What Is a Certificate of Authenticity in the Industry

25 Nov, 2022
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Certificate of Authenticity

Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) are certainly not a new entry in any industry, but they have never been more important than they are today. Indeed, as the global supply chain grows and expands, and the risk of counterfeit intensifies, COAs are an essential tool for businesses to gain users’ trust and fight fraud.

Nonetheless, traditional COAs are prone to falsification and human error, thus exposing any brand to severe risk. Luckily, new authentication technologies such as the ones developed by Authena provide 360-degree protection for goods in any industry.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about what Certificates of Authenticity are, how to obtain them for your products, and how to level up their security.

What Is COA – certificate of authenticity?

Let’s cover the basics. Traditionally, Certificates of Authenticity are documents that guarantee the authenticity, provenance, or originality of a product, such as a luxury item, coveted goods, or artwork.

By proving the authenticity of a certain item, COAs also define its market value and price.

Although COAs (certificate of authenticity) vary from one industry to another, they are often similar to identity cards containing the name of the maker, the product’s serial number, and specifics of the item, such as when it was produced and whether it is a limited edition.

Each COA is associated with a single item and it acts as proof that the product isn’t counterfeit.

What Does COA Accreditation Mean?

A COA accreditation is obtained after the product has been verified as original and authentic by a specialized agency or authenticator. For a product to come with an associated Certificate of Authenticity it means that it is not a forgery.

Even more importantly, a COA ensures that a product’s current and future value can be adequately determined during the valuation, purchase, and resell processes. In the case of luxury items and limited edition goods, COAs make it easier for owners to insure or resell their assets at the right price.

How Long Is COA Accreditation Valid For?

Certificates of Authenticity (COA) are the equivalent of identity cards for products and goods and, as such, they do not expire. Whether you have purchased an item that has been verified as authentic by its creator or you have invested in the verification process to obtain the right accreditations, the COA (certificate of authenticity) will follow the product it is associated with throughout its history.

In the case of items that are frequently purchased and resold, Certificates of Authenticity can act as proof that the item is authentic as it changes ownership.

What Is a Certificate of Authenticity?

As seen above, traditionally, COAs are registration cards that come with a valuable item you purchase, such as a piece of memorabilia, a luxury item, cars, and other valuable assets.

Depending on whether you have obtained the COA from the maker or from an authentication agency, the item’s ID will carry a signature or stamp provided by the company that certified the goods as authentic.

However, thanks to new and emerging technologies, new COAs (certificate of authenticity) also boast additional features to prevent falsification and counterfeiting. Alongside holograms, cryptography, and passwords, some of the most valuable additions to today’s COAs include:

  • Blockchain technology and smart contracts
  • Encrypted NFC tags that can be read by any modern smartphone
  • NFT as ownership and authenticity guarantee

Thanks to Authena’s end-to-end technology solutions, both manufacturers and consumers can now verify the authenticity and originality of a product by relying on immutable transaction records imprinted in the blockchain.

How Do I Get a Certificate of Authenticity?

Although getting a certificate of authenticity for your products might seem like a superfluous investment, it is important to understand the benefits that this choice will bring to your business. For example, today, consumer trust levels in brands are at an all-time low, and it has never been more important for brands to provide users with solutions to authenticate products, claims, processes, and brands.

But how can you secure a COA for your items?

The best way to do so is to gather evidence about the item itself. For manufacturers, this means obtaining the product’s serial number and specifics. For users who have invested in a valuable asset, this might mean looking for information about when and how the item was created and its journey to the end user.

Once this evidence is collected, the item should be brought in for examination at a specialized authentication office or agency. These experts will use a range of techniques to determine whether the item is authentic and provide estimations of its market value.

Although this process might seem lengthy, new technologies such as blockchain are facilitating the authentication of goods. Indeed, thanks to smart contracts, transactions are safely and immutably recorded on the blockchain and can be easily accessed by the new owner of an item, thus significantly reducing the risk of falsification.

Can I Make My Own Certificate of Authenticity?

Although standard certificates of authenticity are not legally binding, it is not possible for users who have purchased a certain asset to create their own COA without the help of a registered authentication agency. However, the maker of a product or the creator of an artwork can make their own COA (certificate of authenticity) upon releasing a certain item into the market.

It is important to notice that, due to the lack of international standards, traditional COAs are often easy to manipulate. That is why companies looking to provide added value to their users through COAs (certificate of authenticity) should look into establishing a digital authentication solution at the source through blockchain and technologies such as NFC tags.

Are Certificates of Authenticity Worth Anything?

Certificates of Authenticity provide value to manufacturers and users alike – and in more than one way!

  • COAs boost transparent traceability through the supply chain, thus minimizing the risk of adulteration and counterfeiting
  • In the FMCG sector, statistics show that consumers are willing to pay up to 5% more for products that come with a certificate of authenticity
  • For companies targeting Millennials and Gen Z, it is important to notice that younger generations value authenticity more than ever
  • COAs are crucial for consumers to make conscious buying decisions
  • Digital COAs can limit the reputational and financial damage that might arise from the market circulation of fake goods

In What Industry Does a Certificate of Authenticity Occur?

Certificates of Authenticity are present in most industries today. In particular, COAs are used in the art and memorabilia landscape to provide the authenticity and market value of one-of-a-kind items.

However, authentication solutions can improve the customer experience and prevent significant financial damage in a wide range of industries, including the pharmaceutical, FMCG (i.e.: wines), and luxury goods sectors.

Choosing the Most Secure Certificate of Authenticity

Although Certificates of Authenticity have helped manufacturers, artists, and consumers verify the authenticity of goods for decades, traditional COAs can be easily forged and provide low-security standards.

For companies looking for the most secure options, end-to-end authentication options that integrate the use of technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, IoT devices, and NFC tags are the gold standards of authentication in today’s global market. Partnering with an authentication expert such as Authena can help you introduce an ad hoc solution for your company.

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