September 2009 - Journal of Accountancy - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants - Bob Kerstein, CPA
Founder and CEO, Scripophily.com by Linda Segall
Stock and bond certificates, to most people, represent a measure of financial investment in a company. The kinds of stocks and bonds I deal with represent insight into financial history. People like me who buy them are scripophilists, collectors of historical stock and bond certificates.
I remember the day in 1990 when I caught the scripophily bug. I had moved to the Washington, D.C., area to head up the finance and technology functions of a satellite communications company....
I love accounting; it got me started. And because of it, I have been able to pursue the things that not only come naturally to me, but are also my passion.
August 10, 2009 SmartMoney.com — Investing, Saving and Personal Finance Consumer Action by Miriam Gottfried
What Would You
Pay for a Bear
Bob.com Kerstein, founder of
Scripophily, a site that sells old stock certificates, says some of his most valuable items are from iconic companies that burnt out brilliantly. Old Lehman Brothers certificates sold for $300 right away, he says. Some of the last certificates issued by General Motors are priced at $100 each on Kerstein’s site. (The shares those certificates represented were trading under $2 a piece during the months before the firm’s bankruptcy.)
Real signatures on stock certificates can also lift their long-term upside, Kerstein says. He is asking for $395 for an 1897
Hoboken Ferry Company
certificate bearing the signature of then-president Emanuel Lehman, one of the three brothers for which the brokerage was named. Now that Lehman is bankrupt, the certificate will be worth more to some collectors, Kerstein says....
Antique News WASHINGTON, DC (April
21, 2009)Scripophily.com offering
Free Studebaker Packard and AIG
Stock Certificates Scripophily.com ®, the
Internet’s largest buyer and seller
of collectible stock and bond
certificates, is offering a Free
Studebaker Packard Stock Certificate
Antique News - December 7, 2008
- 2009 Historic Stock Certificate
Scripophily.com is a Big Hit
during Holiday Season
Includes Lehman Brothers,
Countrywide Mortgage, First U. S.
Real Estate Bubble Disaster from
1795, Standard Oil Trust signed by
John D. Rockefeller and many more
2009 Historic Stock Certificate
Calendar is a Big Hit during Holiday
Season Includes Lehman Brothers,
Countrywide Mortgage, First U. S.
Real Estate Bubble Disaster from
1795, Standard Oil Trust signed by
John D. Rockefeller and many more..
Nov 20, 2008
Going out of
stock David Chesanow
Wall Street in
thought the term
only referred to
wars?) has had
bonds and other
The guy I
consult on all
in Falls Church,
Va., the world’s
stock and bond
Here are his
responses to a
AC: Who are your regular customers?
Customers come from all walks of life. Mostly gifts this time of year. We have been receiving more foreign orders lately, but orders have slowed from bankers, due to the problems in the stock market.
AC: What are the popular certificates and collecting areas?
Bob: Popular certificates are the companies that are in the news, like
Merrill Lynch, etc.
AC: How would you advise someone to get started collecting stock certificates?
Keep a focus on the types of companies in which you have a personal interest. Don’t buy for the sake of buying. The certificates that usually retain their value are the ones that are historically significant, good looking or are signed by someone famous.
I checked Bob’s Web site: Get a pre-bankruptcy/delisting certificate for Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns for $295, or a Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage) or Merrill Lynch certificate for $99.95. Or check out the hundreds and hundreds of vintage stocks and bonds, foreign as well as domestic. The color engraved illustrations on many are really beautiful, and they make great gifts – well worth the paper they’re printed on. See them at
Images courtesy of
Wednesday, 22nd October 2008
- Shares that go up as
banks go down by Scott Payton
‘Whenever there’s a
catastrophe on Wall Street, our
business just gets better — because
our products become more
collectable.’ So says Bob
founder of Virginia-based
Scripophily.com, the world’s largest
buyer and seller of historic bonds
and share certificates.
The recent blizzard
of insurance and investment banking
failures has brought
particularly brisk business. ‘Our
Merrill Lynch certificates are
selling very well, and we’re almost
completely out of Bear Sterns
certificates,’ he says. ‘A few
months ago you could buy a Merrill
Lynch certificate for about $20 or
$30. Now they’re worth upwards of
market in early and historically
significant bonds and share
certificates first took off during
the 1970s. By 1978, the hobby had
become so popular that the Financial
Times held a competition to come up
with a name for it. The winning
entry was ‘scripophily’ — ‘scrip’ is
a term for a currency substitute,
while ‘-ophily’ is a derivative of
the Greek for ‘love’.....
Miami Herald Fri, Sep. 19, 2008 Finding
value in stock certificates ... A good
starting point is the website of the federal
Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) --
sec.gov/answers. It lists a number of
publications you can consult to check the
certificate's value, and also recommends
Scripophily.com, a site that buys and
sorry to hear that on March 11, 2008, it was
reported that Spink based in London has acquired R.M. Smythe & Company,
specialists in Antique Stocks and Bonds,
Coins, and Autographs, based in New York
City and established in 1880.
went into bankruptcy,
its stock and debt were
viewed as pretty much
worthless. Now, seven
years after one of the
most memorable corporate
failures in history, a
9-1/2% bond from the
defunct energy company
has an offer price of
Chances are the folks
who will buy the bond
issued in 1988 with
signature are not
investors but hobbyists
who enjoy collecting
paper bond and stock
certificates, a pastime
known as scripophily.
For many, the bond
and stock certificates'
allure is the
intersection of finance,
history and art. Many of
the companies are
famous, either for their
success or their
The certificates offer
celebrating some aspect
of a business.
certificates show off
the railroad's Horse
Shoe Curve, tracks
near Altoona. The
New York Central
illustrated its bonds
and stocks with ornate
illustration of its
founder, Cornelius Vanderbilt,
and Grand Central
Many railroads issued
debt to finance their
race across the American
continent, so their
fanciful scenes of the
American West with
Indians and covered
wagons, as well as rough
Oklahoma Oil Corp.
stock signed by
J. Paul Getty
from the 1920s, you will
find an ornamental
incorporates scenes of
oil derricks, oil tanks
for storage and oil rail
cars. Early Playboy Enterprises
common stock features
the profile of its
trademark bunny and a
nude of a woman.
"People collect them
for the artwork, the
of the company, and some
people collect because
they have family in the
company or use the
company's products" says
a Web site dedicated to
bond and stock
certificates are given
as retirement presents,
collected, and used to
add spice to offices.
Buyers have included
collectors from the UK,
Spain and Russia, says
In his history of the
"Scripophily: The Art of
estimates that there are
some 100,000 collectors,
200 dealers and 20 to 30
auction houses involved
with bond and stock
"It makes the history
come alive. When you
read about these things
in a textbook it is
different from holding a
piece of paper," says
Herzog Heine Geduld,
a leading Nasdaq market
maker that was sold to
in 2000. "This gives you
a way to touch different
events in American
Herzog, founder of
the Museum of
in lower Manhattan,
where pieces of his bond
and stock collection are
exhibited, is an active
"It's a combination
of the history and the
beauty of the
an Encino, Calif.-based
accountant and attorney
who collects bond and
stock certificates. In
his office you will find
his prized piece: a 1945
bond issued by "The
Government of Palestine"
with writing in Hebrew,
English and Arabic.
Some of these
Jewish Colonial Trust
issues are popular as
bar mitzvah gifts, says
Kerstein, who was a
CFO of a number of
Falcon Cable TV
Los Angeles Cellular
smitten by stocks and
bonds in the 1990s when
he went to a Civil War
He purchased a bond
issued by the
Confederate States with
an image of Stonewall Jackson
and then started
collecting civil war
scrip, eventually moving
on to stock
In 1995, Kerstein was
involved with building a
net presence for
Orca Bay Sports and
owners of the Vancouver
Grizzlies and the
Vancouver Canucks. He
set up the first NHL and
NBA team Web sites and
that experience of
working on the Internet
prompted him to open up
a Web site devoted to
historic bond and stock
When it comes to paper
issued by Enron, "we
sold Enron certificates
to short sellers. They
made so much money, they
wanted to keep a
Kerstein. "Some people
who lost money wanted a
certificate. A 'Wall
Street diploma' is what
we call it."
Some of the
certificates are prized
not just because of the
history of the issuing
companies, but also
because of the
signatures on the bonds.
For example, a
Standard Oil Trust
stock certificate with a
John D. Rockefeller
will sell for $3,000.
certificates have been
sold for as much as
$8,000 because the oil
company preceded the
trust as an issuing
entity and some of these
issues are among the
earliest sold by
One of those owners
of the Standard Oil
scrip with Rockefeller's
a stock broker with
Smith Moore &
Jefferson City, Mo.
The bonds in his
says, "are ornate and I
see no reason they
should not be considered
are of high quality
paper with engravings,
some of them created by
cutting into copper or
steel. The manufacturers
of many of these
certificates were often
companies that printed
bank notes and postage
stamps, Hollender says
in his history of the
Outside of the US,
certificates from the
late 1920s offer touches
of Art Deco style while
earlier pieces have Art
Another big seller in
recent years has been
scrip from Buckeye Steele Castings
which features a
signature from President
for these rose when
President Bush was
elected, and shortly
after the 9-11 attacks.
Now, though, demand for
these particular issues
has waned because either
Bush presidency is soon
to end or because of a
decline in his
popularity, according to
Collectors do not
only value scrip issued
by US companies; Russian
railway bonds -- issued
in the days of the Czars
-- and Chinese railway
bonds issued prior to
the birth of Communist
China are also popular.
The story of the
Russian Czarist-era debt
is an interesting one.
At the time of the
Russian Revolution in
1917, well over one
billion pounds sterling
worth of Russian debt
was outstanding, but the
newly created communist
state refused to honor
the debt. In 1986,
Britain and the former
Soviet Union announced a
settlement for bond
holders who were not
paid after the fall of
the Czar. The agreement
between Britain and the
former Soviet Union used
money that belonged to
the Russian Imperial
family and had been
frozen in Britain in
Also popular with
collectors are issues
from World War II-era
Germany and Japan,
according to Kerstein.
Some Japanese World War
II-era certificates have
warplanes and ships.
Some issues are even
stamped with a note
attack on Pearl Harbor
in December 1941.
World War I Liberty
bonds are popular, as
are World War II savings
those savings bonds are
worth more if they are
cashed in because they
collected interest even
after World War II.
"World War II Series
E savings bonds are
worth two or three times
face value as a
collectible, but if
redeemed they are worth
four or five times face
value," says Kerstein.
The face value of these
Liberty Savings bonds
range from $25 to
$1,000. The higher the
denomination the scarcer
scripophily came into
being after a 1978 Financial Times
contest aimed to come up
with a term for the love
of collecting bonds and
"Scrip" is the ownership
of stock and "opholy" is
a derivative of the
Greek term of love --
Enron shares are not the
only scrip in demand for
a company or business
that fails dramatically.
Kerstein says he has
sold South Sea
certificates and there
have even been issues
from Keely Motor
Co., a business
set up to create a
motion machine powered
by water in the 1880s.
For those investors
who think getting a
price on a bond is tough
in these market
conditions, they ought
to consider how
collectors track the
value of certain scrip
years after it was
Some of these
collectors have traced
the value of Confederate
bonds backed by bails of
cotton in 1863. This
debt initially sold at
90 cents, or 90% of par
value, but after the
Battle of Vicksburg, the
traffic was disrupted
and an important route
for Southern cotton was
disrupted. As a result,
Confederate debt backed
by cotton fell to 15
cents on the dollar.
It is the kind of
event risk that has been
seen on more than one
Wall Street emerging
markets trading desk in
the last two decades.
Collectors of scrip,
meanwhile, may soon be
able to squeeze the
market for collectible
stocks and bonds. These
days, issuance of bonds
or stocks in their
traditional format has
dropped as more
securities are issued
While stock and bond
focus on old issuers,
Kerstein says the
subprime crisis and all
the attention it has
gotten have prompted
inquiries about scrip
from mortgage lenders
that have gone bust.
"I wish I had stock
of companies involved in
subprime, but they don't
Market, Good Crowds
Maybe it's a way to
piece together what is
happening to their 401K
plans or private stock
portfolios but, believe
it or not, bad news
about the financial
markets usually brings
in more visitors to the
Museum of American
"We always did better
during market downturns
in terms of the number
of visitors," says
a spokeswoman for the
museum, which is located
in lower Manhattan on
LiveMint.com - Wall Street Journal - Money Matters
Tue, Dec 18 2007
jackpot as cancelled old shares find online platform -
Scripophily is the collection of old bond and share certificates
as a pursuit or hobby
November 27, 2007 - Forget neckties and
fruitcakes: This holiday, give a
Vintage stock and bond certificates from
Scripophily.com are a
unique gift idea that the recipient will never forget
These original, authentic artifacts of business and political
history may date back to the 19th century and are beautifully
engraved, with wonderful vignettes (decorative pictures) and
ideal for framing. They may represent shares of company stock or
funds raised to support public projects, social causes – even
war efforts. Older certificates are usually hand signed,
sometimes by famous personalities.
Kerstein, a former communications executive and now CEO of
Scripophily.com, became interested in antique “scrip” – stock
and other financial certificates – after seeing Confederate
bonds at a Civil War show. He noted that Gilded Age
entrepreneurs traveled the country by rail or stagecoach,
hawking beautiful, ornately engraved stock certificates in order
to raise funds for their corporate ventures.
Tacoma News Tribune - September 21, 2007 -
Kerstein is a history detective specifically business history, a
collecting area that most people don't think about. A former
executive at McCaw Cellular in Seattle and now based in
Washington, D.C., Kerstein is the CEO of Scripophily.com, a
company that sells vintage stock certificates and bonds each of
which has a story. Check out the vignette (the decorative
picture)from a First National Bank of Seattle certificate, seen
below: It dates from 1884 and is signed by the bank's president,
George W. Harris. Not only does the certificate date from
territorial days, but the bank would become Seafirst Bank, which
would in turn become Bank of America. What's more, Harriswas a
founder of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. So it ties in a lot
of pieces of history over time, Kerstein pointed out...
July 31, 2007 - Morgan Stanley - Important Notice Regarding
Issuance of Paper Stock Certificates
Here are resources
for tracing old
and other financial
assets of your
deceased loved one:
Texas Department of
database will tell
you the status of an
how many times it
was acquired, when
it changed its name
and its current
also be able to get
for the company.
