What is an artwork certificate of authenticity?

What is an artwork certificate of authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is a document that proves the authenticity of an artwork. Learn more about what it is, why you need it, and how to get one for your collection.
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An artwork certificate of authenticity (COA) is a document that proves that the artwork in question is genuine. Collectors often require a certificate of authenticity when buying art to ensure they get an authentic piece. Certificates of authenticity are usually issued by the artist, gallery, or dealer selling the artwork. 

When buying art, always ask to see the artwork's certificate of authenticity. If the seller does not have one, be wary. It is possible to get a fake certificate of authenticity, so it is always best to buy art from a reputable source. A certificate of authenticity can increase the value of an artwork, so it is vital to keep it in a safe place.

An artwork's certificate of authenticity, at a minimum, should include the following: 

  • The artist's name
  • The artwork's title
  • The date of creation 

Additional information could include: 

  • The medium used to create the artwork.
  • Size of the artwork
  • Copyright information
  • A signature
  • For limited edition prints, it needs to state the number of the edition and the total number of prints in the edition. It should also include the date the artist created the master artwork.

If you are an art collector, a certificate of authenticity is a valuable addition to your collection. It can help you prove the authenticity of your artwork if ever there should be any doubt. A certificate of authenticity can also increase the value of your artwork, so it is worth getting one if you can. All my Karien Bredenkamp originals and limited edition prints include a certificate of authenticity. 

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