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Fauxtography Foul Play: The Michael Jordan Jersey Scam Exposed

Fauxtography Foul Play: The Michael Jordan Jersey Scam Exposed

An intricate scheme involving the creation of a fictitious foundation under the name of a deceased photographer has cast doubt on the authenticity of a game-used Michael Jordan jersey according to senior sports business reporter Darren Rovell.

In this article published on August 31st, The Action Network has uncovered this elaborate deception, revealing a fraudulent attempt to inflate the value of the collectible through false authentication.

The Tony Ranze Foundation played a pivotal role in providing research materials used to authenticate the jersey. If legitimate, this authentication could have significantly boosted the jersey’s value, which was initially sold for nearly $27,000, potentially soaring to over a million dollars. However, it has come to light that the Tony Ranze Foundation is non-existent and was established by an individual unconnected to the Ranze family.

Following the sale of the Jordan jersey, which had been listed by Grey Flannel Auctions as game-used but lacked a photomatch to any specific game, an individual representing the new owner sought authentication from MeiGray, a leading authority on photomatching in the collectibles industry. Photomatching involves confirming the authenticity of a collectible by matching imperfections with archival videos or photos.

The representative claimed to possess never-before-seen photos from the Tony Ranze Foundation that purportedly proved the jersey’s connection to Games 3 and 4 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals. These photos were allegedly acquired directly from the Foundation. Relying solely on these provided photos, MeiGray authenticated the jersey, dating it to the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals—a potentially game-changing revelation as no Jordan playoff jersey from that season had previously entered the market, making this $27,000 collectible potentially worth exponentially more.

However, in light of the Action Network’s investigative findings, MeiGray has retracted its certificate of authenticity due to concerns about the photographs provided. They have initiated further research into these images and informed the buyer of the change.

The emergence of a fake foundation and the use of purportedly doctored photos have cast a shadow of doubt over the authenticity of a valuable Michael Jordan jersey, leaving collectors and the sports memorabilia community in a state of uncertainty regarding the true history of this collectible.

Benefits of Collecting

Benefits of Collecting

music memorabilia & the Benefits of Collecting

Music memorabilia has captivated fans for decades with its profound cultural and historical significance. Surprisingly, this asset class often remains overlooked by investors, despite recent events that have showcased the tremendous potential within the collectibles industry.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of diving into the world of music memorabilia, whether you’re an enthusiastic novice or a seasoned investor. From its potential as an alternative investment and store of value, to its pivotal role in safeguarding an artist’s legacy, let’s uncover some of the treasures in this compelling realm.


In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the interest surrounding music memorabilia.

This rise in popularity can be attributed, in part, to the consistent appreciation of value that music memorabilia has demonstrated over time. While traditional investments like stocks and real estate undoubtedly have their merits, collectibles, particularly in the realm of music, establish a profound connection to something deeply personal and meaningful for their owner. Not only do these treasures hold sentimental value, but they also have the potential to appreciate financially as time goes by. As a unique and finite asset, investing in music memorabilia can provide a hedge against inflation. As time progresses, the rarity of these coveted items only increases, making them increasingly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Elvis’ 1942 Martin D-18 guitar — which he owned from 1954 to 1956 was sold for $1.32 million in 2016. The guitar was played by Presley during his early career, and it is considered to be one of the most iconic instruments in rock and roll history.
Bob Dylan’s original lyrics for “Like a Rolling Stone” were sold for $2.045 million in 2014 . The lyrics were written in pencil on four sheets of notebook paper, and they are considered to be one of the most important pieces of music manuscript in history.


One of the most remarkable aspects of collecting music memorabilia is the opportunity it provides to actively partake in an artist’s enduring legacy. By owning a piece of an artist’s history, you become part of their story and contribute to preserving their influence for generations to come. 

Imagine showcasing an autographed poster from a legendary concert or owning a wardrobe item worn during an iconic performance. These artifacts not only evoke memories but also allow you to share in the magic that made an artist’s music resonate with millions.

