Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had little time or interest in signing autographs for fans.
But if you are in possession of the rare exception, you have a signature considered the most valuable, according to a guide that tracks the values of the most sought-after autographs.
The 2018 Paul Fraser Collectibles Autograph Index shows Jobs’ autographs worth more than $50,000. That’s more than any living or dead members of the Beatles and even more expensive than the late Stephen Hawking.
Steve Jobs autograph hard to come by
“Steve Jobs and Stephen Hawking’s signatures are incredibly rare,” wrote Daniel Wade of Palo Fraser Collectibles’. Jobs was a reluctant signer, always maintaining that Apple was a team effort. Only a handful of genuine Stephen Hawking hand-signed books exist, mostly from the 70s before Hawking’s illness made it impossible for him to write. You’re more likely to see Hawking’s thumbprint signatures, which are generally far cheaper. Hawking’s death in March 2018 has seen demand for both types of his signature surge.”
“For years the baby boomers have driven autograph prices. Now we’re starting to see the influence of the children of the 80s and 90s. They’re the ones who grew up with Kurt Cobain on their wall, who remember when JK Rowling published the first Harry Potter book, and who watched Steve Jobs unveil the original iPod in 2001. They’re now wage-earning adults, starting to get nostalgic for their youth, and wanting to own a piece of that youth.”
Jobs’ autograph (he often signed in all lower-case letters) has been the best performing signature in the 18 years of the Index’s publication. It has gone up in value by more than 27 percent since 2000. It also rose 14 percent in value over the last year, according to the index.
A signed book by Hawking is worth just over $38,000, according to the index. Signatures by James Dean, Bruce Lee and Marilyn Monroe in the past year have fetched around half that amount.
The most valuable autograph among the living is musician Paul McCartney, also known to decline autograph requests. His is just over $3,700.