VIN or Watermark identification for Comics?
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Curious if anyone has heard of a way to identify comics of value with some sort of Watermark or a comics related "VIN" number, similar to what is used for cars?  I have a bunch of the early Marvel first appearance books, all raw (not that it would matter much if they were cracked out of a CGC case), that I always think it would suck if someone swiped them...they would all be pretty much untraceable securities if they were taken from me.  Thought maybe someone has devised a method to identify valuable books, without harming or devaluing them?

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I don't think so, no. Adding any sort of identifying mark would affect the grade, unless they were low grade to begin with, in which case you could possibly identify them based on their specific defects anyway.

The closest you'd get would be the certification number if they were slabbed, but again, if someone stole them they'd be cracked out anyway.

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1 minute ago, Foley said:

I don't think so, no. Adding any sort of identifying mark would affect the grade, unless they were low grade to begin with, in which case you could possibly identify them based on their specific defects anyway.

The closest you'd get would be the certification number if they were slabbed, but again, if someone stole them they'd be cracked out anyway.

I was thinking of  a watermark, or invisible ink of some sort...seems with the value of books these days, and the tech available to us, someone would have invented something!

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1 hour ago, SteveMullins said:

Curious if anyone has heard of a way to identify comics of value with some sort of Watermark or a comics related "VIN" number, similar to what is used for cars?  I have a bunch of the early Marvel first appearance books, all raw (not that it would matter much if they were cracked out of a CGC case), that I always think it would suck if someone swiped them...they would all be pretty much untraceable securities if they were taken from me.  Thought maybe someone has devised a method to identify valuable books, without harming or devaluing them?

Hold that thought - I'm working on something  - until then, make very good scans of them showing precise defects (a fingerprint of the book)

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2 minutes ago, ivegotneatstuff said:

Hold that thought - I'm working on something  - until then, make very good scans of them showing precise defects (a fingerprint of the book)

I have those, and my books are pretty ugly, so they might stand out...but good luck finding them if they're just floating around out there in another state.  

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1 minute ago, SteveMullins said:

I have those, and my books are pretty ugly, so they might stand out...but good luck finding them if they're just floating around out there in another state.  

This is exactly why I started stolencomic.com - and I plan to expand its capabilities. (I had a fantastic four #48 or 49 stolen from me about 10 years ago - and it got me thinking)

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greggy "watermarks" books, but the results are quite visible.

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54 minutes ago, lizards2 said:

greggy "watermarks" books, but the results are quite visible.

giphy.gif

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I am of the opinion CGC and the other companies should mark each book with a serial number, in invisible ink. Most disagree. 

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5 minutes ago, shadroch said:

I am of the opinion CGC and the other companies should mark each book with a serial number, in invisible ink. Most disagree. 

That's an interesting thought. Since even though the books would be cracked out by the thief, sooner or later the expensive books would make their way back to CGC. They could keep a data base of stolen books and anytime one reenters the building they could contact law enforcement, who would then contact the original owner. It could work well.

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36 minutes ago, boomtown said:

That's an interesting thought. Since even though the books would be cracked out by the thief, sooner or later the expensive books would make their way back to CGC. They could keep a data base of stolen books and anytime one reenters the building they could contact law enforcement, who would then contact the original owner. It could work well.

I'd also use it after grading, to ensure the book just graded wasn't previously in a PLOD.

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I liked the invisible ink serial number aided when it first came up 15 years ago.  Who would care about a small identifyin* mark somewhere inside the book that would affect the what you see in a slab? Would it be “damage” if it was part of the hobby’s security procedures? And done in a m8 8mla method on an 8nterior page?

i often hoped CGC was doing it anyway to help them regrade a book too.  I don’t think art collectors care about provenance notes on the backs of their canvases, do they?

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 3:31 PM, shadroch said:

I am of the opinion CGC and the other companies should mark each book with a serial number, in invisible ink. Most disagree. 

I think if there was a solution that did not hurt the paper in any way, it could work.  Especially in the margin on an interior page.  You have so many grades and types of papers used in comics, though.  Wouldn't be completely straightforward to test and be confident in the safety of a marking procedure.

Just an anecdote... I was selling a model train collection for someone and was worried about fraud on the more expensive engines.  I marked them in invisible blacklight ink and did catch someone returning a different, broken engine to me.  eBay sided with me at the time but I doubt it would go my way today.

 

Edited by CKB

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