15 Reasons Not To Use a Certificate of Authenticity

Learn My Craft | 15th June 2023

While a certificate of authenticity can enhance the perceived value and marketability of your artwork, its absence does not necessarily indicate a lack of authenticity or quality. The decision to use a certificate of authenticity is subjective and depends on the individual artist’s circumstances, goals, and artistic practice.

Here are 15 reasons why you might not need a certificate of authenticity:

1. Informal or Personal Works of Art

If you primarily create art for your own personal enjoyment as a hobby, or as a gift for friends and family, you may not feel the need to include a certificate of authenticity. In these cases, its not necessary to document the authenticity of the work, and the value is predominantly sentimental rather than financial.

2. Established Reputation

Artists who are well-known in the art world may not feel the need to provide a certificate of authenticity for each artwork they produce. If your name is already recognisable, and you have a long-standing, trusted and identifiable brand, a certificate may not be necessary.

3. Alternative Means of Authentication

A certificate of authenticity is not the only method of authenticating artwork. Simply signing the artwork may be sufficient, as is keeping detailed records of the work you produce in an artist’s archive, or working closely with a trusted gallery who will vouch for your authenticity.

4. Practical Constraints

If you produce a large amount of work, or your work is of unconventional formats then use of a certificate of authenticity may not be appropriate. Some artists will decide that the financial and logistical implications mean they need another method of authentication.

5. Personal Preference

Art is a personal thing, and some artists just don’t want to create formal documentation to accompany their work. That’s fine too. If your art has a more casual or informal feel, it might be your preference to leave out the certificates.

6. Minimalist Approach

Some artists adopt a minimalist philosophy or artistic style, that puts the greatest emphasis on the artwork itself. They may decide that the artwork can speak for itself, without the need for certificates of authenticity or other documents.

7. Low Price Point

Artists who sell artwork at low price points might decide that the cost of designing and producing certificates of authenticity outweighs the benefits. If you have slim profit margins or want to maintain low prices, having certificates printed might not be possible.

8. Limited Availability

If you create artwork on a very limited basis and maintain a small stock, it may simply not be necessary to provide certificates of authenticity. When you produce a very small volume of art, you can maintain a deeper personal connection with each client, and the authenticity of your work is far less likely to be questioned.

9. Collaborative or Reproduction Works

Sometimes if you have worked on a project collaboratively, either with other artists or brands, a certificate of authenticity may not be needed. In these cases, its your name and reputation that accompanies the artwork as part of a wider project. When you are producing prints or other reproductions, there are other ways to declare that the print is genuine, like adding an artist signature.

10. Local or Informal Art Market

If you sell your work locally, or in an informal way, the use of a certificate of authenticity may not be expected by clients. In these cases, it is more appropriate to rely on word of mouth, reputation, relationships and local recognition to ascertain that your artwork is the real deal.

11. Alternative Validation Methods

 is not the only method of validating your artwork. Some artists document the creation of their artwork in other ways, including video, photography, artists log books, archiving and serial numbering. By adding a money back guarantee to collectors, you can give people your word that an artwork is genuine.

12. Privacy Concerns

Some artists seek to maintain a deep level of privacy or anonymity, and as such will not produce a certificate of authenticity which by its nature contains information such as the artists name.

13. Artistic Experimentation

The notion that an artwork must be verified and documented can be seen as traditional and inflexible. If you are an artist that works in a more experimental, conceptual way, you may put more focus into artistic concepts and experience than establishing strict authenticity via a certificate.

14. Cultural or Artistic Traditions

In some cultures or artistic traditions, a certificate of authenticity may not be standard practice. Do not feel constrained to use them if it does not align with your artistic practice. Many traditions include their own way of establishing authenticity, origin and value.

15. NFT Art

If you produce artwork in the form of NFTs, a physical certificate of authenticity is not necessary as the details of creation and ownership are documented on the blockchain already. The blockchain serves as a decentralized ledger that ensures the authenticity, ownership, and transaction history of each NFT.

Decide If A Certificate Of Authenticity Is Right For You

Think carefully about whether you need a certificate of authenticity for your artwork. Although not every artist will choose to include one, there are many benefits to doing so. A certificate of authenticity will give buyers peace of mind that the artwork they’re investing in is genuine and authentic. It provides an official record of the artwork and of the methods and mediums used in its creation.

If you decide to issue a certificate of authenticity, there are three ways to create them.

  1. Create your own certificate of authenticity
  2. Hire a professional designer to create a bespoke design.
  3. Use professionally designed templates such as the Certificates of Authenticity Templates Pack

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Art Business Resources

Want to maximise your art business? Browse our wider range of best selling products including booksworkbookseBooksAudio Books and more.

Certificates of Authenticity Template Pack

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Is it ok not to include a certificate of authenticity?

Of course! It’s okay not to include a certificate of authenticity with your artwork. Ultimately it is the artist’s choice, and sometimes its just not necessary anyway! Our team of expert artists work with certificates of authenticity every day as part of their artistic practice, and this list has been assembled using their experiences. There are pros and cons to including a certificate too. Clients love them, as its well known that artwork fakes are common even for very well known artists. It’s a simple way to add a touch of professionalism and elegance to your artwork. However, creating certificates also adds time and cost that you may not have the capacity for.

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