top of page

Certificates of Authenticity

What is a Certificate of Authenticity?

A Certificate of Authenticity (COA) is a document guaranteeing the authenticity of an artwork or limited edition print, confirming that the artwork has been created by the artist associated with it.  As the artwork is proven to be authentic, its value increases.


One of the most important parts of a certificate of authenticity, is that the certificate is linked to one artwork only. Similar to identification cards, a COA is unique to each piece and follows it throughout the artwork’s life, from purchase to resale.

If a certificate does not identify one specific artwork, it’s simply worthless. Therefore, it is important, especially with prints, that there is a unique code or number which can be found on both the certificate and the artwork.



What is a certificate of authenticity used for?

The main purpose of a COA in art is to prove that the artwork was created by a certain artist - and that it’s not a forgery.

In the event that the artwork is being resold or insured, a certificate of authenticity helps to assess its current and future value and can actually make the artwork easier to sell.

For collectors, requesting and obtaining a certificate of authenticity allows you to:

  1. Establish the identity and authenticity of the work of art

  2. Keep track of the origin of the purchased piece

  3. Quickly evaluate its value over the years, especially if the artist is or becomes part of it

  4. Guarantee its authenticity and value for insurance purposes and during resale


For artists, providing a certificate of authenticity allows you to:

  1. Ensure the authenticity of your creation

  2. Facilitate the future of the work and its identification

  3. Provide valuable service to your buyers

  4. Gain credibility in your community


For the artist, a certificate of authenticity for artwork should be included with any piece of art you make, regardless of whether it sells or not.


Why request a Certificate of Authenticity from WIAOTT?


A WIAOTT Certificate of Authenticity comes with the backing of an organisation with a twenty-five-year history and is only issued at the request and confirmation of the individual artist.


The elements of a WIAOTT Certificate of Authenticity are:

  • An image of the artwork

  • Name of the artist who created the work

  • The title of the work

  • The year it was made and/or completed

  • The technique and material used

  • The artwork’s dimensions

  • A statement of authenticity

  • If a print, whether it is a limited edition and if so, the edition number

  • A certificate number and reference number specific to the artwork

  • Signature and date

  • Seal of the organisation


The issuance of a Certificate of Authenticity from WIAOTT, also includes the ongoing service of tracking provenance - recording the ownership and location of the artwork as advised by the artist, the owner or their respective Estates.

bottom of page