You may also
consumer help line
MIB Solutions Inc.:
which has a policy
locator service for
$75 per search. The
company will tell
you the name and
of the insurance
company or companies
to which your loved
one applied for
will also have
details about merged
so you can identify
and contact the
successor to the
Texas Department of
you’re searching for
old bank accounts,
the Texas Department
of Banking will tell
you a bank’s
it’s still operating
or has changed its
You may also call
Phyllis Teeple at
512-475-1338 for the
An overall good
place to search for
assets is the Texas
searches of old
will research old
for $39.95 per
is the hobby of
collecting old stock
R. M. Smythe &
Co.: It charges $100
for each company
search (For the Same
March 11, 2007 Press-Register Sunday, Get your
stocks into an account by K.A. Turner
People in Wilcox County knew Olivia Martin. In
fact, said her son Ralph, a string of
politicians and community leaders could have
easily tied that name back to a "true Southern
lady" who had been in Camden for most of her
But none of that has made it easier for Ralph
and his family to put his late mother's stock
portfolio in order.
"I don't want people to have to go through
what we did," Martin said recently. "If we had
just taken her down to the brokerage house ..."
Kimberly Clark, Vanity Fair, Bristol-Myers and
Olin were among the familiar names on
certificates the family found. Others, such as
Allegheny Beverage, were more obscure.
Martin said he has needed death certificates,
letters of testamentary and time to convert even
the most familiar of issues. For the obscure
ones, he looked to the Web.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's site
five different options for researching older
certificates. Most of the services are
fee-based, and the SEC says it "cannot recommend
or endorse any of these entities, their
personnel, or their products or services."
No. 1 on the list is
http://Scripophily.com, the brainchild of
Bob Kerstein, a CPA who logged more than 20
years in financial management of both public and
private companies before developing Scripophily
and its sister firm, Old Company Research.
" We probably get about 20 calls a day," from
people who find themselves in situations like
Martin's, Kerstein said recently.
The first task, he said, is to determine
whether a certificate has redeemable value, or
can be turned in to the company or a successor
company for cash or updated shares.
"You generally find the companies have gone
away and the certificates are not redeemable,"
Kerstein said. "You've still probably got better
odds with those than the lottery, but the fact
they're sitting in the house probably means
somebody made a bad investment."
Even if not redeemable, the
certificates could have
value to collectors.
Typically, he said, that
value is based "on demand,
supply to some degree, and
how it looks, its historical
significance and the
signatures on the
While a stock certificate
for Pan American Airlines
might be worth $5 or $10, a
Standard Oil Trust
certificate signed by John
D. Rockefeller could be
worth $3,000 to $4,000, he
What's the one he'd find
most valuable? The first
certificate from a company
called Wright Aeronautical,
founded by a couple of
brothers who spent some time
in Kitty Hawk, N.C. What's
his current favorite? A
certificate from Shadyside
Operators Inc. that is dated
Oct. 29, 1929, the day of
the market's most historic
TheStreet.com - Taking Stock
- By Stanley Greenberg
11/27/2006 9:53 AM EST
Numismatists collect coins. Philatelists deal in
So what do you call somebody who has a passion for
acquiring old stocks and bonds?
Scripophily, pronounced "scrip-af-il-ly," picked
up steam as a serious collecting pursuit in the mid-1970s.
Today there are thousands of collectors worldwide in search of
scarce, rare and popular stocks and bonds.
The word itself is a combination of English -- "scrip" represents an
ownership right -- and Greek -- "philos" means to love.
One person in particular who loves to chase down old securities is
Bob Kerstein, founder of Scripophily.com.
An accountant by trade, Kerstein turned his back on the corporate
world in the mid-1990s to launch Scripophily, in order to turn his
hobby into what is now the leading Web site for stock collectors.
"Over the years, there have been millions of companies which needed
to raise money to get their businesses started," says the
Virginia-based Kerstein. "Each company had their own story as to how
they did it. These certificates give us a piece of that story."
A Good Time to Buy Enron Stock
Not every corporate story ends happily.
But just because a stock loses all its value on the open market does
not mean that it's not worth anything.
According to Kerstein, some of his biggest sellers are stock
certificates of failed dot-com companies, as well as huge financial
frauds like Enron, the second-largest business failure in American
Scripophily offers a number of Enron stocks, including a rare
engraved certificate from 1989 signed by its late CEO Kenneth Lay
The document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a man
and the company logo.
An Enron Stock Certificate
However, this particular stock does not have the telltale crooked
"E," as it was issued before Enron switched to its now infamous
And it's not just stocks.
Scripophilists search for many variations of equity and debt
instruments such as preferred stocks, warrants, cumulative
preferred, bonds, zero coupon bonds and long-term bonds.
And like classic baseball cards or antique stamps, there are many
factors that determine the value of an antique financial document
including condition, age, historical significance, rarity and the
type of engraving process.
Signatures are also very important in assessing the value of a
document, which is why Scripophily is also a popular arena for
Thursday November 16, 2006 -
Art and Scarcity of Old
Stock and Bond Certificates from Scripophily.com
Make Unique Gifts for the Holiday Season
Delaware Law and Stock
Exchange Rules Add to Collector Supply Shortage
®, the Internet's largest buyer and seller
of collectible stock and bond certificates,
has seen a 31% increase in sales during the
past 12 months ending October 31, 2006
compared the prior year. The increase in
activity is primarily due to interest in the
historical significance and beauty of stock
and bond certificates as well as their
relative scarcity according to
Scripophily.com's CEO and Founder, Bob
Kerstein. "Physical stock and bond
certificates are a permanent history of
capitalism representing a cross section of
the financial markets we know today. Stock
certificates are becoming an artifact of the
past as the world becomes more digitized."
ertificates are collected and
given as gifts because of their
historical significance, beauty
and artwork, autographs,
notoriety, as well as many other
factors. Certificates signed by
John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan
and George Bush's Great
Grandfather, Samuel Prescott
Bush are especially popular this
The supply of new
certificates reaching the
collector market has been
substantially reduced due to
recent changes in State Laws and
Stock Exchanges Rules. Many
companies are no longer required
to issue physical stock and bond
Scripophily (scrip-ah-fil-ly) is
the hobby's name of collecting
old stock and bond certificates.
Values range from a few dollars
to more than $100,000 for the
rarest. Tens of thousands of
Scripophily buyers worldwide
include casual collectors,
corporate archives, museums and
Scripophily.com - The Gift of
History is the Internet's
leading buyer and seller of
collectible stock and bond
certificates and has had items
on loan for display in the
Smithsonian's Museum of
Financial History in New York,
been featured on CNBC, USA
Today, Baltimore Sun, Washington
Post and in many other media
publications. The company also
offers an old stock research
service at OldCompany.com and
also offers high resolution
scans for publications.
Scripophily.com has over 12,000
different selections including
categories such as Frauds,
Scandals, Bankruptcies, Dot Coms,
as well as the more traditional
areas such as Railroads,
Sports, Manufacturing, Mining,
Utilities, Oil and Gas, Retail,
Tobacco, Food, Banks, Insurance
Scripophily.com was founded
by Bob Kerstein who has more
than 25 years of senior
management experience in the
Cellular, Cable TV, Satellite,
Internet, Professional Sports
and Entertainment Industries.
Bob is also the President of the
Professional Scripophily Traders
For more information on
http://www.bob.com or call
Ask TheStreet: All
About Scripophily by Gregg Greenberg by TheStreet.com Staff
Reporter 9/21/2006 3:35 PM EDT
Do companies still issue stock certificates? I rarely hear about
them anymore. Thanks, J.B.
Don't worry, it's not your hearing that's the problem. It's
just that stock certificates are quickly becoming a thing of the
past, and soon will only be found hanging in people's offices.
As a result of legislation designed to foster corporate
cost-cutting, only a handful of the 50 U.S. states still require
public companies to issue physical certificates. Stock brokerage
firms and many of the issuing companies enthusiastically support
this effort, which is known as "dematerialization."
The move toward dematerialization seems to be just fine with
most investors, who would rather use book-entry stock ownership,
where the issuers record all details of ownership
electronically. It is more convenient than locking stock
certificates away in safe-deposit boxes.
According to the Securities Industry Association, book-entry
ownership can be accomplished by having the securities held in
the investor's account at the broker-dealer, a method known as
putting it in "street name." Another alternative is the use of
the Direct Registration System, where investors can have their
positions electronically recorded by the issuer or at their
AT&T (T) became the first company in the United States to do
away with paper certificates. Investors now receive a
computer-generated report showing them how many shares they have
For the few investors who still prefer holding their shares in
physical form, it can be a very expensive proposition, says
founder of Scripophily.com.
Scripophily is the hobby of collecting stock and bond
To go through a stock broker, says Kerstein, you will have to
pay the trading price of the stock, plus the commission the
broker charges, plus a stock-issuance fee. Depending on whom you
use as a stock broker, the commissions can be anywhere from $15
to $50, and the stock-issuance fee can be anywhere from $50 to
$100 per certificate.
"Due to the high cost of processing, risk of loss of
certificates, handling costs, so on, it is clear the trend is
toward the elimination of the paper stock certificate," says
That is certainly helping Kerstein's business. While the
supply of new certificates reaching the collector market is
dwindling, the hobby of scripophily continues to grow.
"Over the years, there have been millions of companies which
needed to raise money for their businesses," says Kerstein. "And
each company had their own story as to how they did it. These
certificates give us a piece of that story."
Like classic baseball cards or antique stamps, there are many
factors that determine the value of a stock certificate,
including condition, age, historical significance, signatures,
rarity and the type of engraving process.
Despite the move toward electronic ownership, one company that
may continue printing stock certificates is Disney (DIS)
. The Disney stock certificate features Walt Disney himself
surrounded by his classic characters, and is a popular gift for
collectors and noncollectors alike.
Smart Money: September 10, 2006
Dear Bruce: I
have read your columns for years. I followed
you on the radio. I have some old stocks
from the 1940s and would like to know if
they have any value? -- W.S., Lexington, Ky.
Dear W.S.: There are any
number of companies that will be happy,
usually for a modest fee, to search your
stock certificates and see if they have any
value. If you have access to a computer, you
can search out companies that will research
old stocks for you. Some of them charge a
fee, and others are free. Two we found at
the Securities and Exchange Commission's Web
site: Financial Stock Guide Services, (800)
367-3441, and Scripophily, at (888)
Magazine - September 2006 - The Answer Guy -
BY GEORGE MANNS
Question - My mother-in-law has a 1957 stock certificate for
10 shares of a company called Town & Country Securities and a 1970
notice that the name had changed to Kingsford Industries. I
can't find this company. How do I learn what the stock Is worth?—Don
Clement, Virginia Beach
Answer - Finding a forgotten stock certificate can be; nice
little thrill: Until you can get a firm answer, the value of the
shares is limited only by your imagination. Hmm, you wonder, wasn't
this the company that renamed itself Google in the late '9os? (We'll
get to your reality in a moment.)
The first stop on this kind of treasure hunt your brokerage account.
Brokers will commonly do the detective work on old certificates free
of charge as a service for their clients. (Although many brokers use the services of
for their old stock research)
No brokerage account? Take a look at the website
Run by http://www.scripophily.com a firm that also sells collectible
stock certificates, the site charges $39.95 to trace the fate of an
old stock or bond.
Unfortunately for your family's wealth, research from OldCompany.com
indicates that shares in Kingsford, which was out of business by the
early 1990s, are worthless. Ah, well. Easy come, easy go.
|eBay's Safe Payments Policy got a lot of attention in the
press last week when the auction site banned Google's new
checkout service. But an incident has at least one seller
wondering how closely the list of prohibited services was vetted
A screen shot of eBay's list of prohibited payment services
Bob Kerstein, CEO of Scripophily.com, said the past week "has
been hell" for his company, which was included in media reports
as being banned by eBay. "We're not a payment service," said
Kerstein, and feels the media attention has damaged his
eBay added Scripophily.com on its list of banned online
payment services last week (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/accepted-payments-policy.html).
One blog published eBay's list of prohibited payment services
and said of them, "All of these services have been banned due to
being unsafe for eBay buyers, that they are in some way poorly
designed or secured and thus aid fraud" (http://digbig.com/4kxef).
Major news outlets covered news of eBay's policy updates because
of the ban on Google Checkout, widely seen as a competitor to
eBay's own PayPal service.
Kerstein said, "Our company, Scripophily.com, buys and sells
collectible stock and bond certificates and I have no idea why
eBay listed our company here. If we sell something on eBay, we
accept credit cards over the phone, checks, Paypal and credit
cards on our website, that's it."
He said he spent a week trying to get a response from someone
at eBay. On July 10, he said Sarah Brubaker, calling herself a
senior policy representative of eBay, contacted him and told him
Scripophily.com was on the list because "one eBay member said
they use the Scripophily.com checkout system" in his or her
listing, Kerstein said. Brubaker promised to take his company
off the list, he said, but it was still up on Tuesday evening.
"Why in the world eBay listed us here is beyond me," Kerstein
said. "EBay never notified us about any of this." Kerstein's
company has been an eBay member since January 1998 and has 4133
feedback points with a 99.9 percent positive feedback rating.
Scipophily.com also operates an eBay Store. Feedback from
trading partners include such comments as, "Honest description,
Sturdy Package, Speedy Delivery" and "Item as described. Smooth
Kerstein said he wonders what kind of due diligence eBay
performed with the companies on its list of prohibited services.
He said, "It certainly looks like they just added other
companies to the list so Google wouldn't look like they were
being singled out."
What's most upsetting to Kerstein, who once sold a stock
certificate to eBay CEO Meg Whitman, is that he "didn't even get
an apology" from eBay.
eBay spokesperson Catherine England explained why the company
included Scripophily.com on the prohibited list in an email
statement. "Apparently a few sellers had listed Scripophily as a
payment method in listings in the past so they were initially
included on the list of prohibited payment methods in an effort
to provide as much clarity as possible for the community.
"However, since Scripophily itself makes no attempt to be a
payment service, we've determined that it wasn't appropriate for
them to be listed as one and they will be removed from the list
- since the change is global it may take a few days for it to go
live to the site but they should be removed within the week."
