A Certificate of Authenticity or COA is a piece of paper (certificate) given to a buyer along with an artwork as proof that the piece is authentic. Typically this would include the artwork title, name of artist, details about the artwork including the medium, dimensions, and the year it was created. The artists signature and contact details should also be included, as well as a copyright statement. Often artists will include a few details on how to care for the artwork. There is no official organization that issues certificates of authenticity but it is worth you creating one for each piece of artwork you create as it does serve several useful purposes.
The certificate doesn’t need to be fancy, it can be as simple and straightforward as you like. It should however include as much information about the artwork as possible, and look professional. A small certificate could be stuck to the back of a painting (not to the frame in case the artwork is later re-framed) or sent separately in an envelope.
See below for an example. You can use this as a guide to create your own. Try to find quality durable paper rather than cheap office paper, as the certificate needs to endure for a long time. It is a useful document for any art collector to have should your artwork ever be sold again.
This document is to certify that the work of art entitled **Artwork Title** is an original **Medium, for example ‘Oil Painting’** created by **Artist Name**
Artwork Title: (For example, ‘Barn Owl in Window’)
Name of Artist: Matthew Sheasby
Medium: (for example, ‘Oil Painting’)
Support: (for example, ‘Canvas’)
Size:(for example ’40cm x 60cm’)
Created:Enter the date the artwork was completed, as well as the country, and possibly county too, of origin (for example, ‘21/4/2019 Oxfordshire, UK’)
Copyright of the artwork is retained by the artist.
Care guide:(for example, ‘Your original may be gently dusted with a clean dry cloth. Please refrain from using any cleaning agents. Keep away from fluorescent lighting and direct sunlight, and from areas with high humidity, and at normal room temperature – 18-23C’)
**Print Name and Date**
Issued by **Artist Name, Address, Contact Details (telephone/email) and website if available**