Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It is hard to imagine in this age of facsimile, photocopies and even rubber-stamped signatures that many years ago company officials actually signed the certificates issued by their company. Even the great financial barons like John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt and many others actually penned their signatures to make them legal.

Today, those signatures provide the basis for what is unquestionably the most vital determinant of scarcity, desirability, market value, and overall collectibility—namely autograph appeal. In most cases, famous signatures like those mentioned above are obvious and readily recognizable to the most untrained eye.

A little research into an unknown signature often will reap impressive rewards, as the individual may have been a local or state politician, financier, railroad baron, or military statesman with a rich historical past. Tracing a person’s history is a challenge, and an integral and fascinating attraction of the world of scripophily.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Currency Printing Errors

Currency printing errors is another area of paper money collecting. While the U.S. Bureau of Engraving stops most errors from reaching the public, inevitably errors do find their way to the numismatic market and ultimately to collectors. Types of errors include:

Unissued Stock

An unissued stock is a leftover from the company that was never filled out, or issued to anyone. Often these were found with office records after a company closed. In some instances, issued stock of a given type did not exist. Unissued stock is often found in fresh, crisp condition without folds. For these reasons, collectors often collect unissued stock.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stocks and Bonds As Art

Engraved printing of stocks and bonds by American Banknote, Franklin Lee Banknote, International Banknote, etc., are considered serious art. They decorate dens, offices, boardrooms, and corporate headquarter buildings.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

How Scripophily Got Its Name

Scripophily (pronounced skri-pahf-ily) is hardly a household word, even among collectors themselves. In April of 1978, the Times announced the formation of a contest to find a suitable name for interest in stocks and bonds collectibles. The newspaper chose “bondaphily,” but the term encountered a negative reception. Another reader, who happened to be a fledgling collector himself, offered a bond worth ten pounds to the reader who created the most appropriate name for the hobby.

On May 9, 1978 the winner was announced. Arthur Howell of Brighton submitted the winning entry, “scripophily.” Mr. Howell derived his winning entry from the English word “scrip” (as in a provisional certificate as for shares, share certificates, or shares or stock collectively—an abbreviation from “subscription receipt”) and the Greek “philein” (meaning “to love”).

Stocks and Bonds Rich History

Financial history is exciting and fun. Stocks and bonds were used in colonial times, early shipping, railroads, throughout the Industrial Revolution, into the automotive age, the Crash of 1929, and all through the past decades of economic growth. We can enjoy this rich history in collecting stocks and bonds. These documents are truly pieces of history and of great educational value.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Valuable Collectibles

Back in 1981, the most valuable collectible stock sold for $3,000. This same railroad stock signed by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt now sells for $12,000. Stocks currently sell for as much as $130,000. Compare this record price to other collectibles.

Single coins have sold for over $4 million. A stamp can sell in the million dollar range. Autographs have sold for over a million dollars. One could conclude that quality collectible Stocks and Bonds represent very good value in today’s market.

For more information visit our web site,, or call George LaBarre at 1-800-717-9529.

George H. LaBarre Galleries - Collectible Stocks and Bonds