option because the matte’s colors will stand out better. Make sure the backing-board they use (to help secure your picture) is also acid-free.

Always remember — it’s important to inquire about the materials being used to frame your collectible!

Dan Marino Signed Framed PrintThe same principles apply to framing a Jersey. If you do not use proper materials, its colors will eventually fade. One big concern is how it will be mounted. For instance, you should never use staples or pins to mount a jersey on the backboard. Sewing it down using thread is always the best option as threads will not pull, rip, or stretch a jersey’s fabric.

When it comes to the glass (or plexiglass/acrylic), getting UV protection is your best option. Glass and Plexi both come in UV forms. It is more expensive but worth it. That said, if you do not choose a UV option, it’s not the end of the world. UV helps ensure the signature gets protected from the light. If you use standard glass or Plexi, make sure your custom framed piece is not facing any direct light. That one consideration will considerably help preserve the life of your signature.

emit smith signed framed printIt is imperative to find the right framer for your sports memorabilia photos and jerseys. Choose one who has professional experience working with autographed memorabilia. Also, shop around for a good price. Custom Framing is the most expensive framing decision you’ll make. Many framers are overpriced. Some even use cheap materials while charging premium prices. When you talk to them, ask lots of questions and do your research. We offer custom framing at Gameday Connexion and would be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have.

Be sure to read next week’s article, part two in this series on how to protect your sports memorabilia. We will discuss presentation cases for displaying footballs, baseballs, helmets, etc.

In the meantime, check out for further information, to read old blog posts, to view upcoming signings, and to find everything to assist in building your sports collection.

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