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Do you attach the Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) on the back or separate?


(Paul Chong) #1

Greetings! I got a few questions and would like to ask your advice. I am including a Certificate Of Authenticity together with the artwork for collector. Is it better to attach it to the back of the artwork or separate in another envelop?

I have heard from others that it’s better to have the certificate and artwork stay together. So that the certificate won’t go missing. Or if collector have many artwork and won’t mix up. Since my artworks are painted on stretched canvas, how should I attach it on the back of the wooden frame? Any idea or suggestion would be very helpful. Thank you very much :slight_smile:


(Cathleen Rehfeld) #2

what is a certificate of authenticity?


(Paul Chong) #3

Hi Cathleen, greetings! The COA is basically a certificate with additional information about the artwork with content such as, artwork title, medium, date creation, artist info, contact, signature and etc. It’s like a label to certify the original artwork created by the artist. I’ve upload a sample photo here, it’s from my photography artwork. Still working on my painting cert.


(Rhett Owings) #4

It is amazing that this came up today. I was searching for something else on the internet and came across this great website: Agora-Gallery.com There are many really good articles with excellent advice for artists. It is called “Advice from NY Art Experts”. They mention a COA in an article about documenting your art sale. I actually have been making these up for collectors of antique purses from my mother’s purse collection I have for sale. She was a well known author and historian of fine antique purses. I do think collectors are happy with the COA that comes with their purse and I think they have bought purses from me for just that reason. But I never thought of doing it for my own artwork!

You can look at this article here:(https://www.agora-gallery.com/advice/blog/2016/03/15/documenting-the-sale-of-your-artwork/)

They show an excellent example of a COA. image

A COA is an excellent idea and I am most certainly going to make up them up for my artwork from now on.
However, the article does not explain if you attach it to the back or not. I like the idea of attaching it to the stretcher bars or taping it to the back, if the painting is big enough for that.
Excellent question Paul ! Hope this helps someone.


(Paul Chong) #5

Dear Rhett Owings,

Greetings! Thank you very much for sharing the information. Yes indeed, it is very helpful to learn more about documenting the art sale. I’ve just visited the site with the link, I believe this is very useful and important for series and professional artist :slight_smile:

Thanks Rhett


(Loretta Luglio) #6

I always include one. Just slip it in an envelope and send along with the painting.

I give all details (medium, size, surface, date completed, title, year). My website, email. Also a small thumbnail of the painting and any other pertinent instructions. There are several sites where you can download a template.


(Paul Chong) #7

Good to know, thank you Loretta :slight_smile:


(Marnie Bourque) #8

I always slide mine into the back of the frame, if delivering my painting. If I am shipping, I place it on the front of the bubble wrapped art. I give a brief explanation of what inspired the painting, and a disclaimer saying that they must contact me to reproduce. I have also just started writing my name and website on the wood frame in the back in case it gets misplaced.


(Paul Chong) #9

Thank you very much for your insight. It’s a very good idea, also the buyer can see the cert. in front of the bubble wrapped art.


(Christine Derrick) #10

mmm this subject is interesting; I don’t know anyone in my art circles here in the UK who even bothers with a certificate of authenticity. They just sell their work straight, as is. I suppose if there is a chance of, say, a watercolour being a print instead of an original, then it would be justified. But some of us just aren’t well-known enough to go this route. When I post a painting, I always include a covering letter but don’t bother with certificates. Is this a “big thing” in the USA?


(Tony Cook) #11

I sell prints via FineArtAmerica. My reason for mentioning this is that they provide a method for producing a PDF of any listing that can contain pertinent details of the piece. It would be great if DPW could provide a method to output to PDF a copy of our individual listings. This could serve as a certificate.


(Jacqueline Davis) #12

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to revive this topic because I have had some thoughts about it.

After reading this thread some time ago, I went away and designed a ‘certificate of authenticity’. However I have since been thinking about it. I was wondering, if you are selling online, is there really is any point to them?

When I paint something and post it online, I post it to my blog, on facebook, on daily paintworks and on instagram. The painting has my signature. If I sell the painting I include a packing slip with details about the painting. Is a certificate of authenticity these days really necessary? If someone wants to check the details of a painting they can just look it up online, or they have the packing slip to authenticate it.

I have purchased several artworks by daily paintworks painters and I can’t recall ever having a ‘certificate of authenticity’ come with it as such. I’ve had packing slips, gorgeous little handwritten notes and such, but no specific certificate of authenticity.

I can see their purpose if selling through a gallery or artfair etc but for selling online it seems unnecessary. What do others think?


(Connie McLennan) #13

I think it’s just extra busywork done in hopes of making buyers think paintings are more valuable than they are. I own a couple of original works by somewhat well-known artists. Neither has a “certificate,” nor do I need one to know their value or authenticity. A certificate doesn’t add a dime’s worth to a painting purchased for $50 or even $500 online. JMO.


(Jacqueline Davis) #14

Thanks for your feedback Connie.


(Rachel Holland) #15

The important thing is that we keep good records as artists. I have heard of some people’s artwork being “stolen” by someone taking the image off the Internet and using it on t-shirts. If you have good records, then you have leverage to pressure them with, hopefully before you have to get a lawyer involved. Protection of copyright is a tricky thing. Attaching keywords to your art helps with SEO, but also makes us more vulnerable to predators. That’s the world we live in, sadly.


(Sunny Avocado) #16

I see MANY pieces that have been taken and poor prints reproduced on ebay and they even provide a certificate of authenticity! They are obv poor copies, some of them I recognize and know they aren’t real…and mostly done by people from other countries. They are making lots of $ doing that.