The rule of supply and demand is what determines the value of an item. So, if an item is in a short supply and the demand is high enough, its value will skyrocket. The problem with this lies in the fact that a lot of people with fraudulent intentions intend to make money by creating false equivalents of such items. Some of these ‘replicas’ can be quite hard to distinguish from the original, yet, it’s nearly impossible to copy everything and a renowned expert in the field can always tell a difference. This is why there are people who specialize in estimating the authenticity of given items and giving out certificates to testify about it. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s what you need to know about certificates of authenticity.
1. A piece of art
The first thing that comes to mind when the issue of authenticity is brought up is, of course, a piece of art. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that there can be only one copy of a certain art piece, meaning that the item is quite worthless (when compared to the price of the original) if you can’t provide a certificate of authenticity (COA). In order to get certified, you’ll need to have all the necessary paperwork, which includes previous receipts, names of previous owners and an artist’s catalog portraying the piece.
The next step would be to find a reputable authenticator. Keep in mind that a person’s reputation is quite important, seeing as how the authenticator will use it to vouch for their estimate of your piece. The greater their reputation is, the more they have to lose by making false presumptions or assumptions, meaning that there’s more weight to their claim. Also, a reputable authenticator can help you with the subsequent steps necessary for acquiring the certificate in question. In other words, by hiring an authenticator, you’re not just getting someone to make an assessment of an item buy also getting an invaluable consultant on your retainer.
As of lately, there are some suggestions that new tech trends like the blockchain technology could make up for current flaws in the authentication industry. Still, this idea is still a relatively new concept and it might be a while until this trend comes to life.
When it comes to diversifying one’s portfolio, a lot of people think that gold and silver are their only options, when, in reality, this is definitely not the case. You see, diamonds are just as valuable investment but there are not a lot of people out there who are foolish enough to purchase diamonds without a certificate. What you’re looking for are GIA certified diamonds and the simplest way to obtain them is to make sure that the diamond you’re purchasing has one before you deposit the money. Buying from a renowned and reliable retailer is also a way for you to ensure this. Diamonds are estimated based on their weight, clarity, color, cut, as well as several other factors. All of this should go along with the certificate in order to provide you with the maximum insight into your assets.
3. An autograph authenticity
Sometimes, the item itself is not really that valuable but it receives an immense value from previous ownership. An item signed by a celebrity or an item that took part in something important could by far surpass the value dictated by its properties. First of all, we can consider the fact of autograph authenticity. The same copy of a book can have a varying difference depending on whether it was signed by the author. The problem with this cognition lies in the fact that there’s nothing preventing current book owners from copying the given handwriting in order to boost the value of the item in their possession.
Needless to say, buyers are usually aware of this fact, which makes them skeptical towards the authenticity of the autograph. The simplest way to handle this is to find a local autograph authentication company. However, for those who feel like this is not enough, going for a major organization like Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), James Spence Authentication (JSA) or Autograph Certification Experts (ACE) might be a good idea. A certificate from a renowned institution can definitely make the item appear more credible. As you can see, some of these organizations specialize in authenticating autographs by professional athletes and there’s a huge market for such a thing.
4. What should a certificate of authenticity contain
Now that we’ve covered three biggest fields in which certificate of authenticity is sought, we need to consider the content of these certificates. The first thing that a certificate needs to mention is the specific detail regarding the item in question. If it’s the artwork, it should be about the author and the date of its creation (if the exact date is unknown, the best estimate can be a satisfactory solution). If it’s a signed piece of equipment, it needs to contain the information of the person who made an autograph, alongside with date (possibly even the event). As for the jewelry, the name of the manufacturer and the location from which it was obtained might be of interest, even though it’s not a general rule.
Next, it’s important to mention all the materials that come into the item (especially for an art piece or a signed piece) due to the fact that it may affect the longevity of an item. Who knows, it might even mandate the owner to keep the item in specific circumstances to preserve it for a lot longer. Naturally, when it comes to jewelry, it’s known to stand the test of time much better than these other items. Other than this, it’s important to include the exact dimensions, as well as the copyright statement of the item. This is what makes the creation of replicas (without some sort of legal agreement) into an illegal process.
5. Tips for avoiding risks
The very last thing worth mentioning is the fact that all of this matters because of the potential risk for both the buyer and the seller. Also, there are too many hoaxes and scams in the online world and, sadly, COAs are not exempt from this general rule. Not all COAs are made the same. First of all, it’s important that you do some research on the organization behind the certificate in order to ensure that it actually holds some value.
One of the biggest tells that there might be something wrong with the certificate is the fact that it deliberately omits personal information about the seller or presents false information. This is in order to make it impossible for you to track down the person once the item sold turns out to be a fake. Therefore, make sure to check, compare and re-check all the information prior to closing a deal. Also, keep your eye out for illegible signatures or information. This too might be a way of misleading you.
Finally, avoid signing any contracts that use phrases such as “in our considered opinion…” or “we believe that…” due to the fact that they’re most commonly used to provide the seller with legal insulation. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with being careful but this must urge a buyer to further consider their position.
Authenticity is only required for valuable items, seeing as how the authentication process wouldn’t give a positive ROI. This means that making a mistake of buying an item with a false certificate might end up being a massive loss of assets. Moreover, due to the fact that, for the most part, there is no official body or legal binding for these documents, upon learning that you were wrong, you might not have any legal means of getting reimbursed. This is why you need to invest as much time and effort as you can in order to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.