What is a Certificate of Authenticity

What is a Certificate of Authenticity? It is a legal document that guarantees that a Limited Edition work of art is entirely genuine; that the number of prints stated for the edition size is never exceeded and that the reproduction is created to a certain standard by a reputable art publisher. A legitimate Certificate of Authenticity will always be signed by the artist if he/she is living, or otherwise by the artist’s representative, and must contain the following specific details about the art work:

  • Title of the art work
  • Dimensions
  • Name of the artist
  • Release date of the edition
  • Edition number and size (e.g. 1/150)
  • Substrate medium and ink types used
  • Method of production (e.g. giclée)
  • Name of the Publisher (can be the same as the artist)
  • Full postal address of the publisher
  • Publisher’s telephone number
  • Publisher’s website and email address (if appropriate)

The certificate should also contain some wording to confirm the authenticity of the Limited Edition Print such as:

“This numbered edition is from an authentic limited publication. It is produced using the giclée method of digital printing to Fine Art Trade Guild standards.

To ensure the integrity of the edition, the publisher affirms that the edition size will not be exceeded. The artist and publisher affirm the authenticity of this limited edition with this certificate.”


When buying an original work of art, a Certificate of Authenticity is not necessary to prove that the piece is genuine. A receipt or proof of purchase from the artist, the gallery or the publisher is sufficient.

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