I'm an amateur artist and mostly do digital artwork. When I print my works I usually do very limited editions (just one print). I donated some of my printed artwork to a charity auction a year ago and they sold quite well. All I did at that time, to make the prints feel more like an original, was to put my signature on the back (because there already was one on the front that was part of the artwork) and write some additional information, like date and purpose of print, title of the work, serial number and a random personal quote on the back of the canvas.

I recently read that artists should add a certificate of authenticity to an artwork to show the buyer it is an original.
I wondered: Should I do that too? Since I'm a digital artist, there isn't an actual original, and even the one time print is basically just a copy of the digital image, so I'm not sure if it's appropriate.

1 Answer 1


The provenance that a certificate adds, when combined with a bill or contract of sale, is more than just proof that you did it. It is also proof that the holder has a legitimate claim to a legitimate artwork. (Kind of like the idea behind a bearer bond.) This can be useful for insurance claims or for reselling a work.

They can also be used as a means to show that there is a limit to a production run, such as 1/10. However, it is helpful to have this kind of document co-signed, such as by a gallerist or notary public.

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