If you are a fan of the Fab Four, or even a music memorabilia collector in general, then you know that there is no prize greater than an actual autograph signed by one or all of The Beatles.

Obtaining a Beatles autograph means that you have acquired an item that has been touched by the artist or artists themselves, and besides being an item of some historical value, can be considered a truly one of a kind collectible. For centuries thousands of notable people have been asked to give their autograph as a way to record or remember that moment when a fan or collector had the chance to meet them.

Surely the Beatles signed thousands of autographs for fans during their lifetimes, many of whom waited outside of Abbey Road studios or waited after shows to grab an autograph from a Beatle who was coming or going, with the ultimate hope of eventually collecting all four signatures. Some of these autograph hounds were successful, and over the years, some of these artifacts have presented themselves to the public.

An album or slip of paper that has been signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison or Ringo Starr, either separately or in combination is an item that brings high demand in today's collectible marketplace. As within any hobby, due to great fan interest there are also many individuals who would take advantage of unsuspecting collectors with autographs that were less than authentic.

While you don't have to learn how to authenticate autographs, you do need to be aware of who the reputable dealers, authenticators and auction places are that service the music memorabilia market. Also, it is helpful to have the knowledge of which sellers to potentially avoid, so that you are not disappointed in the end like many people jump into such a purchase without doing their due diligence.

And, as Beatles group autographs tend to sell for many thousands of dollars, it is most important for a potential buyer to be able to verify the authenticity of the autograph before purchasing.

The best way to make sure that you are indeed purchasing an authentic Beatles autograph is to either obtain it from a dealer who is an expert in the field of verifying Beatles autographs, or to buy an autograph from a dealer that has already had the item verified.

There are only a handful of true experts in the field of Beatles signature verification, with Frank Ciazzo of beatlesautographs.com being perhaps the most recognized authority. Having begun studying Beatles signed material back in 1986, he is known to have amassed a personal reference compilation of thousands of examples of Beatles signed materials, including full group and individually signed items.

Many reputable sellers will submit their autographed material to such an expert to obtain the approval and certificate of authenticity for the benefit of assuring potential buyers that the item is indeed authentic.