When asked what kind of vetting eBay does before adding a
service to the policy's accepted or prohibited list, England
responded by providing the list of factors included on eBay's
policy, adding, "The combination of factors considered for any
one payment service may vary as the range of services offered by
different payment providers also varies widely."
Meanwhile, The Register reports that eBay's rollout of the
Safe Payments Policy in the UK on Monday has caused major
concern among sellers after the auction site banned Nochex (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/11/ebay_nochex_fallout/).
Sellers discussed the new policy on several threads on the
Discussion boards, including this one (http://forums.ebay.co.uk/thread.jspa?threadID=1100012120).
The list of "payment services" prohibited on eBay UK also
includes Scripophily.com (http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/accepted-payments-policy.html).
By James Maguire July 7, 2006 -
It wasn't good news for eBay when Google recently launched its Google
Checkout service. Google's new online payment system doesn't compete
directly with eBay's Paypal. But who wants to take on Google at all?
So it's no surprise that eBay amended its rules this week to ban
sellers from using Google Checkout. You can see Google listed in the
"not permitted" list in
eBay's Accepted Payments Policy by clicking on "Some Examples."
It's a little humorous to see the awesome Google listed in the banned
providers list along with the likes of payingfast.com, eHotPay.com,
EuroGiro, and scripophily.com. (According to Bob Kerstein
"The joke of this is that Scripophily.com doesn't even
have a public checkout system.
Scripophily.com, buys and sells collectible stock and bond certificates
and have no idea why eBay listed our company here. If we sell something
on eBay, we accept credit cards over the phone, checks, Paypal and
credit cards on our website, that's it. Why in the world eBay listed us
here is beyond me.
Preserving history, one piece at a
time According to www.scripophily.net, scripophily is the
collecting of canceled old stocks and bonds. It is a hobby that gained
recognition in the mid-1970s.
A brief Internet search yielded an abundance of information and Web
sites on the hobby. There is even a Professional Scripophily Trade
Association, which “is a group of dealers organized to promote the study
and collection of antique stocks and bonds for collectors and
researchers, and for the interpretation and preservation of financial
history,” according to www.scripophilynews.com....
Leckey, a Tribune Media Services columnist
- June 7, 2006
Q. I have some old stock certificates of
mining companies. How do I determine if they have any value?
--D.T., via the Internet
A....Over the years I've heard from owners of hundreds of mining stock
certificates discovered in desks and attics...
To research a company, start on the Internet to see if you can find out
what happened to it. Next, contact the transfer agent on the back of the
certificate, if it still exists. Check with the secretary of state's
office in the state in which the firm was incorporated.
Books available in public libraries, such as "Moody's Industrial
Manual," could help.
If you're willing to pay a fee of $39.95 per company,
Old Company) - 888-786-2576
will research your certificate to see if it has any value. If it fails
to uncover what happened to the company, it won't charge you. If it
likes your certificate as a collectible, it may offer to buy it.
BOND BUYER - N.Y., N.Y. THE DAILY NEWSPAPER OF PUBLIC FINANCE Friday,
Scripophily: Old Paper Finds New Fans - Call it Antiquing For the Muni
In 1990, Bob Kerstein was the chief financial officer of the cellular
division of a large wireless telecommunications company when he attended
a Civil War trade show and took note of some bonds issued by the
Confederacy. "I remember going to that show and saying to myself what a
worthless piece of paper," said Kerstein, who lives in northern
Virginia. "But then I looked at it again and said what a neat worthless
piece of paper. "It is kind of scary when you see it in writing and you
go: Wow, there really was a Civil War, and they really did have to raise
money, and that forces you to dig into it and find out what it was all
about," Kerstein said. "I just got hooked from there."
Today, Kerstein owns what he says has become the largest Web-based an-tique
stock and bond selling business.
After AT&T purchased the cell phone company he worked for in 1994,
Kerstein became chief information officer for Vancouver, B.C.'s
professional hockey and basketball teams, helping them to become the
first in their respective leagues to launch sites on the Internet. In
1996, he purchased the domain name scripophily.com. Kerstein said his experience in Canada was
instrumental in helping him to create the Web site.
The advent of the Internet in recent years has made it much easier for
scripophilists looking for old securities to find them through Web sites
like his. While municipal bonds represent only a small portion of the
antique securities available to scripophilists, they attract quite a bit
of interest from buyers on the site, according to the 54-year old
While there are plenty of people out there looking to buy antique
municipals, locating old certificates to keep his Chantilly, Va.-based
business stocked is a "labor of love," according to Kerstein. "I find
them every place imaginable," Kerstein said. "We find people going
through old archives, file cabinets, turning down homes and warehouses.
"People acquire old buildings and they find boxes in the back that have
old bonds in them and because we are so prevalent on the internet, the
people do a search for bond certificates and we come up," he added. "I
wish there was a wholesaler. It is a long laborious process buying stuff
— that is for sure."
Creating a system for authenticating the antique paper is another cause
to which Kerstein has dedicated much of his time. He currently serves as
the president of the Professional Scripophily Trade Association, which
is primarily a group of dealers organized to promote the study and
collection of antique stocks and bonds for collectors and researchers,
and for the interpretation and preservation of financial history. "We
want to give the customers a group of people who are trusted sellers of
the certificates so they are not buying duplicates (reproductions)"
Valuing antique municipals its another service that Kerstein offers his
clients. "Many times, companies come to us to see about what these are
worth," Kerstein said. "It is naturally based on previous sales,
historical significance, the artistic work on the bond," he added. "If
it is signed by somebody famous it adds value." Rarer bonds are often
more valuable as well, according to Kerstein. The average cost for
antique municipal paper is between $20 and $200, and some of the more
unique paper can range up to $1,000, he added. "It just depends on your
budget, the rarity of the certificate and what we pay for it."
"Many different types of people buy municipal bonds," he said. "They buy
them to decorate their offices. They buy them as gifts. They buy them
because of the historical significance of a particular area. "Sometimes
people buy them and donate them to the local museums ... and sometimes
their family name is on the certificate or they had a relative who is
affiliated with the bond's associated project," Kerstein added....
Forbes.com Inc - London 3/19/2006
- Windfalls. Is investing really just about the $$$? Perhaps not if your
definition of a shareholder is someone who procures their company stock
in a fetching choice of black lacquer or mahogany frames.
Scripophily, or the collection of old stock certificates, is all the
rage these days for collectors, I-love-business types, or anyone baffled
for a suitable gift idea. That means that as records become increasingly
digitized, online vendors are cashing in on companies whose stock has
that extra bit of shareholder value--you know, the sentimental kind.
Who else but Steve Jobs is the object of the latest fad. Collectors have
been hitting the Web to snap up stock certificates of Pixar (nasdaq:
PIXR - news - people ), the hugely successful computer animation firm
that the trendy chief executive and billionaire has sold to The Walt
Disney Company (nyse: DIS - news - people ).
The certificates, peppered with an array of characters including Toy
Story's Woody and Buzz Lightyear, are becoming increasingly covetable as
Pixar looms closer to complete absorption into the Disney fold.
Wondering how much an exclusive piece of Pixar could set you back?
Pixar's share price may be hovering around the $65 mark, but a single
framed stock certificate proffered by one online vendor costs a cool
$150--it does come with custom-engraved plaque, after all.
Other popular certificates include Harley-Davidson (nyse: HDI - news -
people ), Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ), Coca-Cola (nyse: KO -
news - people ), Starbucks (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ), Microsoft (nasdaq:
MSFT - news - people ), Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ),
and of course, Enron.
Pixar was popular even before its Disney deal was announced, but sellers
are using the imminent close of that sale to step up their sales
pitches. "Less than 60 days before Pixar stock vanishes!" one Web site
Pixar Animation Studios Inc.'s upcoming sale to Walt Disney Co. has
inspired an audience of investors more interested in buying a piece of
paper than a piece of the $7.4 billion deal....
Stock certificates used to be the standard way of denoting ownership in
a publicly held company, but that has changed dramatically during the
past decade as the securities industry has shifted to electronic
record-keeping to reduce costs.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which settles most U.S. stock
trades, now has just 3.4 million stock certificates in its vaults, down
from roughly 30 million in 1990.
Certificates are expected to become even more rare with the passage of a
new law last year in Delaware, where more than half of the nation's
publicly traded companies are incorporated because of the state's
favorable business rules. Delaware has dropped a requirement forcing all
companies to issue stock certificates, making the choice optional.
The rise of paperless record keeping is helping to popularize
scripophily - the collection of old stock and bond certificates.
Some of these collectors are strictly in it for the money, hoping to
come across something as valuable as vintage Standard Oil Co. stock
certificates issued in the 19th century.
Some of Standard Oil's 1873 certificates, signed by John D. Rockefeller,
have fetched anywhere from $8,500 to $130,000 apiece, said Bob Kerstein,
who runs Scripophily.com, which has become a magnet for collectors.
Other collectors are just looking for a memento that sums up a
particular era. That's one reason why the stock certificates of Enron
Corp. - an emblem of corporate scandal - were recently listed on
Scripophily for prices ranging from $49.95 to $375. Enron's stock
disintegrated in late 2001 when the company went bankrupt.
It also helps to have a flashy certificate. That factor seems to be
driving demand for eToys Inc., a relic of the dot-com boom that went
bankrupt in 2001. Its ornate certificate, featuring toys alongside its
red-and-blue logo, demands $125 to $250.
Even before the Disney sale, Pixar was among a handful of companies
whose stock certificates have been a perennial favorite.
Other high-demand stock certificates include Harley-Davidson Inc., Ford
Motor Co., Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc., Tiffany & Co., Coca-Cola Co.,
Starbucks Inc., Microsoft Inc. and Apple Computer Inc.
Animation Studios Inc.'s upcoming sale to Walt
Disney Co. has inspired an audience of investors
more interested in buying a piece of paper than
a piece of the $7.4 billion deal....Stock
certificates used to be the standard way of
denoting ownership in a publicly held company,
but that has changed dramatically during the
past decade as the securities industry has
shifted to electronic record-keeping to reduce
The Depository Trust &
Clearing Corp., which settles most U.S. stock
trades, now has just 3.4 million stock
certificates in its vaults, down from roughly 30
million in 1990. Certificates are expected to
become even more rare with the passage of a new
law last year in Delaware, where more than half
of the nation's publicly traded companies are
incorporated because of the state's favorable
business rules. Delaware has dropped a
requirement forcing all companies to issue stock
certificates, making the choice optional.
The rise of paperless record
keeping is helping to popularize
- the collection of old stock and bond
Some of these collectors are
strictly in it for the money, hoping to come
across something as valuable as vintage Standard
Oil Co. stock certificates issued in the 19th
Some of Standard Oil's 1873
certificates, signed by John D. Rockefeller,
have fetched anywhere from $8,500 to $130,000
apiece, said Bob Kerstein, who runs
Scripophily.com, which has become a magnet
Other collectors are just
looking for a memento that sums up a particular
era. That's one reason why the stock
certificates of Enron Corp. - an emblem of
corporate scandal - were recently listed on
Scripophily for prices ranging from $49.95 to
$375. Enron's stock disintegrated in late 2001
when the company went bankrupt.
- Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 1pm -
Scripophily.com's CEO, Bob
Kerstein was featured on
George Chamberlin NEWSRADIO 600 KOGO San Diego's EXCLUSIVE NewsTalk
Radio Station discussing the Hobby of Scripophily and Old Stock
Research Services at OldCompany.com
Yahoo News Service - Tuesday March 14, 8:00 - Scarcity of Old
Stock and Bond Certificates Contributes to Scripophily.com's Best Year
New Delaware Law Adds to Collector Supply Shortage
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2006--Scripophily.com®, the
Internet's largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond
certificates, has seen a 30% increase in sales and a 24% increase in
website traffic during the 12 months ending February 28, 2006 compared
the prior year. The increase in activity is primarily due to the
scarcity of certain certificates according to Scripophily.com's CEO and
Founder, Bob Kerstein. "Obtaining previously unseen stock certificates
is becoming harder and harder to accomplish," says Mr. Kerstein. "With
the change in the laws in Delaware and on major Stock Exchanges,
publicly traded companies are no longer required to issue physical stock
certificates, but simply keep track by ledger entries. This has made is
more difficult to obtain new certificates," Kerstein added.
According to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, paper stock
certificates cost companies, investors, banks and brokers hundreds of
millions of dollars each year to print, register, ship, examine, file
and keep safe, even though they're involved in only about one-tenth of
one percent of all trades daily on U.S. markets. One recent study by the
Securities Industry Association puts the annual cost of handling paper
stock certificates at $250 million or more. This is why most companies
want the physical certificates eliminated. This is contributing to the
demand of Scripophily (Stock and Bond Certificates) as well as increased
prices of harder to find items.
Scripophily (scrip-ah-fil-ly) is the hobby's name of collecting old
stock and bond certificates. Historical certificates which otherwise
have no redeemable value as financial claims, are bought for their
artistic and historical value by collectors. Values range from a few
dollars to more than $100,000 for the rarest. Tens of thousands of
Scripophily buyers worldwide include casual collectors, corporate
archives, museums and serious collectors.
Scripophily.com LLC, The Gift of History, is the internet's leading
buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond certificates and has had
items on loan for display in the Smithsonian's Museum of Financial
History in New York, been featured on CNBC, USA Today, Baltimore Sun,
Washington Post and in many other media publications. The company offers
an old stock research service at OldCompany.com and also offers high
resolution scans for publications. Scripophily.com was founded by Bob
Kerstein (Bob.com) who has more than 25 years of senior management
experience in the Cellular, Cable TV, Satellite, Internet, Professional
Sports and Entertainment Industries. Bob is also the President of the
Professional Scripophily Traders Association (PSTA).
Scripophily.com® has experienced over 17.9 Million page views on its
websites during the past 12 months. There are over 10,000 different
selections including categories such as Frauds, Scandals, Bankruptcies,
Dot Coms, as well as the more traditional areas such as Railroads,
Telephone, Entertainment, Sports, Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, Oil
and Gas, Retail, Tobacco, Food, Banks, Insurance and others.
