Fourteen states* require a Certificate of Authenticity, CoA, for the sale of fine art, multiples, fine prints, etc. Some states require more information than others, but there is no overseeing or governing body that issues these certificates, rather, they are expected to be created by the artist, publisher or dealer.

Unfortunately, the CoA is also used to promote everything from genuine imitation diamonds and private issue stamps and coins whose value can only increase with every passing minute to bad art whose value is proven and "guaranteed" by having a CoA.

A CoA should not be used as a sales gimmick.

The CoA is intended to protect the consumer by providing pertinent information regarding the print: title, size, process, relevant dates, signature, etc.

We make a CoA for every print ordered, regardless of whether your state requires one, and it is included with every order in good faith. A copy of each certificate will be kept with our copy of the related invoice. In some states, reselling a print may require having its CoA, please keep yours in a safe place. If your state requires additional information, please notify us, info@wm-arts.com.

Although we have slightly modified our CoA, this is basically what we provide:



We are not lawyers, and would refer you to one if you have questions; in addition, the Art Publishers Association has published, Fine Art Limited Edition Print Disclosure Laws, by Joshua Kaufman, esq. (email: ppfa@ppfa.com).

Here is a general list what a CoA should, where applicable, have:

• It should come from someone who has the authority to actually create a CoA—the artists, or the artist’s agent or publisher—and that should be stated on the CoA. Samples of the CoA should be available prior to any sale.
• CoA’s should be provided for all sales of all art.
The CoA should include:
• Name of artist
• If the CoA comes from someone other than the artist, who and what is the relationship.
• Title
• Description or photograph of print or object
• Dimensions
• Year printed
• Year the original was created
• Medium of the original
• Medium of the print
• Number of prints: signed/numbered, signed only, unsigned/unnumbered
• Number of proofs signed/numbered, signed only, unsigned/unnumbered
• Edition size
• Restrike edition?
• Posthumous edition?
• Status of artist’s signature
• Edition is part of a series of editions:: artist proof, press proof, transfer, etc.
• Name and location of printer
• Status of the plate or master: destroyed, on file, etc.


* Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Wisconsin.



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