Thursday, July 30, 2009

Revenue Stamps

As a means of raising funds for federal coffers, the United States government enacted legislation during the 19th and 20th centuries taxing transactions involving stock certificates and other financial transactions. In some cases, these stamps also have to be affixed to manufactured goods. The federal government imposed stamp taxes on the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds.

States may also have their own revenue stamps. These stamps often were printed in bright colors such as red or orange to stand out and easily be seen on certificates to show that the tax had been paid. These colorful stamps usually provide what little color appears on an otherwise plain certificate. Revenue stamps, while certainly not of major importance, are a plus if they are affixed to a certificate as they contribute to the general appeal of that certificate.

The above paragraphs reference the most important parts of a stock certificate. There are other factors to consider as an individual begins to collect stocks or bonds. The best way to familiarize oneself with the parts of a stock is to actually handle and closely inspect as many different types of certificates as possible. There is no real substitute for this type of “hands-on” experience.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obsolete Confederate Currency

Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union on January 09, 1861. The Magnolia State printed several interesting issues of confederate money during the Civil War. The first issue authorized 1,000,000.00 in Treasury Notes for a military fund.

We are pleased to present this obsolete collection of $2 and $3 Confederate dollar bills. 1864 Civil War dated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

About Cancellations

The issuing company always cancels stocks that have been sold, and then redeemed at the prevailing market value at the time of sale. This is done to prevent the certificates from inadvertently being redeemed again through accident, theft, or other fraud.

Cancellations come in a variety of forms. Early cancellations often were large, dark, and obtrusive lines through the body of the certificate. These crude and effective cancellations, often large “X’s”, were unsightly, but they definitely accomplished their assigned task. These gave way to pen lines through the actual signatures of company officials appearing on the stocks, sometimes of famous individuals. The negative effects of this practice are ameliorated somewhat; however, by the fact that these pen lines provide valuable signatures of famous people. This is the only way some signatures are available.

Ink cancellations gave way to a variety of machined cancels such as hole punches, pinholes, and others. Punches of various shapes and sizes either shredded a portion of the certificate or actually punched out pieces of paper in the shapes of stars, diamonds, hearts, and the like.

Last, but not least, was the use of the word “cancel” or “cancelled” that was either written, stamped, or punched across the face of the certificate. No interpretation is needed to understand the meaning.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Board Game Related Bonds

This set of three bonds includes a B & O Railroad Stock dated about 1900, another of the Pennsylvania Railroad of the 1950’s, and a large impressive bond with many interest bearing coupons of the Reading Company dated 1945.

More MONOPOLY® Fun Facts, courtesy of Hasbro:
  • Mr. Monopoly is the name of the MONOPOLY® man.
  • George Parker issued a memo in 1936 that was to halt the productions of the MONOPOLY® game.
  • Over 250 million sets of the MONOPOLY® game have been sold worldwide.
  • The three most-landed-on properties are Illinois Avenue, "GO," and the B&O Railroad.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rare Mississippi Bonds

Rare, $1,000 bond and an Agreement and coupons relating to the payment of the interest in London on the Mississippi State Bond. 6%, 1833, Draper, Toppan, Longacre & Co, Philadelphia & New York.

Signed by the Governor. Many coupons are in excellent condition and rare! Uncancelled.

Rare, classic, 1838 5% Loan, $2,000 uncancelled, bond signed by the Governor. An extraordinary engraved bond with 4 great vignettes by Draper, Toppan, Longacre-Philadelphia & New York.

Paper attached seal. Several rows of coupons. Exceptionally nice condition. Call George, 1-800-717-9529 for further information.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Collecting World Currency

Colorful foreign money is highly aesthetic, and like foreign stamp collecting, it is educational for people of all ages. The artwork created on much of the world's currency is striking. Whether your interests lie in architecture, sailing ships, trains, planes, animals, birds, flowers or history, collecting world paper money offers it all.

We have several fabulous collections. Here is one featuring 100 different notes of several countries including, Brazil, Peru, Croatia, Poland. The condition is crisp and the notes are uncirculated.