For more information on Scripophily.com®, visit www.scripophily.com, or
Scripophily.com's High Resolution archive scanning service is used by
Business Week in January 2006. Scripophily.com has an extensive archive of images of Stock and Bond
Certificates that have been used by major news organizations and
publications. Our library has over 13000 images and we have
supplied many of the major broadcasting, print and publishing companies
around the world with our images relating to current news stories and
articles. For information you can call us directly at
Image provided by Scripophily.com used in Business Week January
United shareholders left out in cold
By: GEORGE CHAMBERLIN - For the North
County Times.....The collection
of financial documents such as stock certificates has become
quite popular. Scripophily, as it's called, has been around
for a long time, but really took off after the tech stock
crash of 2000.
One Web site ----
www.scripophily.net ---- offers a collection of eight
stock certificates that it calls the "Hall of Shame Package of
Companies That Changed America." It includes Enron, DrKoop.com,
Global Crossing, Kmart, Webvan.com and several other big
losers that cost investors millions of dollars.....
Sacramento Bee Columnist
Friday, November 25, 2005
Hold 'em or fold 'em? No easy answers with General Motors bonds By
Q: My father died five years ago. In his house, I found around 700
shares of Banning Oil Co., incorporated January 1921.I have searched
the Internet for information and can't come up with anything. Someone
told me they thought it was tied in someway with Standard Oil. Do you
have any insight? - Greg S., Sacramento
A: When it comes to information on old stock and bond certificates, I
like to rely on Bob Kerstein, president of Virginia-based
His 10-year-old company is named after the hobby of collecting old
stock and bond certificates. For a fee ($39.95), the company - like
others in the field - will research whether your stock or bond
certificate has any value.
As Kerstein points out, it can be exciting when someone comes upon an
old stock certificate because there's always a chance that the stock
will be worth a bundle. But before you get too excited, you should
know that in most cases, old stock certificates prove to be worthless,
says Kerstein, whose company bills itself as the Internet's biggest
buyer and seller of collectible stock certificates.
"I can't tell you how many times I've been told by someone that they
think their stock was linked to Standard Oil," he says. "But
inevitably, that doesn't prove to be the case." Unfortunately, he
says, that appears to be the case with Banning Oil. "The stock doesn't
show up in our databases, nor is it in any of our books. The chances
are that the stock is not worth anything," he adds.
The biggest problem in researching old stocks is that there is no
single database to go to for information. To get started, Kerstein
advises investors to do a Google search for the company listed on
their stock certificate. You also might be able to find information
for free at your public library.
His advice is to frame the stock, particularly if it has a family name
on it. You could then hand it down as a great piece of collectible
family art, he says.
USA TODAY 11/18/2005 by
They'll appreciate holiday gifts that might
Face it: Most financial gifts are as
appealing as discount coupons for gym socks. But not all
financial gifts have to be boring. In fact, with a little
effort, you can find some gifts that your loved ones will
appreciate — and that may appreciate in value, too.
.....Or consider antique stock certificates. The scandal-minded can get
an Enron stock certificate for $29.95 at
scripophily.com, which is
$29.95 more than it's worth on the stock exchange. Nevertheless, it's a
conversation piece, particularly since it has the crooked "E" logo. (For
ironic Enron memorabilia, though, it's hard to beat the coffee mugs
inscribed with the Enron "Ask Why," marketing slogan. They sometimes
turn up on eBay, the online auctioneer.)
Some stock certificates are
valuable because of the signatures on them. For example, a company
called Bayouboys Limited issued a stock certificate signed by Truman
Capote, author of In Cold Blood and subject of the recent movie
Capote. You can buy the certificate for $595 on
If that's too rich for your blood,
look for stocks related to a person's interests, says
Bob Kerstein, president of
scripophily.net. For example,
he sells a package of certificates from the four railroads in Monopoly —
Cleveland Short Line, Pennsylvania, Reading and, Baltimore and Ohio
railroads — for $39.95.
Of course, there's no guarantee
that any of these will make money. For that, you'll need a Savings Bond.
But combining the two could be good for fun and profit — and what's
wrong with that?
November 15th, 2005 - Elements of Style
Taking the Fifth H&M, A&F,
and Fendi by Lynn Yaeger
Apparently just one party isn't
sufficient to mark the 80th anniversary of the house of Fendi......
Far more authentically vintage is a showcase displaying old skis,
lacrosse shoes, and other well-worn sporting equipment. Is this an
homage to the old Abercrombie & Fitch [www.scripophily.net],
a much loved blue-blood sporting goods store on Madison Avenue in the
40s that went out of business decades ago? That place, with its stock of
tweed hacking coats, khaki safari jackets, and an entire floor of guns
never felt the need to rely on a half-naked boy toy in a doorway....
Argus Leader 11/7/05 - Theater chain was popular in 1900s 1913 theater
sees boom in bookings by JAY KIRSCHENMANN
Music, theater, comedy and jazz are finding the Orpheum
Theater's stage so much to their liking that the 1913 structure is
poised to break booking records in the coming year. The lively schedule,
which this year hit 124 bookings, is a far cry from the dim financial
struggles that closed the former Sioux Falls Community Playhouse in
2002. The city bought the theater at 315 N. Phillips Ave. and has
invested in updating the historic building. In 2006, the city plans to
spend nearly $1.1 million in what is the next stage of the theater's
...Many of the Orpheum Theatres were originally associated with the
Keith Albee Orpheum vaudeville circuit, or later the Radio Keith Orpheum
company, also known as RKO, creators of "King Kong" and other classic
films, according to Bob Kerstein of Scripophily, a company that sells stock and bond certificates from
historic companies across the country. The theater group was named after
"Orpheus," the son of one of the Muses and a Thracian prince, although
some stories say he was the son of Morpheus and Calliope. Orpheus was a
musician and poet. He is also considered to be the founder of Orphism,
an ancient Greek cult that stressed the transmigration of souls, moral
and ritual purity, and individual responsibility for guilt, Kerstein
November 6, 2005
Aeroscripophilists grab airline papers
- Stock certificates are a hot commodity for these collectors....He
(Kerstein) has a Web site, www.scripophily.com, where most of his sales are made -- 5,000 to
10,000 items a year, with the aviation kind comprising about 10 percent
to 15 percent.
Most companies no longer automatically issue stock papers, leaving
transactions to be conducted and recorded electronically. Some will
issue buyers paper, but for a fee of $30 to $50....
-November 3, 2005
- Airline stocks sought for their paper
value by Meredith Cohn -
The airline industry is the focus of aeroscripophilists, who collect
financial papers with ties to aviation.
...Hobbyists have long collected other scripophily in industries
ranging from railroads to automobiles. But the troubled airline industry
has recently been attracting their attention and cash.
..They are the fan base of the long-gone, the merged, the failing, the
once-and-maybe-still high flying. Those who assign more value to what an
airline prints than what an airline makes and who like the pictures,
famous signatories and distinctive engraving, generally more than their
investment prospects...."Such a hobby is not mainstream, yet" said
Robert A. Kerstein, a Northern Virginia collector and broker as well as
head of the Professional Scripophily Trade Association. "Most people
just frame them and hang them on the wall."
...He has a Web site,
www.scripophily.com, where most of his sales are made - some 5,000
to 10,000 items a year, with the aviation kind making up about 10
percent to 15 percent...Kerstein,
a history buff and former financial executive at an aviation company,
says the niche is filled with a range of people. Many just want to hold
a small, tangible piece of history in an electronic age. Some worked for
an airline or had a family member who worked for one.
Q I inherited some old stocks and bonds. How do
I know if they're any good?
A It takes a
little research. Even if the stock or bond is no
longer traded under the name printed on the
certificate, it may be valuable, because:
•The company may have merged with another
company or simply changed its name.
•Some certificates have collectible value.
You can research the stock at public
libraries, or through stock exchanges or a
stockbroker's office. In addition, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission suggests, but
does not endorse, the following resources:
The company is named after the hobby of
collecting old stock and bond certificates. For
a fee, Scripophily.com researches whether your
stock or bond certificate has any value. The
company also is a large buyer and seller of
collectible certificates, with a list and images
of more than 4,500 companies. Or write
Box 223795, Chantilly, VA 20153....
- WHO WOULD BUY AVIATION STOCK THAT'S NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT'S PRINTED ON? BY ROGER A. MOLA October/November 2005
Air & Space Magazine
...In his office in suburban Virginia,
Bob Kerstein presents his original 1936 A-1
for Bell Aircraft, with its
pristine specimens and
signatures of President
Lawrence Bell and all
officers. Kerstein's Web
currently lists 10,000
items. "Here's another
cool one! "
flipping through a milk
crate to fmd documents
from Bonanza Airlines,
a 1960s-era commuter
line connecting Los
Angeles with Las Vegas
that Kerstein flew on
regularly as a youngster.
Another of Kerstein's
treasures is a framed
certificate issued in
1915 to Orville Wright, a
stake of 440 shares
signed by Wright's sister,
Katharine, as secretary
and by brother Lorin
Wright as vice president.
"It's a copy, or else it
would sell for at least
$30,000." He pauses,
then lowers his voice.
"At least, I think it ' s a
Lacking the signature
of a celebrity or obvious
historical value, a
sometimes attract an
investor by the sheer
quirkiness of the
concept, product, or
scheme it represents.
Kerstein even relishes
the artifacts of a scam.
His Gray Goose Airways prospectus, written
by inventor and pitclunan Jonathan E.
Caldwell, brags: "Ours
is one of the greatest
opportunities yet offered." The Gray Goose
was to take off with flapping wings and
cruise with gas mileage of 100 miles per
gallon. Today's poor investment may be
tomorrow's collectible. But with more and
more stocks being registered and
transferred electronically, paper certificates
are on their way out altogether. And the
disappearance will only increase the value
of paper now in circulation
WMAL, WTNT Financial Guru and
Scripophily Collector Rick Malone Dies - 10/5
Malone (right), 48, a stock market adviser to AM radio listeners as well
as a senior vice president at Reston's Ferris, Baker, Watts, died 10/2
after he slipped and fell at his home in Falls Church. Fairfax County
police said the death was accidental. Known on air as "Rick,"
Malone was the stock market guru on "The Wise Investor Show,"
which he co-hosted with Randy Beeman on Saturday mornings on WTNT (570
AM) and Sunday mornings on WMAL (630 AM). WMAL General Manager Chris
Berry told the
Washington Post that Malone built a loyal fan base because listeners
knew that he put his money behind the stocks he recommended. "His show
was popular with people who enjoyed playing the market," said Ric
Edelman, who hosts a financial show Saturday mornings on WMAL.....Rick
was also a well known Scripophily Collector specializing in Old Oil
Companies and will be dearly missed by everyone who knew him.
Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable & Worthless Securities. Published
by R.M. Smythe & Co., this is a multi-volume resource that is
particularly helpful guide if you are trying to trace the value of old
And remember, even if you learn a certificate has no value, you may
find the certificate itself has value as a collectable. Good luck!
- New Delaware law is another step
towards elimination of Stock Certificates
- Scripophily.com reports
that effective August 1, 2005, Delaware Companies are no longer
required to issue Stock Certificates. The new rules eliminates the
requirement that a corporation with uncertificated shares issue a
certificate for such shares upon the request of the holder of such
shares. Notwithstanding this amendment, a corporation with
uncertificated shares still is permitted to issue a certificate upon the
request of a holder, but the corporation is not obligated to do so. This is consistent with the process known as
dematerializationwhich is the elimination of paper certificates.
According to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, paper stock
certificates cost companies, investors, banks and brokers hundreds of
millions of dollars each year to print, register, ship, examine, file
and keep safe, even though theyre involved in only about one-tenth of
one percent of all trades daily on U.S. markets. One study, released by
the Securities Industry Association (SIA) last year, puts the annual
cost of handling paper stock certificates at $250 million or more.
The Depository Trust & Clearing
Corporation also noted that electronic ownership of securities are not
only more economical, but much safer. Well over a million paper
securities are reported lost, stolen or counterfeit each year, according
to the Securities Information Center, which helps investors replace
missing stock certificates. On 9/11, some $16 billion worth of
certificates disappeared in the collapse of the World Trade Center
towers, and it took many months of record-checking and millions of
dollars to replace them. Electronic shares, in contrast, were not
affected at all.
The two states and one territory still
require companies to issue paper certificates are Arizona, Louisiana,
and Puerto Rico.
The Star-Ledger - New Jersey Wednesday, July 20, 2005- Ask the Biz
My father-in-law recently died. While going through his possessions, I
found some stock certificates that he bought over 30 years ago. How
can I find out if these stocks have any current value?
Bewildered in Bloomingdale
The folks the Securities and Exchange Commission hear this kind of
question so often, they've dedicated an entire section on their Web
site to this very topic.
So, you are in luck.
As it turns out, stock or bond certificates may still be valuable even
if they no longer trade under the name printed on the certificate or
the company has merged with another company or simply changed its
The SEC has provided a list resources to help investors just like
yourself find out if old stock or bond certificates have value.
You can find these resources on the Internet, at public libraries,
stock exchanges or stockbrokers' offices.
-- The company is named after the hobby of
collecting old stock and bond certificates. For a $39.95 fee per
company, Scripophily.com researches whether your stock or bond
certificate has any value. Its telephone number is (703) 579-4209.
2.) Financial Stock Guide Service -- This comprehensive guide is a
good starting point for all research on old stock certificates. This
listing, updated annually, contains a directory of actively traded
stocks and obsolete securities. The Custom Research department of
Financial Information be reached at (800) 367-3441.
13TH, 2005 - CNBC’s David Faber, the first to break the
news of massive fraud at WorldCom, will anchor a one-hour primetime
documentary that will tell the story of the largest fraud in U.S.
corporate history, a fraud that surpassed $11 billion, and the
bankruptcy that it forced was likewise the largest ever. “The Big Lie:
Inside the Rise and Fraud of WorldCom” will also provide an inside look
into the beginning and end of WorldCom, and it’s former CEO Bernard
Ebbers. Stock Certificates shown in special supplied by
NEW YORK--May 24, 2005
- Delaware Law Change Will Save Investors Millions of Dollars; DTCC Says
National Drive to Eliminate Paper Certificates Picking up Steam
By eliminating its legal requirement that companies
issue paper stock certificates, Delaware's state legislature will save
investors and companies millions of dollars a year, said Jill M.
Considine, chairman and CEO of The Depository Trust & Clearing
Corporation (DTCC), which handles the post-trade processing and
settlement of securities transactions for most U.S. markets.