Michael Jackson’s iconic crystal glove, represents Jackson’s indelible mark on music and pop culture.
Owning a signed item from The Beatles is owning a piece of rock and roll history and can be a very powerful and emotional experience. 

As these artists continue to create music and solidify their legacies, the demand for items associated with them can soar, subsequently driving up their value in the secondary market.

If you’re a fan of a musician who has been steadily building a following over the years and is now starting to gain mainstream recognition. You might consider investing in items related to that musician now, while they’re still relatively under the radar, with the hope that their success will continue to grow ultimately leading to an increase in the value of those items over time.

Of course, there’s always an inherent degree of risk involved in any investment, and the music industry is no exception. There’s no guarantee that an artist will continue to be successful, and even if they do, there’s no certainty that the items you collect will increase in value. Building a diverse collection that includes items from a variety of artists and genres can help mitigate the risk of any one item or artist falling short of expectations.

Fortunately, the market for music memorabilia is experiencing rapid growth, presenting numerous promising opportunities.

So, if you’re a music enthusiast seeking a means to invest your funds or simply looking to express your love for your favorite artists, delving into the world of music memorabilia is a great option.

With so many benefits to offer, there is no reason not to kick start your collection today.


It is never too late to begin your journey. Remember, today’s legends were once emerging artists too. While some collectors may focus on rare or vintage items, there’s a particularly rewarding aspect to consider: investing in memorabilia from musicians who are still alive and steadily paving their way towards legendary status.

Authentication vs Grading

Authentication vs Grading

Whether you’re a fan who’s exploring the realm of collectibles, or a seasoned collector, it is important to understand that when it comes to memorabilia, two crucial aspects are usually considered: Authentication and Grading. Understanding why both are important and how they are different is a fundamental skill.


Authentication is the process of verifying the authenticity or genuineness of an item. In the music collectibles market, where counterfeit items are known to circulate and proliferate, it is vital to authenticate every piece you consider adding to your collection. It involves examining various aspects of the item, such as its physical characteristics, materials used, signatures, markings, and any accompanying documentation or provenance. The goal of authentication is to determine whether the item is indeed what it claims to be. Experts or third-party authentication services are typically involved in this process, utilizing their knowledge, and access to reference materials and databases to make an informed judgment or in most cases, a guess. In response to the numerous cases of fraudulent behavior, new authentication standards have been introduced that combine various layers of technology and human observation to create authentication processes that are nearly impossible to replicate.


Grading focuses on assessing the condition or quality of an item. Grading is often associated with collectibles like trading cards, coins, stamps, or comic books, where there are often a high number of the same item produced and therefore the item’s physical state significantly impacts its value and desirability. Graders evaluate various factors such as the item’s overall condition, potential damage, wear and tear, completeness, and any flaws or imperfections to assign them a grade (based on a standardized scale) that reflects their condition. Grading allows collectors to understand the condition of their memorabilia and aids in determining its value and desirability. While traditional authentication validates the provenance of an item to a certain level, grading provides an objective assessment of an item’s physical state regardless of its history. Both processes can provide valuable information to collectors and potential buyers, helping them make informed decisions about the value and legitimacy of what they own or what they are looking to purchase.
It’s worth noting that different types of memorabilia may have specific authentication and grading procedures associated with them, and as a collector you should avoid basing your authentication solely on opinions or estimates, which can be subjective and lack the necessary expertise. By establishing the item’s provenance and verifying its connection to a specific artist or event, legitimate authentication offers peace of mind that you own a genuine piece of [music] history that will maintain value.
The Realest is the first dedicated marketplace and authentication standard for music memorabilia. Sourcing items directly from artists and powered by cutting edge authentication technology and blockchain-based provenance, The Realest is making it easier and safer for fans and collectors to own a real piece of music history. Find out more on