When certificates of authenticity are necessary

Laura Milnor Iverson mentioned on Monday’s post something about California law and Certificates of Authenticity. She was right–partially. California law does require COAs, but only with the sale of multiples or fine prints.

This site, which says several other states have similar laws, outlines the guidelines for the use of COAs with respect to the sale of multiples and fine art prints in California.

Please note that I am not an attorney. If you are selling multiples, you’d better look into your state laws to see if COAs are required with each sale.

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7 comments to When certificates of authenticity are necessary

  • On topic of prints, I came across this, from the CRA (our tax gov’t), when seeking how to get a receipt for a charitable donation…”Note An artistic endeavour occurs when you are in the business of creating paintings, murals, original prints, drawings, sculptures, or similar works of art. An artistic endeavour does not include reproducing works of art.” I thought it humorous that a government was defining art…Wonder what animated creature could be used to denote a gov’t official here, maybe a beaver ? or a moose ?

  • becky

    I wonder if artist’s are hurting themselves in the long run with the profliferation of prints? I have a friend who does beautiful pastels, lusciously framed, substantially priced. In the last couple of years he has started having giclee prints made, then also frames them and sells them (marked as prints, of course) at much reduced cost. But I noticed my own reaction – that while I had been thinking that I could save my money to buy one of his paintings, I was turned off by it once he started selling the prints. Unless you examined them closely, it was hard to tell which was which. I began to wonder if collectors become less interested in pieces that have had copies made of them. Of course, I realize that in trying to keep ourselves financially afloat, we going the way of reproductions may be necessary. So then should we have a soemthing like a certificate of singularity – that this would be a piece that would not be copied? Maybe that already exists; I’m relatively new to all of this.

  • I live in California and have provided CoA’s for all of my original prints that I sell. I see it as a valuable document that gives the collector trust in the artists work. I include: * title of print * medium used to create the work * size of the print * number in edition * number of artist proofs * number of printer proofs * the exact edition number of the print being sold * any other sizes offered, and number of editions within * collectors name and their address * and finally, my signature and contact information This spells everything out about the edition for the collectors, and I believe, gives them a good feeling about doing business with me.

  • I have something like a COA with all of my work, originals and limited editions – I’m a mixed meida photographic artist – that explains exactly which processes were used, tells about the piece & about myself, including my website. Buyers are always thrilled to have all that information and it’s great marketing, too!

  • I’d like to know what kind of wording a COA would use, anyone got a sample?