Delaware was one of five states still requiring public companies
incorporated in the state to issue paper certificates for equities,
which are the last financial instruments still using physical ownership
records. Virtually all other securities today - including corporate and
municipal bonds, U.S. government securities, money-market instruments,
futures, options and mutual funds - are issued and traded in a
paperless, electronic format that allows for automated processing and
Paper stock certificates cost companies, investors,
banks and brokers hundreds of millions of dollars each year to print,
register, ship, examine, file and keep safe, even though they're
involved in only about one-tenth of one percent of all trades daily on
U.S. markets. One study, released by the Securities Industry Association
(SIA) last year, puts the annual cost of handling paper stock
certificates at $250 million or more.
The SIA has been leading the securities industry's
effort on "dematerialization"--the elimination of paper certificates.
"Since DTCC's subsidiary is the world's largest securities depository
and holds in custody securities valued at more than $28 trillion, we are
actively supporting the SIA in achieving this shared objective,"
The two states and one territory that still require
companies to issue paper certificates are Arizona, Louisiana, and Puerto
Los Angeles Times - Your Money
old stock certificates found in attics are worthless, especially those
of mining, utility, carmaker and department store firms felled by the
Depression. However, some stocks of firms that merged, changed names or
exited bankruptcy may have investment value. Others could have
historical or artistic value.
"If you research a certificate and find what happened to the company,
put a note on it before you stick it in a safe deposit box," advised Bob
Kerstein, CEO of Scripophily.com,
a Fairfax, Va., firm that charges $39.95 per stock search to find
details about the certificate's company. "You'll be doing your heirs a
April 24, 2005 -
Tribune by Andrew Leckey "TAKING
Question: I recently discovered some old stock certificates in my family
belongings. How can I find out if these companies are still in business
and if the stock has any value?
stocks of firms that merged, changed names or exited bankruptcy may have
investment value. Others could have historical or artistic value.
"If you research a certificate and find what happened to the company,
put a note on it before you stick it in a safe deposit box," advised Bob
Kerstein, CEO of Scripophily.com,
a Fairfax, Va., firm that charges $39.95 per stock search to find
details about the certificate's company. "You'll be doing your heirs a
.....Scripophily.com has an old
certificate for Houdini Pictures Corp. signed by escape artist Harry
Houdini that's valued at $5,000. Houdini's move into the motion picture
business didn't prove magical, and his firm went bankrupt.
OldCompany.com for Stock
Certificate Research Services.
Friday, March 25, 2005 - Sacramento Bee, Jack Sirard:
Tracking old stock certificates... It's always exciting when someone
comes upon an old stock certificate because there's always a chance that
the stock will prove to be worth a small fortune. Even though an old
stock no longer trades under the name on the certificate, it may still
be valuable. The company could have changed its name or been taken over
by another company.
Scripophily.com is named after
the hobby of collecting old stock and bond certificates. For a fee
($39.95 - OldCompany.com), the
company - like others in the field - will research whether your stock or
bond certificate has any value. "We will tell them what happened to their
company and how to get in touch with any successor companies," Kerstein
3, 2005 8PM - CNN
"People in the News" Hosted by Paula Zahn profiles Martha Stewart, the
domestic diva who founded a billion-dollar homemaking empire.
Stock certificates shown in Martha Stewart Special were provided
by Scripophily.com - The Gift of History.
10, 2005 CNBC Interview with Scripophily.com's CEO Bob Kerstein -
The Star-Ledger - Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - I just "came across"
a stock certificate for 49 shares of Hughes Electronics in a pile of
papers. Does it have any value? ... You're actually lucky in a way --
the company you have shares in still exists. More often than not, when
Bob Kerstein's company gets a call
from someone who found an old stock certificate, the company (many
times) has gone bankrupt or disappeared.
Kerstein, chief executive of the online site
scripophily.com, said his firm
fields about 25 inquiries a day on the topic. A related business,
oldcompany.com, will research
stock certificates for a fee, as will other similar companies.
But even if the company that issued the stock has disappeared, the
certificate itself may be worth something as a collectible.
Kerstein's site buys and sells
thousands of stock and bond certificates...
January 27, 2005 - Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. of Fredericksburg, Va
- Vienna: Tysons Corner Marriott Hotel, 8028 Leesburg Pike, Fourth
Annual Northern Virginia Stock Certificate and Bond Show and Auction.
Event is devoted to the pursuit of old stocks and bonds, a collecting
hobby known as scripophily. Jan. 28-29. Show admission is $3; the public
may attend the auction free of charge. Call 703/250-2558 or visit
26, 2005 CNBC Interview with Scripophily.com's CEO Bob Kerstein - Higher
Resolution Video -
Lower Resolution Video
Street History comes alive in Tysons Corner!
On January 28, and 29th, 2005, the Professional Scripophily
Traders Association - PSTA.com is sanctioning
and attending the Fourth Annual Northern Virginia stock and bond show and
auction. The event is devoted to the pursuit of old stocks and bonds, a
collecting hobby formally known as Scripophily. It is very similar to that of
coins and stamps. Today most people who invest in the stock market receive a
computerized confirmation of their ownership of stock. Prior to the advent of
computerized trading ornately illustrated stock certificates were the standard
proof of ownership in a company. Those certificates that have survived remain
today as collectibles. While many people own stocks and bonds, many others are
not aware of the history of the stock market. As such, Scripophily offers a fine
opportunity to better understand and appreciate the history of finance over
The live auction which will
be held on Friday evening January 28, 2005 at the Tysons Corner Marriott Hotel.
The catalog illustrates many examples of the certificates issued to companies to
finance their growth and as such remain today as source documents demonstrating
the history of free enterprise. A number of certificates of local interest will
be found within the catalog’s pages as well as at the show on Saturday. A few
examples are the Mount Vernon Memorial Association, George Gunther, Jr. Brewing
Company of Baltimore, Emerson Drug Company of Baltimore, Washington Utilities
Company and many more.
There will be over fifty
tables with offerings by some of the World’s largest dealers in old stocks and
bonds including Scott J. Winslow
Associates, Inc., Scripophily.com,
George H. LaBarre Galleries, Inc., R. M. Smythe & Co. and many others. People
who have old stocks and bonds buried away are invited to come speak with some of
the world’s leading authorities to determine collectible value and possible
saleability of their certificates. The public is invited to attend the auction
free of charge while the show admittance fee is $3.00.
You can find out more about
the show and auction at the following website:
Magazine February 2005
BY ELLEN McGIRT
Is it Wahoo or Wahooey?
Q. My son received 250 shares of Cleveland Indians stock as a gift a few years
back. We framed it
and hung It. The company was
sold and is now privately owned.
Can he still redeem his stock?
BILL WOERNER NORCROSS, GA.
A. Good news—just in time too: The
team's owner (which bought the Indians
in February 2000) will redeem your
shares for $22.6612 a pop if it receives
the proper paperwork by Feb. 15, 2005
(or, by law, the value of the unclaimed
shares reverts to the State of Ohio).
Some 15,500 Indians shareholders
have not redeemed an estimated 59,000
shares still outstanding. Most folks own
just one or two shares and are probably
keeping them as memorabilia. (At
scripophily.com, where collectors trade
old stock certificates, they're going for
$125 to $200 each.) You, however, are
looking at some serious green: $5,665.
Call National City Bank in Cleveland
at 800-622-7809 for a letter of transmit-
tal and a return-envelope package. In-
sert a picture of your newly wealthy son
in that now-empty frame and have the
whole family take a home-run trot.
Old stock certificates may pay off
- GEORGE CHAMBERLIN - For the North County Times
- San Diego, California
Q: In going through some of my late father's
documents, I discovered some old stock certificates. I can't find any
listing or evidence that the companies still exist. What should I do?
---- Carla, Bonsall
Fool UK Thursday January 13, 2005 11:41 AM By
David Kuo - There are thousands people who scour the globe for unusual shares. These are not
share investors, as we understand it, but scripophilists, people who collect
share and bond certificates. These bits of paper are not only viewed as
beautiful works of art, but can be quite valuable too.
A: It depends on how hard you want to work or how much you are
willing to pay to have someone else do the detective work for you.....There
are several resources available on the Internet that offer research
services for a fee. They include ....Scripophily.com.
For a fee ($40).. they will investigate the history of the questionable
company....Even if you inherited shares that are worthless, there is a
possibility that they may have some collector value. Many people
consider stock certificates to be works of art, and they have become
highly collectible. The hobby is called
scripophily. The value of a
certificate can be determined by a number of factors ---- history of the
company, the quality of the artwork on the certificate, and even the
signature of the officials on the document...
For example, when
Playboy first issued shares some thirty-four years ago, each certificate carried
an image of an undressed woman. Thankfully, the nude model managed to find some
clothes to wear in later issues! Apart from the rarity value of those early
Playboy shares, bunny boss Hugh Hefner also signed each certificate personally.
One of those rare original Playboy share certificates can fetch as much as $275
compared to a single share today that is only worth $12 a piece.
According to experts, an autograph of a famous person on a share certificate
can greatly enhance its value. Currently, the most precious certificates is a
particular share in Standard Oil, which is valued at $136,000. This document was
signed thrice by oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller - once as the owner of the
share, a second time as a director of the company, and a third time when he
.....According to site,
the move toward electronically traded shares could be a boon as new scrip
becomes more limited. This implies that paper records will slowly disappear, so
even the most ordinary and worthless certificates could eventually acquire
Philadelphia Inquirer - Tue, Nov. 23, 2004 -
Fool's School Old Stock Certificates
Many of us occasionally end up with old stock certificates, unsure how to
determine their value.
are some additional resources suggested by the Securities and Exchange
Commission: ...At www.scripophily.com,
for a fee, you can have research done on whether your stock or bond certificate
has any value. (Even if your company has gone belly up, the certificate may be
worth something as a collectible. Scripophily may buy it from you....
Yahoo Finance - Thursday December 9, 2004 -
Scripophily.com Has Another
Record Breaking Year - Historic Stock and Bond
Certificates Continue to Gain Popularity - Old Company Certificates Are a Hit
for Holiday Gifts - WASHINGTON DC ----Scripophily.com, the
Internet's largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond certificates,
has achieved another record breaking year with a 17.5% increase in year to year
sales with November 2004 being our best yet. Historic stock and bond
certificates continue to gain in popularity as demonstrated by a 29% year to
year increase in page views. Scripophily.com offers over 10,000 quality
selections covering a wide range of companies and government securities printed
from over 150 years ago to the present day......
- The Gift of History is a leading provider of
collectible stock and bond certificates and other old paper items from frauds,
scandals, bankruptcies, dot coms, as well as the more traditional areas of
railroads, telephone and telegraph, entertainment, sports, manufacturing,
mining, utilities, oil and gas, retail, tobacco, foods, banks, insurance, health
We frequently loan items for display in the
Smithsonian's Museum of Financial History in New York. The company also offers
an old stock research service at OldCompany.com. Scripophily.com was founded by
Bob Kerstein, President and CEO who has more than 25 years of senior management
experience in the cellular, cable TV, satellite, internet, and professional
sports and entertainment Industries as a Certified Public Accountant. Bob is
also the President of the Professional Scripophily Trade Association.
November 8, 2004 -
Certificates may Still Have Value by Kimberly
Lankford - ...OldCompany.com
will charge $39.95 per report to tell you know what happened to the company and
how to get in touch with them. There's no fee if they can't track down that
information....Stocks that aren't worth anything as
investments may still have value as collectibles, especially if they have
attractive artwork, are signed by somebody famous or have historical
significance. Kerstein is selling an 1861 American Express stock certificate
signed by Henry Wells and William Fargo for $995. He also has an Insider Trading
Package for $129.95, which includes a Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and an
ImClone Systems certificate signed by their infamous former CEOs. He'll also
provide the wholesale and retail price of the certificate as a collectible when
he researches the company.
August 11, 2004
- JENNIFER SCOTT CIMPERMAN
Plain Dealer - Marketful of
Memories The price of corporate memorabilia driven largely by
retirees - Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - Jennifer Scott Cimperman Plain Dealer Reporter....
Collecting another kind of corporate stuff - rare and not- so-rare stock and
bond certificates, known as scripophily - is a little less daunting thanks to
books that provide ballpark figures. Even so, values are hardly precise.
Some certificates are prized for intricate artwork or specific printing
techniques, for example. Other scripophily collectors seek famous signatures.
And some simply want reminders of companies that employed their parents or
grandparents. "If it's a known commodity, that increases the value, but
that isn't always the case," said Bob Kerstein, chief executive and founder of
Scripophily.com. He said a dealer recently received $140,000 for a Standard Oil
stock certificate signed by John D. Rockefeller. ....
WASHINGTON, DC (November 5, 2004) -
achieves major milestone with 10,000 items Offers Largest Selection of
Stock and Bond Certificates in World.
the Internet’s largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond
certificates, has achieve a major milestone of having over 10,000 quality
selections on our website. Our selections cover the range from Bonds
issued by the Confederate States of America to Stocks from Modern
Scandals. We have certificates signed by famous people including Henry
Wells, William Fargo, Samual Prescott Bush ( Great Grandfather of
President Bush ), Andrew Mellon, John Delorean, J.P. Morgan, and many
others. We even have certificates from the original
Minnesota Mining &
Manufacturing Company signed by its founders. “ We are very
satisfied with our selections and even more satisfied with our high
customer satisfaction rating” said Scripophily.com founder and CEO, Bob
Kerstein. “These selections help our customers find that special one of a
kind gift that only Scripophily.com can provide” Kerstein added
August 4, 2004 - Washington Post -
Have You Picked Up the Dictionary Lately?
Do you know what a tick is? How about a fallen
Are you a scripophily? If you grew up
on a farm, you know what churning is, but what if
you're an investor?
If you pick up this month's
Color of Money Book Club selection, you'll be able to answer all those
questions and more about your money.
For August, I've chosen
"Dictionary of Financial Terms" by Virginia B. Morris and her husband,
Kenneth M. Morris (Lightbulb Press, $14.95). This is a user-friendly
dictionary with lots of colorful illustrations to
make reading about finances a little less boring.
.......So what's a
It's not that nasty little bug. According to the "Dictionary of
Financial Terms," a tick is the minimum movement by which the price of a
security, option, or index changes. With stocks, a tick represents 1/16 of a
point. Here are the answers to the rest of my questions:
A fallen angel is the term for corporate or government bonds that
were investment-grade when they were issued but have been downgraded by a
rating service, such as Moody's Investors Service or Standard & Poor's. The
term also is used to refer to stocks that are out of favor.
