Record Sales Certification


July 6, 2022

Record sales certification is a recognition system for artists whose record productions[n. 1]​ reach the highest sales figures. In Spanish-speaking countries, the most common recognitions are the Gold Record and the Platinum Record, but the Silver Record and the Diamond Record are also awarded. In English-speaking countries, the Golden Record is well known. The number of sales required to achieve these awards varies according to the population of the country in which the record production is released and the usual volume of sales, and the scale may also vary in the same country due to the evolution of sales (increase or decrease). Thus, for example, in Germany the number to achieve platinum in singles and albums has varied from the 1980s to the present, going first from 800,000 copies to 500,000, then 300,000 and currently to 200,000, due to the fall of sales and the consequent difficulty of awarding records. For its part, the United Kingdom has kept constant its 300,000 copies needed to achieve the Platinum Record in the country, because record sales there have not undergone such significant changes. In Spain, the quantities required for gold and platinum discs were originally 50,000 and 100,000 copies, respectively; on November 1, 2005 they were lowered to 40,000 and 80,000, and in mid-September 2009 they were lowered again to 30,000 and 60,000, respectively.[1][2] Currently they are at 20,000 and 40,000 .[3]​ Normally these recognitions are given according to the copies distributed and not according to those sold, since not all the countries count 100% of the copies sold, but a percentage that is around 80% and the rest is estimated. But the manufactured copies are accounted for at 100%. The copies required to achieve recognition also vary according to the format of the record production: album, single, DVD or download. In some countries there is also a distinction between national or foreign artists, or according to language. Thus, in the United States, Platinum for albums is established at 1,000,000 copies, while if the album contains at least 51% of songs in Spanish (called Latin) it is also eligible for gold and platinum awards, which are delivered when exceeding 200,000 copies sold. In the early 21st century, certifications are generally awarded cumulatively, and it is possible for a single album to be awarded silver, gold, and platinum consecutively. An album that achieves two times platinum status is usually known as a "double platinum".


The original "Gold Record" award (actually "Gold Record"), was given to artists by their own record companies, to celebrate the achievement of 1,000,000 vinyl records sold in the United States of America. The first of these awards was presented by RCA to musician Glenn Miller in February 1942, celebrating the 1,200,000 sales of his single "Chattanooga Choo Choo". Another example of the first deliveries of this award by a record company is the one granted to Elvis Presley in 1956, for 1,000,000 sales of his single "Hound Dog". These examples have caused controversy regarding subsequent awards of the same recognition, for much lower sales (500,000 in 2007), which would not do justice to these artists.

RIAA Certification

Various criteria have been applied to determine whether or not a record production achieves any special recognition for its sales. Some of these criteria were based on units sold and others on sales value. All in all, the first criterion officially recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America, to obtain “