Collector Info


We're pleased to have sponsored The Scripophily Guide, published by the International Bond and Share Society. We now offer this 32 page guide, which is a wonderful resource for those interested in gaining a great deal of basic and helpful information on the wonderful hobby of stock and bond collecting. This guide will provide information on many of the most frequently asked questions and basic concerns of the new collector of Scripophily. We highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in the field.

"…Howard Shakespeare has written this Scripophily Guide for collectors. Not investors. Not dealers. Collectors! Whether young or old, rich or not-so-rich, collectors share a common enthusiasm. If they stick with their chosen field long enough, they evolve into experts. The lucky ones keep their enthusiasm for many years and can share their expertise with other enthusiasts in many countries. That enthusiasm - the true enjoyment - is the real benefit of collecting."

"Compared with stamp and coin collecting, scripophily is still new. Just a few people collected as early as the 1930s, but they were few indeed until two doctoral research theses were published in Germany in 1976. Their research showed a fascinating variety of Imperial Russian and Chinese bonds available for collecting. By the late 1970's, large numbers of collectors had discovered bonds and shares, and began developing the activity. It was named 'scripophily' - pronounced scrip-awfully - in a contest organized by the London Times in 1978….In the 21st century scripophily continues to enjoy growth worldwide. Many collectors have moved over from coins and paper money. For them, rare bonds and shares are still affordable."


Lincoln Frame

A nicely done frame offers a wonderful means of displaying a portion of your collection. Many collectors often show a few of their prized pieces on their den or office wall. Framed historical items also make a fantastic and unusual gift for someone with even a casual interest in history. Whether it be an autograph or hand-colored map, a great headlined newspaper or a stock certificate issued by a railroad that passed by a childhood home, a framed item stands apart as a highly cherished gift for many years to come.

While we offer only a very limited number of framed items, please keep in mind that any item may be framed. We'd be happy to assist you in having your item framed if you like. If you choose to have a local  framer put something together, these quick tips should help insure that your prized piece does not suffer the consequences of a poorly thought out framing job and placement.

For more valuable items it is recommended that you frame to museum quality standards. Use acid free matting and mounting materials. Don't use glues to mount your items to another board and do not do anything to the item that is not reversible. Use hinged Japanese tissue paper for the best mounting results. UF3 Plexiglas should be used to filter out damaging ultraviolet rays which will cause ink fading and other damage to your item.

Be careful not to place a framed item where it will receive high levels of direct sun or other light, nor in areas where it is likely to be subject to high levels of heat such as over a fireplace or radiator.



"Most collectors soon see the wisdom of choosing a theme to collect. The range of themes is almost endless since bonds and shares reflect almost every aspect of economic history. Many collectors favor obvious themes such as railroads, autos or mining, but these offer a very wide range of material and some further specialization is needed. In the case of railroads, collectors often choose their own country or region. Autos are often collected by country or date. Mining collectors choose either their country/region or a type of mining - gold, diamonds, coal, etc. The smaller fields - oil, tobacco, tramways, textiles, engineering, electricity, water, coffee, tea and a hundred others - are small enough for a collector to build a worldwide collection…A cheaper option is to limit oneself by country and dates as well as theme. An example of such a limitation is "New England railroads pre-1900."

"Some collectors want autographs of famous persons on certificates - often found on US shares and sometimes on European pieces also, and including businessmen such as Wells and Fargo, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and the Rothschilds…"

"New collectors often ask how one knows what is a fair price for a certificate. Most collectors are content to be in the low end of this range, say $10 to $500 or $1,000. As with everything else, prices are determined by supply and demand. So what influences supply and demand? Most would list the following: Beauty, Age, Rarity, Topical interest, Issued versus Unissued, Historical Significance, Autographs"

"New collectors often comment on the elaborate borders on bonds and shares. Some are individually engraved, but the majority are printed by a process, invented in the USA in the middle of the 19th century, in part to frustrate forgers. This used a geometrical lathe, creating an almost limitless variety of possible border designs, and making duplication almost impossible without the substantial investment available to the security printers"

"There is no doubt that companies used their certificates to present an impression of the company; a striking piece, well printed on high-quality paper gave a much better impression than something obviously much cheaper."