And if you're a Scripophilist, don't worry. You don't have a fear of
you like collecting old stock and bond certificates. Scripophily is a
combination of words from English and Greek, according to Bob Kerstein,
chief executive of the Falls Church-based Web site,
Scripophily.com. The word "scrip"
represents an ownership right, and the word "philos" means to love. Check
out this site. It's so cool. For $59.95 you can buy a
Buckeye Steel stock
certificate signed by President Bush's Great Grandfather Samuel
If you're into newer stock certificates, Scripophily.com has some
interesting and notorious stocks. For example, you can get an
certificate for $29.95.
Times Publishing - Collecting Network
- What is Scripophily?
the collecting of canceled old stocks and bonds,
gained recognition as a hobby around the
mid-1970s. The word resulted combining words from
English and Greek. The word "scrip" represents an
ownership right and the word "philos" means to
love. Today there are thousands of collectors
worldwide in search of scarce, rare, and popular
stocks and bonds. Collectors who come from the a
variety of businesses enjoy this as a hobby,
although there are many who consider Scripophily
an good investment. In fact, over the past several
years, this hobby has exploded. Modern Dot
companies and Scandals have been particularly
popular. You can find our more about modern
collectible stock certificates at
May 26, 2004 - North Devon Gazette
and Advertiser - Internet trawl
unearths a bit of history
by Tony Gussin A LITTLE piece of North Devon’s
railroad history has winged its way across the
Atlantic from the windy city of Chicago....The
beautifully engraved document was “discovered” by
Alison Mills at the museum through a search of the
internet. It was being offered for sale by
Scripophily.com, an American company in
Washington DC, which specialises in buying and
selling historic or collectible share and bond
certificates. “I emailed Bob Kerstein,
chief executive, to see if he
would lend it to us for the exhibition – and he
simply posted it to us,” said a delighted and
amazed Alison....The certificate was bought by
Scripophily.com from the UK and formed part of
a large collection. Said Mr Kerstein: “Alison
asked me if they could use it in the museum for a
display – we work with museums all the time and
are more than happy to help out. We are a great
believer in preserving history and that is
ultimately what museums want to do, so it was our
pleasure to help.” The certificate has been
valued at $300...
APRIL 5, 2004
Alas, we can have,
but hardly ever hold By
BILL VIRGIN SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER COLUMNIST
......Oh sure, we know what stock certificates
look like, or are supposed to look like. Every now
and then I get a catalog in the mail offering for
sale elaborately and beautifully engraved stock
certificates for long-gone railroad and steamship
companies, often for prices far in excess of what
the original shares sold for.
Collecting such stock
certificates as art or memorabilia is a big deal
these days; Barron's recently did a piece on the
pursuit ..... formally known as Scripophily.
.......You can get stock certificates these days
from the companies in which you invest -- if you
ask for them. Most companies would rather you
didn't and encourage investors to take a book
entry or be registered in street name (through the
brokerage) instead. Taking delivery of and holding
stock certificates poses potential problems in the
event of loss or theft, and if you sell those
shares there's the hassle of delivering the shares
to the brokerage that handled the transaction
Barrons MONDAY, APRIL
5, 2004 Paper Chase
By RICHARD KARP GOT ANY
STOCK CERTIFICATES in your attic? Better check if
one of them is from The Wright Co., the pioneer of
flight. If it is -- and if it's signed by Wilbur
or Orville -- congratulations. You may have just
won more than $100,000. Forget the modern stock
market. Some folks are having far more fun
collecting and trading stock certificates of
companies from the past -- the glorious, the
infamous and the wholly forgotten...An estimated
20,000 people worldwide now collect stock and bond
certificates, up from just a few thousand five or
10 years ago, says Fairfax, Va., certificate
dealer Bob Kerstein. "This is a tremendous growth
period," he crows, adding that the field has
surged with the real market over the past year.
It's Wall Street's
version of Antiques Road Show -- and it does
indeed hit the road. In February, some 500
enthusiasts descended on Lancaster, Pa., for an
annual get-together and auction hosted by the New
York auction house R.M. Smythe & Co. Other
auctions are held in such far-flung locales as
Reno, Nev. (certificates of mining stocks),
Bedford, N.H. (certificates with famous
autographs) and Belgium (certificates with an
Collectors sometimes make history
themselves. During the peak of the market mania in the 'Nineties, a
United States Steel bond, dated 1901 and signed by Andrew Carnegie,
sold for a head-turning $60,500. And an 1871 Standard Oil stock
certificate, signed by John D. Rockefeller, fetched a record
$132,000....Some dealers are pushing decidedly modern forms of the
art. Kerstein, who operates a business called Scripophily.com, is
offering a "Dot-com Package" of certificates from four Internet
blowups: DrKoop.com, Broadband.com, PayForView.com, and WebVan.com.
Total cost: $99.95. Or, for $129.95 you can buy the "Insider Trading
Package." It's made up of two stock certificates -- one for
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia,
signed by the queen of domesticity herself before she was indicted,
and one for Imclone, signed by her pal Sam Waksal
before he went to jail. Then there's the "Modern Scandal Package,"
containing Enron, Qwest, Adelphia, MCI, WorldCom,
Global Crossing, Kmart and HealthSouth.
The eight go for $199.95.
But most collectors still prefer
antiques -- and they can choose from a nearly endless array of
industries. Railroad paper is as popular as ever, along with
telephone and telegraph issues. Want entertainment? You can bid on
everything from opera-house bonds to circus stocks....
March 7, 2004 NBC DATELINE TV Show 7pm - 8pm EST - Martha
Stewart: Fall of an icon - Stock certificate shown in the telecast
from Martha Stewart and ImClone were supplied by PSTA member
Scripophily.com. Dateline NBC
anchor Stone Phillips is joined by numerous NBC News correspondents
twice a week to bring viewers compelling investigative reports and
February 1, 2004 - Chicago Tribune
Andrew Leckey is a Tribune Media Services
Q. I have several old stock certificates. How can I research them?
Are there companies that do this?
A. Most old stock certificates found in desk drawers or attics are
worthless. Hundreds of mining companies failed early in the last century.
Countless utilities, carmakers and department stores didn't survive the
Depression. There are, however, some companies that merged, changed names or
exited bankruptcy, with their old certificates retaining value. In addition,
a few certificates have historical or artistic worth separate from their
investment value, with potential for sale at shows or online auctions. Here
are steps to determine the value of your certificates:...... There are
private search companies that, for a fee, research certificate value. These
include Scripophily.com (888-STOCKS6); Smythe & Co. (800-622-1880); .....
"We tell you what happened to the company, whether it was acquired, how to
get in touch with who acquired it, or if it went out of business," explained
Bob Kerstein, chief executive of Scripophily.com in Fairfax, Va., which
charges $39.95 per certificate search. "If there's collectible value, you
can send us a copy of it and we determine what we'd offer for it."
Scripophily.com has one rare Edison Manufacturing Co. stock signed by Thomas
Edison that is valued at $4,995.
February 5-8, 2004 - The Scripophily Show of
Shows - The 17th Annual Strasburg Stock &
Bond Scripophily Show and Auction
Strasburg Stock & Bond Show is the country's largest event for
collectors of stocks & bonds. The 45-dealer bourse area will feature
the trade's leading specialists from more than 30 states and Europe.
Strasburg, PA - Scripophily.com will set up by the front door.
February 3, 2004, 10:56 AM PST By Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET
News.com - Microsoft said Tuesday that it established an alliance with
software maker Volante Technologies to build straight-through processing
capabilities for the financial services market..... The Securities
Industry Association, the main trade group for the U.S. securities industry,
has set a list of major goals the industry needs to achieve in the next few
years to enable STP, including eliminating paper stock certificates and
standardizing electronic payments.
January 26, 2004
Rocky Mountain News - SPRING CLEANING? Got an old stock certificate and wondering whether it
has value? Call these companies or check out their Web sites for
information: Stock Search Int'l or Scripophily.com,
www.scripophily.com or toll-free at 1-888-786-2576. Research costs $40 to
$85 per company.
(January 20, 2004) - Professional
Scripophily Trade Association launched in January ’04 is met
with strong support - The Professional
Scripophily Trade Association (“PSTA”) is an organization of
Scripophily Dealers Committed to establishing a very high level of
integrity in the development and promotion of collectible stock
certificates and bonds. The PSTA commitment to offering first class
customer service and professionalism.......
Thursday, January 15, 2004 -
Old certificates may have value
- Researching old companies takes
legwork - Got an
old stock certificate lying around the house or tucked away in a safe
deposit box? These intriguing bits of paper often surface after a death
when relatives sort through personal effects. The first question everyone
asks is whether they are worth anything......A stock certificate might be
worthless as an investment but worth something as a collectible. Value
depends on the artwork, age, historical significance, rarity and
popularity of the subject matter. For information about research services
and collectibles, call ...Scripophily.com
toll-free at 1 (888) 786-2576....
January 2004 -
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION - Final Rule: Processing Requirements
for Cancelled Security Certificates -
physical certificates may be quickly disappearing, they're still giving
regulators and transfer agents plenty of angst. The Securities and
Exchange Commission has just codified a decade-old practice within the
stock transfer industry of how useless certificates should be canceled,
and will for the first time allow transfer agents to destroy certificates
within three business days of their cancellation......Maintaining
Certificates as Collectors' Items - The Proposing Release requested
comments on whether the Commission should mandate the destruction of
cancelled certificates within thirty days of their cancellation. Three
commenters, a finance professor, a non-public corporation, and the
president of a securities certificate collectors' organization ( Robert A.
Kerstein ) , argued against destroying old securities certificates because
of their importance to financial history, their aesthetic merits, and
their value to collectors in a field known as Scripophily.
January 9, 2004 Scripophily.com will be offering stock
certificates from the Northern Pacific Railroad and its branch
lines. Chartered in 1864, The Northern Pacific Railroad completed a
connection from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast. Encompassing
over 100 different Railroads and connected companies, the holding
offers an extremely important view of railroad finance in the
developing Northwestern United States. The number of
well-known Wall Street figures who appear as shareholders signing
certificates is remarkable. This is a virtual who’s who of American
financial historical figures including John D. Rockefeller, J.
Pierpont Morgan, Jay Gould, E. H. Harriman, important banker Jay
Cooke, John S. Pillsbury; founder of Pillsbury Co, August Belmont of
Belmont Stakes Fame, William Fargo; co-founder of Wells- Fargo, and
Henry Ward Beecher; Anti-Slavery Reformer.
Two Major Scripophily
Shows in 1st Quarter 2004
1, 2004 Professional Scripophily Trade Association PSTA.COM
- The PSTA is a premier professional
association of dealers, launched on January 1, 2004, is organizied
to help promote the hobby of Scripophily and Financial History.
Member dealers are committed to customer service and education
as well as providing the highest quality products, services and
2003 Bloomberg Markets ENRON SCRIP - Talk about paper
profits.....Corporate scandals have been a boon for collectors of
Wall Street paper....for $199.95 Scripophily.com will sell you a
Modern Scandal Package of 8 Companies which include Enron,
Global Crossing and World Com.
(November 6, 2003) Scripophily.com adds archive of Scarce Confederate
War Bonds to Website’s Historic
Offerings - Confederate Bonds are an important part of U.S.
Financial History - Scripophily.com now offers over 9,000 different
the Internet’s largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and
bond certificates, has recently acquired a large collection of
authentic Bonds issued by the Confederate States of America which is
ConfederateBonds.com. “With the addition of this
collection, we will now have over 100 different types of Confederate
Bonds issued from 1861 to 1865 and ranging in price from $89.95 to
$895.95” according to Scripophily.com’s
founder and CEO, Bob Kerstein. The bonds include images of Stonewall
Jackson, Jefferson Davis, George Washington, Old Confederate
Sailors, CSA Cabinet Members and many others. Although most of
the bonds were issued from Richmond, Virginia there are some that
were issued in Montgomery, Alabama prior to the confederacy moving
their capital to Richmond. All of the bonds are hand signed, many of
which by Robert Tyler as CSA Registry of
the Treasury, and the son of U.S. President John Tyler.....
Thursday, October 23, 2003 - Montreal
Gazette - It's time to peel those old stocks off the walls
Collectors trading certificates. Actual shares of some worth more
than trading value on stock exchanges....Stand aside income trusts.
There are some more new ways for individuals to play the stock
market....This relatively new hobby, called scripophily, caught the
eye of more serious collectors starting in 1976, when a catalogue of
pre-revolutionary Chinese and Russian bonds was published by a
German firm. The highly decorative documents generated a strong
international interest because of their appearance and their
historical significance. That interest has only been heightened by a
push on Wall St. to eliminate the issue of paper stock certificates
in favour of exclusively electronic transactions - a move recently
endorsed by the New York Stock Exchange. In several European
countries, including France and Denmark, companies have already made
CNN - Cashing in on collectibles
- The Armchair Millionaire Guide
NEW YORK (Armchair Millionaire) - Dear Armchair Millionaire:
I just found a stock certificate from 1970 for one share of Ringling
Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. ...How can I find out how much it
is worth today? ...If you're just dabbling with collectibles,
the first place to turn for information will likely be the Internet.
In the case of your old stock certificate, you want information on
Scripophily -- the hobby of collecting old stock and bond
certificates. You can visit
get an idea of the value of your stock certificate...PS:
There's a great example of a Ringling Bros. stock certificate (1969)
for sale for $295 at Scripophily.com. No clowning around!
October 08, 2003
Vintage stock certificate signed by Stuart Wolff now on sale
By Marcie Geffner
... a vintage Homestore stock certificate signed by former Homestore
CEO Stuart Wolff has surfaced on
at the sale price of $79.95. Scripophily sells stock certificates
and other historic documents and autographs as collectibles. The
certificates no longer represent any actual ownership rights in the
various companies.... Scripophily also has sorted
Homestore into its "dot-coms" category along with stock
certificates of AskJeeves.com, eToys.com, Egghead.com, Monster.com
(with famous logo!), Priceline.com, Salon.com, Tickets.com,
WebVan.com and several dozen others. Of course the
Hollywood-meets-politics crowd might prefer the 1999 "Planet
Hollywood Stock Certificate (signed by) Demi Moore, Bruce Willis,
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone." Scripophily is
selling that document for $199.95. Will the price be higher since
the dealer correctly predicted the winner of yesterday's
gubernatorial recall vote in California?
