Scripophily : The Collecting of Antique Stocks and Bonds

The hobby of Scripophily is a specialized field of numismatics that involves the study and collecting of old stocks and bonds.  They may be collected for their beauty, colorful, intricate or unique designs, their historic relationship with the past or many other reasons including location of the company as well as by topic such as collecting railroads, mining, banking, navigation, aviation, automobiles, foreign certificates and literally anything that may interest a collector.  Scripophily also offers a tangible way of connecting with our past and the realization of the immense amount of business and commerce that built our country as well as the rest of the world. 

Rare stocks and bonds can include autographs of famous historic figures from George Washington to Thomas Edison and discoveries are made all of the time by the persistent collector. The archives of old railroad companies, automobile companies and many other large businesses or banks are sometimes sold or found by lucky dealers or collectors who were in the right place or even pulled from the trash before they can be shredded or burnt to destroy them.  

A beginning collector could find dozens of reasons to collect old stocks and bonds. Some appreciate old stocks and bonds for their beauty, others for their historical significance and there are literally thousands of old companies that issued stocks and bonds over the last 300 years. The hobby offers opportunity to collectors of every level, from beginning to advanced as well as budget. Certificates can be purchased from anywhere from 25 cents for common cancelled bulk modern certificates up to thousands of dollars for that rare or unique design, topic or autographed certificate. 

The highest price paid for a U.S. Stock or Bond certificate was in 2013 at the Wall Street Coin, Currency, Scripophily and Collectibles show held at the Museum of American Finance located at 48 Wall Street during Archives International Auctions sale conducted by Dr. Robert Schwartz (see their website at WWW.ARCHIVESINTERNATIONAL.COM). It was a U.S. Federal bond from 1792 that was issued to and signed by George Washington on the back while he was president that was sold to a collector for $265,000. The closest any U.S. scripophily item price previously achieved at auction was less than half of that price. A young or beginning collector can find literally thousands of different stocks or bonds from under $10 up to hundreds of dollars each for that advance specialist who wants to own only the rarest certificates. Stocks and bonds can be found in antique stores, hobby shops, book stores, as well as shows that specialize in Scripophily, Coins, antiques or stamps as well as online on various internet sites including eBay. 

Collecting scripophily and be a very rewarding as well as exciting hobby and offers the beginning and advanced collector the ability to make discoveries literally on a weekly basis if they are persistent.