We do have an extensive inventory of Foreign Paper Money. Many great pieces are offered in our catalogs. Please phone us at 800 717-9529 and I would be happy to help you build an impressive collection of Foreign Paper Money.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Board Game Related Stocks

Anyone who plays MONOPOLY® knows the value of owning at least one, if not all four, railroads. We have a set of three of the railroad stocks of the most popular board game ever.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with "Tom Thumb" engraving, Pennsylvania Railroad with the famous "Horseshoe Curve" scene, and the Reading Company with train artwork.

Here are some MONOPOLY® Fun Facts, courtesy of Hasbro:
  • Parker Brothers rejected the MONOPOLY® game when it was first presented to them in 1933.
  • Over 5,120,000,000 little green houses have been “constructed” since the MONOPOLY® game was introduced in 1935.
  • he longest MONOPOLY® game ever played was 1,680 hours long. That is 70 straight days!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1880 Fernandina & Jacksonville Railroad Bond

Edward Henry Harriman (1848-1909), self-confident and ruthless, he spared neither friend nor foe if they blocked his plans. He was president of the Union Pacific. He was worth $400 million at the turn of the century. His genius as an administrator made him one of the great railway builders of all time.

This 1880 Fernandina & Jacksonville Railroad bond is fully issued, uncancelled, has all 60 coupons, is signed and sealed three times by officers of 2 railroads and a steamboat company. Harriman signs at back with other trustees.

Beautifully engraved by American Bank Note and in superb condition. Price on request.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

J. Pierpont Morgan — Banker, Connoisseur of Art

In his early years, J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), son of Junius S. Morgan, was involved in a broad range of finance. His company, J. P. Morgan & Co., became one of the most powerful banking houses in the world.

Morgan engaged in several dubious pieces of business during the Civil War period, but was essentially an organizer and stabilizing force in business. After the failure of Jay Cooke's firm, Morgan's firm became dominant in government financing and in financing railroads. Among his most daring undertakings was the formation of the US Steel Corp in 1901.

Morgan's personal influence was a decisive factor in overcoming the money panic of 1907. Superb 100 year bond of the New Jersey Junction Railroad dated 1886, nearly four pages of attractive coupons remaining.

This bond is boldly signed at back by J. Pierpont Morgan and H. C. Fahnstock as Trustees. A large impressive vignette of a harbor scene is also at the back. Graphically beautiful both front and back. Includes nice portraits of both Morgan and Fahnstock.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Puget Sound and Alaska Steamship Company

Operating from 1889-1904 as a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Puget Sound and Alaska Steamship Company ran a steamship line from Tacoma servicing Puget Sound and Alaska. Originally set out to ship passengers and fishing products, the Alaska Steamship Company began shipping mining equipment, dog sleds, and cattle at the outbreak of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897.

In 1909, the Alaska Steamship Company was purchased by the Alaska Syndicate and merged with the Northwestern Steamship Company. A number of prominent investors owned shares in the company, including John D. Rockefeller.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Connecticut Revolutionary War Bonds

Manuscript Pay Order signed by various officials, 1780-82 making payment with "Connecticut Currency." Great for Colonial collectors. Fine to VF. Rare! $50.00

Peter Colt, grandfather of the famous Connecticut gun maker, Samuel Colt. This 1789-90s Connecticut State Treasury-Office Document exchanges Revolutionary War Interest Bearing Notes for other notes. It is not only boldly signed by Peter Colt, but also by Jedediah Huntington, important Brigadier General in the Revolutionary War. These Treasury Office documents are Choice Near mint condition. Scarce!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Connecticut Revolutionary War Bonds (Part One)

Oliver Ellsworth (1745-1807), lawyer, member of the Continental Congress, delegate to Constitutional Convention, U.S. Senator, Chief Justice of the U.S, 1796-1799. Great Documents 1776-79 issued by the state of Connecticut for Payment of Soldiers Sickness, Supplies, or other services for the war effort. Each signed by Oliver Ellsworth.

Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1769-1833), Governor of Connecticut, Secretary of the Treasury under Washington and John Adams. 1777-79 Documents for Payment in Pounds Lawful Money. Each countersigned by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and other officials of the state of Connecticut.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Northern Pacific Railroad

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Northern Pacific’s charter making it the beneficiary of the largest government railroad land grant in American history. This grant would eventually include over forty million acres and a vast extinguishment of Indian land titles. The original incorporators, led by the tireless advocate Josiah Perham set out to link Lake Superior to Puget Sound. It would take nearly twenty years and countless heartaches and setbacks until the final spike completing the line was ceremoniously driven on September 8, 1883 fifty-five miles west of Helena, Montana.

The history of the Northern Pacific's growth as an entity is filled with the stories of western legend and Wall Street intrigue. From the white-collar offices of New York investment bankers to the lowliest Chinese coolie worker grading the road, the construction of the Northern Pacific was fraught with danger. Indeed, the early engineering parties were protected by none other than George Armstrong Custer as the railroad cut a swath through lands of the Sioux and other Indian tribes. As Indian lands shrank, opportunity grew for the capitalist white man. And a mesmerized Wall Street continued to pour millions upon millions more into the new frontier which offered untold potential riches, as well as some of the greatest financial risks ever taken by the investment community. As one of the largest corporate undertakings of the 19th century, the Northern Pacific’s development attracted many of America’s most well-known financiers, bankers, industrialists, and businessmen from virtually every imaginable pursuit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

J. D. Rockefeller...And Those Dimes (Part Two)

In an effort to quell his image as a ruthless man, John D. Rockefeller engaged in the practice of carrying around a bag of dimes, handing one to everyone he met. Some speculate that Rockefeller's habit of giving dimes to people he met was based on the advice of Ivy Ledbetter Lee in 1914 who was hired to help manage the Rockefeller empire’s image. Lee is considered the leading pioneer of today’s public relations industry, working first for J.P. Morgan, then for Rockefeller.

Many people feel that this was John D Rockefeller’s way of getting closer to the public. It is said that he used to do it with relish, and so when someone approached him he would hand him a shiny dime in order to start a conversation. Late in life Rockefeller became known as "The Man Who Gave Away Shiny New Dimes." He reportedly gave away about $10,000 worth of dimes before his death — 100,000 Mercury dimes!

A quote from Golf Digest (2002): “By 1920 Rockefeller already had become famous for handing out dimes to street urchins whom he thought deserving of spiritual encouragement or moral reward, and in Florida one winter he bestowed a dime on Harvey Firestone, president of the tire and rubber company, for having made a long and treacherous downhill putt.”

An additional quote from the biography, John D. Rockefeller by Barnie F. Winkelman states “The shiny dimes that the aging Rockefeller handed out were a symbol and a sermon. The symbol was frequently misunderstood and the moral of the sermon quite generally distorted. The little gift was a token and a good-luck piece. In a broad sense it emphasized thrift, but not as a sure road to wealth, rather as a way and a habit of life.” Winkelman further offers a quote by Rockefeller “It is the duty of a man to get all the money he honestly can and to give all he can. This is the basis of progress. In this way morality and religion move forward and civilization is advanced.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

John D Rockefeller (Part One)

The Standard Oil generated wealth of John D. Rockefeller was estimated at $900 million in 1913, equivalent to $189.6 Billion today. This is more than the riches of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the Walton family combined! In contrast, Rockefeller’s first job, in the 1850’s, earned him a wage of just $3.57 per week.

Rockefeller developed a reputation of ruthlessness. Tales of men who had been ruined by him were accompanied by stories of bribed lawmakers, railroad corruption, and unfair discriminations. Some of the old headlines read: “Rockefeller Indicted Again,” “Standard Oil Before the Bar,” “Standard Oil Magnates Dodge Subpoenas,” “Rockefeller Faces Justice.” Later headlines changed dramatically in tone — “Rockefeller Gives Another Million to Unemployment Fund,” “Rockefeller Foundation Fights Pellagra in Georgia,” and “John D. Gives Dimes to Children” — as a more philanthropic side emerged.