18, 2003 Coastal Fisherman Newspaper of Ocean City, Maryland - A brief respite in the bad
weather ( Hurricane Isabel ) last weekend produced good catches of
yellowfin tuna on Sunday, most on trolled ballyhoo in 40-50 fathoms
inshore of Poor Man's Canyon. Skip Messinger, Tom Carroll, Rusty
Messinger and Bob.com Kerstein CEO
Scripophily.com, of Fairfax, VA, were among the anglers who had
successful days offshore. They were fishing on the charter boat
"Infinity" with Capt. Charlie Burns and Mate Matt Abraham out of
Scripophily 11, 2003 - Scripophily.com
Stock and Bond Student Educational
- Old Stock and
Bond certificates are an excellent way to teach students about the
stock market. Our company is committed to help in this effort.
Scripophily.com is sponsoring a program where we provide
stock and bond certificates very inexpensively if they are being
used in schools for educational purposes. "There is no better
way to teach kids and adults about the stock market than to let them
feel and hold an actual stock and bond certificate" said Bob
Kerstein, CEO Scripophily.com. "Explaining what a certificate has
printed on it and what is represents is an important part of
understanding the entire process" added Kerstein.
10, 2003 - Washington DC-
Scripophily.com is now offering a Wall Street Scripophily Calendar
with each month featuring a unique certificate in full color. This
is a perfect gift for customers, clients, employees, friends,
collectors, students and everyone else. The actual size of the
calendar is 8 1/2" x 11" ( perfect size for mailing ) with 28 color
print pages including the cover. You can order the calendar at
only $7.95 each.
September 9, 2003 -
The rise and fraud
of WorldCom In a new
documentary, CNBC examines how Bernie Ebbers built WorldCom into a
telecom giant that had competitors scrambling but ultimately
recorded the nation's biggest accounting fraud.
the stock certificates used in this TV Special.
Scripophily.com is the
internet's largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond
certificates and has a track record of supplying the media with
images and use of its products for news, shows and specials.
September 2, 2003 - Scripophily.com launches a new and improved
website which includes many new features and enhancements.
The new website is an improvement in many areas including it
powerful search engine with
enhanced search functionality,
industry and category organization, improved vignette and
certificate images, image zoom in capability,
Stock Certificates by Price Range,
index by category,
and many other features. During the
past 12 months we have received over 10,700,000 page views which
represents a 25% increase over the prior year. "We are very
satisfied with our new website and are excited about the ever
increasing popularity of the hobby of Scripophily" said Bob
Kerstein, CEO Scripophily.com.
August 11, 2003 Barrons - Reviewed by Kathy Yakal - Joys in the
Attic - Is that stock certificate worth more than the paper it's
printed on? ...The hobby of collecting old security
certificates is called Scripophily. Anyone interested in it
might do well to visit a site allied with Old Company Research:
on which certificates can be bought and sold.
August 08, 2003
Investing for Beginners Blog Archives with
- Scripophily is the practice of collecting stock and
bond certificates. One of my favorite sites on the topic
is scripophily.net. Depending upon what they have
available at the time, you can find actual Standard Oil
stock certificates signed by John D. Rockefeller,
industrial gold bonds, and more. I highly recommend
them. My personal favorite is the "Monopoly Set"; for
$39.95, you can get old certificates for the Reading
Rail Road, Cleveland Short Line, B&O Railroad, and
Pennsylvania Railroad. TOKYO,
July 31, 2003 (Reuters) - Japan to do away with stock
certificates - Already they are rarely seen by Japanese
investors, and from 2009 they will no longer exist.
Following the lead of Britain and France, Japan is
moving to do away with stock certificates. In a
move to cut costs and reduce the number of days required
for the settlement of stock transactions, Japan's
Financial Services Agency and Justice Ministry said on
Thursday they planned to require all listed companies to
allow investors to trade shares without certificates by
2009. Under the new system, settlement periods
will be cut to three days, and eventually to two, from
the current four days, helping to smooth transactions, a
Justice Ministry spokesman said....
July 11, 2003 (Bloomberg) -- A set of Chinese railway bonds sold
in 1911 by J.P. Morgan & Co. fetched 947 pounds ($1,547) at Bonhams
auction house in London this week, one of 93 lots purchased by
collectors of antique debt and share certificates....Collecting
aging bond and share certificates, often brittle and stained from
years of handling, is known as Scripophily....The hobby dates back
to the mid-1970s in the U.S., when dealers first compiled catalogues
of Confederate bonds.... The society started in 1978 with about 30
people and now has 1,000 members in 42 countries.
July 10, 2003 Thomson Corporation and Securities Industry
Switzerland’s SIS Finds New Meaning in Certificates - At a time
when many of the world’s largest depository systems have either
immobilized or dematerialized their securities holdings recording
transfer of ownership in electronic form, one--in Switzerland--is
bucking the trend in trying to preserve a part of history. SIS
SegaIntersettle will be unveiling tomorrow in the town of Olten--about
a half-hour’s drive from corporate headquarters in Zurich--a museum
dedicated to antiquated securities certificates. The museum, the
brainchild of SIS’ former director of marketing, Ronny Vogt, will
hold more than 7,000 certificates from over 100 countries, on the
floor of the three-story building owned by SIS.
Forbes Feature -
-Corporate scandals too
"painful" to catalogue
By Tatiana Serafin NEW YORK
- Models of office shredders, images of executives in handcuffs and
detailed examples of corporate excess may seem like a sure-fire way
for keepers of financial history to educate people about the most
recent corporate scandals....Scripophily.com, which donated the
certificates to the Financial History Museum.....Customers can
purchase a piece of recent history on the site. The "modern scandal
package" includes eight certificates from companies such as Enron
June 17, 2003 More worthless WorldCom stock by Jeff Clabaugh Staff
WorldCom stock certificates may be worth something to the
Smithsonian. That's about it......
New York City, June 9, 2003
Museum of American Financial History
- Scripophily.com loans
Museum of American Financial History early Pan
American Airlines and other certificates for
the museum's “Pan Am and the Golden Age of Air
Travel” display. The exhibit focuses on Pan Am’s clipper
period, from 1935 through 1946, when it became an airline of firsts
including the first American airline to fly to foreign destinations,
the first to institute round-the-world service, the first to employ
flight stewards, the first to serve meals aboard, and the first to
show full-length movies. Exhibit highlights include vintage route
maps, advertisements, signage, postcards, brochures, a pilot’s
jacket, and a collection of handwritten correspondence from a Pan Am
advertising manager to his fiancée including his South American
itinerary from 1941-1942. Financial documents, such as Pan Am stock
certificates and annual reports, are also featured.
June 1, 2003 St. Petersburg TimesSpelling bee is a hotbed of
learning and disgrace By JAN GLIDEWELL, Times Columnist
It has now been 47 years since
my brush with spelling greatness, but the memories are sharp enough
for me to appreciate and enjoy accounts of the 76th annual Scripps
Howard National Spelling Bee.....(Scripophily) appears frequently on
the Internet and apparently refers to the hobby of collecting old
stock, share and bond certificates.
May 29, 2003
Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau You have
his word on it Ousted in national bee's second round, Pearland boy
vows to try again next year.... A 12-year-old from Roanoke, Va., was
right on "videlicet," and a 13-year-old from Seattle scored on "scripophily."
May 29, 2003 - Seatle PI
- Spelling bee's tough -- definitely
In the national contest, a local 13-year-old spelled words beyond
the ability of most people.....Natasha Smith spelled words
such as these correctly:...scripophily (the hobby of collecting old
stock and bond certificates)...
May 2, 2003, Sacramento Bee by
Jack Sirard: ...
Q: I am having trouble tracking down
information on an old oil company and have had no luck using the
Internet to find information on the company. A.
If you don't find anything, you can turn to one of the many
companies that do stock searches for a fee. These companies often
highlight the successes they have had in finding "old worthless
stocks" that turned out to be worth thousands of dollars. But
I think for the most part these "worthless" stocks are indeed
worthless. Sometimes they have value to collectors. Here are a
couple of places to check: Scripophily.com, which opened its virtual doors in 1996, bills
itself as a leading provider of collectible stock and bond
certificates and other old paper items. It also provides research
information on old stocks and companies (
), The toll-free number is (888) 786-2576.....
17, 2003 Atlanta Business Chronicle Some firms eliminate paper stock
certificates by Anya Martin Contributing Writer
As technology has advanced over the past decade, paper stock
certificates have been steadily going the way of the dinosaur,
currently accounting for less than 10 percent of the trading market.
Now, there's a move to completely eliminate paper stock
certificates....A 2002-dated Coca-Cola stock certificate offered by
Scripophily.com, a Chantilly, Va.-based firm that sells stock
certificates to a bustling collectors' market, boasts ornate
embossed decorative borders and the art nouveau image of a woman
reclining in front of Aladdin's lamp. Scripophily is defined
as "the collecting of canceled old stocks and bonds, [which] gained
recognition as a hobby around the mid-1970s..."
March 15, 2003 - The Globe and Mail By RICHARD BLOOM -
can't trade it, might as well frame it -- You may not
want to hold Enron Corp. shares in your portfolio, but how about
having them hang on your wall? ...Bob Kerstein, founder and
chief executive officer with Scripophily.com LLC, says his site has
an inventory of more than 8,000 collectibles -- ranging from pennies
a share all the way up to the hand-signed DeLorean share for $8,995
(U.S.), ..."Sales are good. We get over a million page
hits a month on our Web site. We get a lot of activity, a lot of
interest," said Mr. Kerstein, who started collecting classic
securities in 1990...
January 27, 2003 Scripophily News -
Hobby of Scripophily Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary-
1978 - 2003 - Scripophily.com
celebrates with Huge Sale
hobby's name was conceived in 1978. The word resulted combining
words from English and Greek. The word "scrip" represents an
ownership right and the word "philos" means to love..."We
are happy to be part of this wonderful hobby that has thousands of
collectors worldwide" said Bob Kerstein, CEO Scripophily.com.
"The hobby has many great people involved in it with whom I am proud
to be affiliated" Kerstein added.
KOGO Radio in San Diego - Sunday, January 26, 2003 - "Money in
the Morning" with George Chamberlin
- Bob Kerstein, CEO of Scripophily.com will join the radio
talk show prior to the Super Bowl in San Diego to discuss the hobby
of Scripophily. KOGO is
San Diego's EXCLUSIVE
NewsTalk Radio Station.
ABC News - 1/15/2003
- Wall Street lobbies to ditch paper
stock certificates - The Securities Industry Association is
launching a publicity blitz this year to persuade publicly traded
companies and their shareholders that a paperless world will save
money and time. Its effort is aided by a New York Stock Exchange
rule adopted this summer that allows listed companies to eschew
paper certificates...."Certificates do so much in capturing the
history of the company," said Kerstein...
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) NEWSWIRES by Lynn Cowan
--Wall Street's main trade group is campaigning to do away with
paper stock certificates and instead keep track of all investor
holdings electronically....As for scripophilists - collectors of
stock certificates - the end of paper certificates would probably
increase the market value of those in circulation today by capping
the supply, said Bob Kerstein, chief executive of Scripophily.com,
a Chantilly, Va., company devoted to buying and selling
certificates. But if many companies go electronic, collectors would
miss out on the chance to buy new certificates that could later
prove interesting or
January 9, 2003
-- CNBC's Wall Street correspondent
David Faber has created a one-hour documentary - "The
Big Heist - How
- which details how the deal came together, how it unraveled and
what the future might hold for the partnership. Stock
certificates provided by Scripophily.com were
used in this documentary.
January 6, 2003 - New York Times - Museum
Explores Capitalism's Feats and Follies
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
.....What would John D. Rockefeller say? In the basement of his
Standard Oil Building, just steps from Wall Street, where the Museum of
American Financial History celebrates the wonders of capitalism, an
exhibit wall is papered with gaily colored stock certificates carrying
ImClone Systems.... The
latest exhibition of one-share stock certificates, worth virtually nothing
except to collectors, were donated by
the Internet's largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond
certificates. The hobby of collecting such nonredeemable paper is called
Scripophily (pronounced skrih-POFF-a-lee).
January 3 2003 - Financial Times - Scrip holds value long
after closure by Peter Temple - When companies fail, are nationalised or
are taken over, little remains to mark their passing except what one
observer once called "the art of finance" - their stock and bond
certificates......Others pick up certificates dating from spectacular
corporate failures, like the South Seas Company or Penn Central. Enron and
Worldcom certificates are currently a hot item. You can, for example, buy
them ready-framed from the website
. One boon is that the supply of new scrip is getting more
limited. Dematerialised settlement means that paper certificates are
gradually becoming a thing of the past, so even the most mundane will
eventually acquire value.
31, 2002 - CNBC New Years Eve Show - Bob Kerstein, CEO of
Scripophily.com joins Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC to discuss
Scripophily.com's collectible Stock and Bond Certificates.
WASHINGTON, DC (October 28, 2002) -
Scripophily.com Donates Stock
Certificates from Modern Scandals and Dot Coms
American Financial History
®, the Internet’s largest buyer and seller of collectible
stock and bond certificates, has donated a collection of modern
stock certificates from frauds, scandals, and dot com-related busts
to the Museum of American Financial History, an Affiliate of the
Smithsonian Institution located in New York City. The
certificates have been added to the Museum’s permanent collection
and some, including the Enron certificate, have been incorporated
into a display on market regulation and corporate responsibility in
the Museum’s gallery at 28 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. “Until a
year ago, our most popular permanent exhibit had been on the Crash
of 1929. Now, people are more interested in the recent
bankruptcies and scandals because they have
affected their own finances,” said Meg
Ventrudo, the Museum’s Assistant
Director for Exhibits and Education. “We are grateful to
Scripophily.com for their generous donation.”...
Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - Scripophily.com will be a Co-Sponsor in
the Orlando Extravaganza OPEX 2003 Postcard and Scripophily Show in
Orlando, Florida January 4th and 5th, 2003.
show is the Biggest and Best Old Paper Show in the South Eastern
U.S. - HUNDREDS OF DEALER TABLES OF
POST CARDS AND ALL TYPES OF PAPER ITEMS INCLUDING OLD AND MODERN
STOCK AND BOND CERTIFICATES PRESENTED
FOR SALE BY DEALERS FROM ALL OVER
Monday, October 7, 2002 Palm Beach Post
certificate going for $59.95 By Jeff Ostrowski, Staff Writer
With shares of Tyco International Ltd.
trading around $13, who'd pay $59.95 for a Tyco stock certificate?
Perhaps a "scripophilist" -- someone who collects stocks, paper
money, letters and other documents of historical import.
Scripophily.com of Chantilly, Va., last week offered a Tyco
certificate bearing the signature of former Chairman and CEO Dennis
Kozlowski, a Boca Raton resident, for $59.95. Scandals boost a
company's stock certificates, said Scripophily head Bob Kerstein.
But given the rash of corporate malfeasance in the past six months,
Tyco certificates haven't sold as quickly as Enron Corp. shares did
this year. The priciest certificate sold by Scripophily was a
Standard Oil share signed by John D. Rockefeller and Henry M.
Flagler. It fetched $8,500 -- and proved that, even for
scripophilists, corporate crime doesn't always pay.
September 27, 2002 Chicago Sun Times Lifestyles of the rich
and obscure BY CHRIS WHITEHEAD BUSINESS COPY EDITOR The economy
may be stuttering, but a guy in Texas still came up with $44,000 for
a big E that Enron used to have outside one of its Houston offices.
And in Australia, a grocer paid a record $20,000 for the first tray
of this season's mangoes--a fruit that usually sells for about $40 a
tray. Both men were bidding at auctions--in Texas at Enron's garage
sale and in Australia at a fund-raiser for a children's hospital.
.....Paper profits Martha's troubles are probably good news for
Scripophily.com, too. The seller and researcher of old
stocks and bonds will sell you a pair of stock certificates--ImClone
and Martha Stewart Living--for $89.95. More interested in Enron?
They'll sell you that, too, and for less than 44 grand.
21, 2002 WASHINGTON DC.-
SCRIPOPHILY.COM WILL ATTEND
Washington Historical Autographic and Certificate Organization Show
On November 9th 2002 in Tysons Corner, Virginia - The
Washington Historical Autographic and Certificate Organization is
bringing together, on November 9th 2002, collectors and dealers of
Scripophily from across the country. Scripophily.com
will have a large display of Modern Stocks which is one have the
fastest growing areas of the hobby. Included in this area are
certificates from the current Scandals including such companies as
Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, ImClone, Martha Stewart, Rite Aid, Tyco
International, DrKoop, Egghead, and XO Communications. You
will be able to see our exclusive "Insider Trading" and "Modern
Scandal" Packages. We will also be premiering our
"Disconnected Number" package of failed telecommunication companies.
This exciting show and auction will be held at the Westpark Hotel in
Tyson Corner from 9 am to 5 pm.
Thursday, September 12, 2002; Page E05
Washington Post -
For Some E-Commerce Sites,
Modesty Is the Best Policy
By Ellen McCarthy -Falls
Church-based Scripophily.com, for example, which sells stock
certificates and other corporate memorabilia, is humming along
nicely, said founder and chief executive Bob Kerstein.
Kerstein never intended to create a mega-corporation with
thousands of employees. In 1996, after holding jobs with several
public companies, he envisioned a start-up that could provide him a
modest but steady living. By doing much of the grunt work himself
and keeping costs minimal, Kerstein has kept the private business
profitable and able to support its four-person staff, he said.
"The biggest key to the success is that we are doing it
ourselves, not outsourcing the marketing, Web development and
advertising," he said. "Had we outsourced it, we would have been
bankrupt 10 times over."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 By
AARON ELSTEIN Investors Find Certificates Are Still Worth
Something .....Indeed, stock certificates may get scarce soon. The
New York Stock Exchange said on July 30 that member companies no
longer need to issue certificates, ending a decades-old rule. The
Nasdaq has never had a rule requiring members to issue certificates,
a spokesman said......Bob Kerstein, chief
executive of Scripophily.com LLC in Chantilly, Va., says that a
certificate issued by Merrill Lynch in the 1970s is becoming of
interest to collectors. The reason: The certificate contains a
depiction of the World Trade Center.
September 4, 2002 -
Scripophily.com Receives SEC Position
September 4, 2002
- Coins & Stock Certificates - If
the company is long gone, a stock-certificate collector (called a
scripophilist) may still be interested in it as a
Scripophily.com and the
Autograph and Certificate Organization.
September 3, 2002 SCRIPOPHILY.COM RECEIVES SEC CLARIFICATION LETTER
ENABLES SALE OF UNCANCELLED STOCK CERTIFICATES AS COLLECTIBLES
FROM PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES.
®, the Internet’s largest
and most recognized brand in the collectible stock and bond market
has received a no-action letter from the Staff of the Division of
Market Regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission that
will enable Scripophily.com to sell single share certificates.....“We
are also very grateful for the cooperation and assistance of the SEC
in helping collectors preserve the
history of our times by addressing this issue”, added Kerstein....
8/27/2002 The Buffalo News Adelphia stock worth big bucks to collectors By FRED O. WILLIAMS
News Business Reporter
Adelphia stock only fetches 14
cents on the over-the-counter market, but there's still a place
where it's worth $80 a share. Actually the price is $79.95,
and the place is Scripophily.com, a company in Falls Church, Va.,
that makes a market in the stock certificates of infamous companies.
24.08.2002 New Zealand Herald
- Corporate scandals leave scent of cash
Voice of America News - 20 Aug 2002 - Collectors Buying Stock
Certificates of Beleaguered Corporate Giants - As investors watch their stock portfolios
plunge in the wake of corporate mischief sweeping Wall Street,
collectors are snapping up stock certificates from the beleaguered
corporate giants... A website called Scripophily.com buys and
sells old stock certificates. The innovation that sets the company
apart from its competition....
Reuters - August 20, 2002 -
By Christopher Doering - WASHINGTON, Aug
US corporate scandals create new collectors' market - As
investors have watched their portfolios plunge in the wake of
corporate mischief sweeping Wall Street, collectors have snapped up
anything associated with beleaguered companies ....Stock
certificates have garnered the most attention as they offer the best
long-term "investment" for collectors. ...Kerstein's Scripophily .com is selling its
"Insider Trading" package of certificates from ImClone Systems Inc
IMCL.O . and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
MSO.N for $90.
Monday, August 12, 2002; Page E01
Washington Post Collecting Something Other Than Dividends By Jerry Knight Enron Corp., Adelphia
Communications Corp., Kmart Corp., Qwest Communications
International Inc., Peregrine Systems Inc., Dynegy Inc., WorldCom
Inc. and its MCI tracking stock....Kerstein's customers are not
investors. They are collectors, business history buffs, scandal fans
and cynical survivors of one of the darkest chapters in the history
of capitalism. And they all want stock certificates....
- Monday July 29, 2002 - Stock Certificates Capture Business
Trends and Historic Events - Scripophily.com, the Internet's largest
and most recognized brand in the collectible stock and bond
WASHINGTON, DC July 29, 2002 - Business Wire -
Stock Certificates from Scandals, Insider Trading and
Bankruptcies are Worth Collecting
- According to Bob Kerstein, CEO and
Founder of Scripophily.com “Modern day certificates from frauds and
scandals are highly desirable because people have lived through the
era from irrational exuberance to infectious greed.
There is a connection of the best of times and the worst of times
that will live in all of us for many years to come.”
Dateline ABC SUNDAY, JULY 28, 7:00 P.M. ET
- Take the Money and
Run NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw reports for a one-hour Dateline special,
“Take the Money and Run - Major Scandal Stock certificates for the
special supplied by Scripophily.com.
26/07/2002 Réseaux & Télécoms Violente remontée des
actions Worldcom et Enron Marc OLANIE - Qwest, Worldcom, Kmart, MCI, Enron,
rien que du beau linge –devrait-on dire linceul- réuni dans un
« Modern Scandal Package » vendu pour la
modique somme de 300 $ (offre promotionnelle, prix public 530
July 26, 2002 Wall Street Journal
- Collecting Corporate
BROOKS BARNES - Corporate
fiascoes are roiling Wall Street -- but they're heating up the
collectibles market...but don't buy thinking that the stuff will
go up in value.. .One exception: Stock certificates of famous
defunct companies, which have a much longer history as collectibles.
Worldcom Stock Certificate compliments of
July 10, 2002 - Darwin
Magazine - Stock Report
By Daintry Duffy - Remember how your
friends laughed when you told them of your plans to get rich on
Whoodoo.com stock?...According to
Bob Kerstein, founder and CEO
of Scripophily.com, among the biggest sellers on his site are...
July 9, 2002 - Jay Leno Show
"Let me ask you: Anybody got
Stewart stock certificate? I'll trade you two
WorldComs and an
for it, if you have one!"
July 9, 2002 - David Letterman Show "By the way, before I came
out here, I received a phone call from
Stewart and she asked me if I would make an announcement for
Martha. And she just wants all of her stockholders to know that
certificates can be made into lovely place mats."
July 2002 - Scripophily.com makes History Channel's Prestigious
"Shop History Site" List
July 2002 - Scripophily Magazine - BullstoBears.com DOT COM MANIA
and Article - Bob
Kerstein, CEO Scripophily .com
Star Ledger June 26, 2002 - How to Make Money on WorldCom by Andy
Obermueller - While the rest of the planet was going nuts
watching WorldCom, Bob Kerstein was cool as a cucumber. He's selling
his shares for a hundred bucks a pop. Say what? Kerstein deals in
stock certificates as collectibles, and he's getting $100 apiece for
WolrdCom shares.... which bear the printed signatures of ousted CEO
Bernie Ebbers and deposed CFO Scott Sullivan....
2002 Norway Bilverden:Packard skal gjenopplives - Hjælp! Eller hvis du går til en annen site jeg har stor glede av,
http://shop.store.yahoo.com/scripophily og derfra banker deg inn
på biler, vil du blant annet se at et nydelig, gammelt aksjebrev fra
Packard vil koste deg under 40 dollars.
THE MOTLEY FOOL Date:
06-10-2002; The Dallas Morning News; Finding old stock certificates' value...www.Scripophily.com...
June 9, 2002
We frequently hear
from readers who find old stock certificates and don't know how to
determine their value. It's a confusing matter, because many
companies merge with and split from other companies, changing their
names along the way...At
www.scripophily.com, for a
fee, you can have some research done on whether your stock or bond
certificate has any value. (Even if your company has gone belly-up,
the certificate may have value as a collectible. Scripophily may buy
it from you...
May 2002 - Esquire Magazine - What to do with your Stock
Certificates by Brian Frazer. ( The certificates shown in this
article came from Scripophily.com )
May 2, 2002 -
X PRIZE and
Scripophily.com offer Commemorative Certificate
Lindbergh’Depart Solo Flight Across The Atlantic Grandson follows
1927 flight plan to commemorate its 75th Anniversary and
to promote the X PRIZE and space tourism
May 1, 2002 - Antique Trader - Investing interest - Stocks and
Bonds track the history of financial heartache.... Surprisingly,
many of the new stocks are more valuable than the earlier pieces...
Monday, 8 April, 2002 BBC News - Worth
the paper it's written on?...The art of share certificate collecting
is called scripophily and it's quite a little hobby.
Friday, March 29, 2002 -
The Sacramento Bee - Jack Sirard
- From the amount of mail I've
been getting on this subject of late, it looks as though more and
more people are treasure hunting in their attics.....Scripophily.com
(www.scripophily.com) wheels and deals in historic stock
certificates. Scripophily is the formal name for collecting
antiquated stock certificates. Scripophily.com has been in business
since 1996 and bills itself as a leading provider of collectible
stock and bond certificates and other old paper items. It also
provides research information on old stocks and companies. The
toll-free number is (888) 786-2576.
March 4, 2002
Physician’s Weekly -
Koop Stock Selling
Better as Novelty Than Dot-Com Business
- CHANTILLY, VA. -- If
you think stock in the now-defunct medical website drkoop.com isn’t
worth the paper it’s printed on, think again. Scripophily.net, a
website here that touts stocks and bonds from expired companies as
“the gift of history,” is selling drkoop.com stock certificates...
07-Mar-2002 FEATURED PROGRAMMING E*TRADE Financial Daily Pack rats unite: Collecting old stock certificates (8:03) host
Jonathan Hoenig and WebFN News Anchor Tom Hudson talk about this
unusual hobby with Bob Kerstein, CEO of Scripophily.com.
February 28, 2002 - CBS Evening News - Dan Rather reports
"...Enron's actual stock is selling for less than the paper its
printed on at $100..." with a certificate image provided by
Scripophily.com and held by Bob Kerstein, CEO.
February 27, 2002
Strasburg, Pennsylvania Scripophily.com is going on a
Stock and Bond Roadshow
January 22, 2002
Pennsylvania State University Enron
Disaster Will Provide Lessons For Years To Come Deseret News
Publishing Co by Ron Scherer and David R. Francis
16, 2002 - The Christian Science Monitor Lessons of Enron: How could no one have seen it?
...The degree to which Enron has fallen
is summed up by the fact that its stock may now be worth more as a
souvenir than as a certificate of ownership. Bob Kerstein, an
accountant and financial historian, is offering Enron stock
certificates on his collector web site, Scripophily.com, at $100 a
pop. Or he was - right now he's sold out.
January 11, 2002 - Houston Business Journal
- Enron Corp.'s
stock price has been reeling in the range of 66 cents to start the
new year, but there's still one place where a share of the fallen
energy giant commands .... A "beautifully engraved certificate" of
Enron stock last week was priced at $99.95 on Scripophily.com, the
Old Stock Superstore. "We are currently sold out," notes
Scripophily.com. "But we expect to receive some more."
January 3, 2002 KLIF Dallas Radio Station Ankarlo Mornings
Darrell's first week at KLIF Enron Stocks are Collectors' Item
guest: Bob Kerstein - president of Scripophily.com - Note: We
are about 32 minutes in the show.
January 4, 2002 -
CBS.MarketWatch.com correspondent Steve Orr talks with founder
Bob Kerstein of the Old Stock Superstore Scripophily.com, who says
collectors buy certificates for companies like Enron to remind them
of how bad and good...things can be.
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