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Lamination

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,681
When I was a kid, I remember our elementary school had a lamination machine and if I recall, they would let us laminate things at least once, if not time to time. I still have a 1978 Topps Pete Rose that was "professionally" laminated. I say that because after I discovered lamination, I later discovered contact paper. I became a self-laminating machine, laminating numerous cards with clear contact paper that I cut myself. You think those 70s Hostess cards are cut bad...

Anyway, my point to bringing this up related to laminating collectibles. It is obviously bad to laminate cards that have decent value (or any card, for that matter), even though it helps preserve the condition to a certain extent. I have also seen photos, newspapers and posters that got laminated. Again, this preserves the condition of the items, but now they are encased in plastic. This certainly can and usually does hurt collectibility and future value.

What do you think about laminted autographs? The item was still signed by the person, but you can't touch the ink any longer (that does sound weird and I no, I don't rub my autographs). it was not all that uncommon in the 50s and before for someone to place some clear tape over autographs. often they sell that way. Balls were shellacked to preserve them. I know a clean ball is obviously worth more, but a shellacked ball still sells. I just bought two 8x10 autographs of Garvey that appear to be laminated. These would not be the first. I have at least 2-3, if not a few more photos, usually 8x10, that were laminated at some point. I was not overly happy about it when I didn't know, but I have come to accept it. Now, I specifically bought 2 knowing full well they were laminated. Perhaps it would help to know I only paid $5 per photo, which is not all that much of a discount from a current 8x10 image signed by Garvey. They are plentiful and can often be had for $10 or less before s/h.

Anyone have any opinions one way or the other on laminated signatures (on anything from cards to posters) or even cards in general? Anyone own any themselves and why do you have them or why did you buy them that way if that is the case? Do you see this ever being an accepted way to preserve collectibles?
 

finestkind

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2008
2,561
Boston
I wouldn't buy a card that was laminated. It doesn't look right. I don't collect autographs. But, if I did and knew the autograph was 100% real and would keep it and never sell it. I would laminate them. They wouldn't fade or get damaged. Most other people would say the autograph is ruined.
 

EtherealSOC

Member
Dec 31, 2012
142
Nova Scotia, Canada
You started this post with a memory so I'll contribute one too: Back in Grade 7 (1994) my science teacher took some cards out of a Tuff Stuff magazine and laminated them to use them as student rewards. It only happened once or twice that year, but the students who did well on a pop quiz could pick out a reward from a small group of items. I knew the Justice was in there and waited my turn and was so happy when it was still there when I got to pick. I still have that 1991 Tuff Stuff card of David Justice in my collection - laminated, so it stands out from the others.

As for deliberately laminating cards, autographs, etc. to preserve them and their value, I would think that any change to a card that cannot be undone (like laminating) is a bad idea. You can take a graded card and in fifty years decide to take it out of the case and no harm done. In my experience you can't un-laminate a laminated card so I would say in most cases it's a bad idea, nostalgia notwithstanding.
 

WizardofOz1982

Active member
Sep 30, 2017
858
Oklahoma
I wouldn't want a laminated card, EtherealSOC's cool childhood story or a Honus Wagner T206 type card excepted, but I honestly wouldn't have an issue with a laminated 8x10 auto'd photo. That would be especially true of stuff signed in the 70s or 80s when everyone thought lamination was a good idea for preservation. I wouldn't pay unlaminated prices for it but I wouldn't shy away either if it was an auto I needed for my collection.

I don't see it ever being an accepted method of preservation at this point. There are cases out there for just about every size item imaginable that don't permanently damage the item if removed.
 

nevermore

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
3,164
New York
Nowadays, there are better ways to preserve cards/autographs making lamination unnecessary.

If it was discounted enough, I wouldn't mind buying vintage autographs/cards at the right price. I would factor it into the price like any other flaw... creases, rips, tears, etc.
 

gracecollector

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
6,486
Lake in the Hills, IL
I wonder if putting a card in a penny sleeve and then laminating it would allow you to cut it out in the future and remove the card. or if the heat would cause the penny sleeve to fuse to card?
 

matfanofold

Active member
Aug 10, 2008
7,645
I remember "laminating" my favorite cards as a kid with clear scotch tape. My favorite at the time was a 1972 topps Pete Rose, but my lamination included cards such as 1970 Willie Mays, 1974 Mike Schmidt, 1968 Tom Seaver, and the list goes on...

No idea what happened to them, but would love to still have them :)
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,681
I wonder if putting a card in a penny sleeve and then laminating it would allow you to cut it out in the future and remove the card. or if the heat would cause the penny sleeve to fuse to card?
I would have to say it would fuse the sleeve to the card. The machine we have at work gets quite hot.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,681
Well, the Garvey photos arrived today and I guess the good news is they were not laminated after all. They were mounted onto hard cardboard, but that is fine.
 

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