Which White House candidate’s autograph is the most valuable?

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYoung Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Young Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Trump highlights polls that showed Clinton beating him by double digits MORE is making her mark, leading all of the 2016 White House hopefuls when it comes to demand for her signature.

A “Democratic Donkey” Beanie Baby signed by the Democratic front-runner is being auctioned on eBay for $25,000 — with the seller noting it’s a “must have item for your collection.” And a New York Yankees jersey bearing the Clinton name and the former secretary of State’s autograph — the seller says from Iowa last year — is offered at $3,000.

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“I’d say Hillary is still the most valuable out of all of the presidential candidates,” James Spence III, of James Spence Authentication, tells ITK. The regional managing director’s company is considered a leading autograph authentication provider.

But the land of signed political memorabilia, much like politics itself, can be a wild ride.

“It’s a roller coaster,” says Spence. A few months ago, “Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE was very, very popular on eBay. A lot of his signed stuff was going for pretty significantly higher than what it usually does just because of the amount of press that he was receiving and how he was shocking the world,” Spence says. But while Spence notes that Trump’s autograph value is second only to Clinton’s, demand has dipped in recent months.

On eBay, a signed 1987 first edition of Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal,” is selling for $5,000. A Trump-autographed golf pin is up for grabs for $2,000, and a business card with the real estate mogul’s signature is $1,750.

But other candidates are also fetching some impressive amounts for mementos they’ve personalized. On the GOP side, Spence says, a signed baseball from Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' MORE or Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE could bring in anywhere from $50 to $100 — though ITK found some items being sold for significantly more.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Kamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Playing fast and loose with the economic facts MORE’s (I-Vt.) supporters will likely “feel the Bern” in their wallets. The Democratic candidate’s signature is the third-most coveted after Clinton’s and Trump’s, says Spence. A book signed by Sanders runs $800, and a Pez dispenser that Sanders put a pen to is $300 on eBay.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s struggled to gain traction in the polls, is one Oval Office contender who’s seen the value of his John Hancock fluctuate.

“For a while, Chris Christie’s autograph was very popular,” says Spence, “Over the past year I’d say, the industry has seen a drop in his value. Still collectible, but not as collectible as it was about a year ago.”

As an autograph expert, Spence also tells ITK how fascinating it can be to see how signatures change over time — including the 2016 candidates’.

Spence says, surprisingly, little has changed with Clinton: “She still spells out every letter in her name when signing an autograph,” and the letter formation, spacing, and sizing “all appear to be consistent in over 20 years.” 

Trump, who’s also been in the public eye for decades, has shortened his signature, according to Spence, and dropped letter formations. “It’s also noticeably faster,” he says, “signed with much more conviction.”

“All of our autographs go through transformations. You can look at your own Social Security card and see major differences in your autograph,” says Spence. “You might’ve spelled out your name more than you do now. A lot of the times they’ll just try to make it easier for them to sign more autographs because the more popular you get, the more fans you have to make it happen.”

No matter how candidates sign their names, Spence says, the ink has yet to dry on the winner of the 2016 autograph wars.

“As time progresses and we get closer to the election this year, you’ll see the two primary candidates go significantly higher, especially when one is in the lead,” explains Spence. “It’s all based on emotion, really — whoever the public or the investors think is going to become the next president, they heavily invest in anything they can find on eBay to add to their collection.”