Friday, February 28, 2014

Four rules for online scripophily sellers

Four rules to keep in mind when shipping old bonds and share certificates :
  1. You shall wrap them waterproof !
  2. You shall not tape them !
  3. You shall not fold them ! 
  4. You shall not trim them !

Rule 1 : Wrap waterproof 
Certificates are usually shipped in a paper or cardboard envelope or package. The receiver of the package obviously expects a good reception, of course. However, packages are doomed to get wet due to bad weather conditions. Paper and cardboard just love water, they suck water whenever possible. Once wet, the package probably stays wet until its arrival. The contents of the package, a nice stock certificate, is also made of paper. Need I say more ?

Franklin Computer Corporation stock certificate
Franklin Computer Corporation
Common shares, 1988
Below you can see what happened to this stock certificate of the Franklin Computer Corporation. It was not shipped waterproof. The certificate was simply put in an envelope by the sender.

interior of an envelope
The sender did not notice the nicely printed pattern on the interior of the envelope, and neither he expected his package would have to deal with rainfall, snow or water. The package got wet, the ink of the envelope pattern inside got wet and, under pressure, was transferred to the certificate. Not a nice result, despite three stickers labeled 'FRAGILE: Handle with Care' and a stamp 'DO NOT BEND'.

left: detail from the envelope's inner side , right: detail from the received certificate
double-click images to enlarge

Senders can avoid this situation simply by inserting the certificates in one or more plastic sleeves and tape the overlapping sleeves together (don't tape the certificate, see rule number two). This solution may not be 100% waterproof, but at least there is a greater chance that the certificate arrives in good condition.

Rule 2 : Do not tape certificates
This rule is obvious to collectors but believe it or not, some people fix certificates to an extra thin cardboard in the envelope with adhesive tape. Check out what happened to this specimen stock certificate of the Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation.

Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation stock certificate
Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation
Common stock of $1, specimen, 1970s

The certificate was attached by tape to a thin cardboard.
This certificate was fixed to a thin cardboard in the envelope by means of ordinary adhesive tape. When the tape is applied with pressure, it sticks just "wonderful". I think the sender pressed the tape firmly, or the envelope must have been tucked away in the postman's bag between hundreds of other envelopes. Whatever .. I tried my very best to remove the tape gently and with the utmost care, but I could not prevent that a piece at the edge was teared away from the paper.

Removing the tape was a failure.

I contacted the seller and talked about this situation and by agreeing to refund a part of the amount paid, he kept a potential customer.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Archives International Auctions - Winter Auction 2014

Archives International Auctions Part XVII
US and worldwide banknotes, scripophily,
security printing ephemera and autographs

Compagnie Nationale des Chemins de Fer D'Haïti
6% Gold Sinking Fund Bond, 1911, 500 Francs = $96.53
double-click image to enlarge

  • Date : 11 March, 2014
  • Place : Fort Lee, New Jersey
  • Further info : see here 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Book : Shares & Co. - A journey through the world of securities and the history of capitalism

Both a reference book and an exhibition catalogue
published in an English, German and French edition

double-click image to enlarge

  • Title : 
    • English edition : Shares & Co. - A journey through the world of securities and the history of capitalism
    • German edition : Aktien & Co. - Ein Streifzug durch die Welt der Wertpapiere und die Geschichte des Kapitalismus
    • French edition : Actions & Cie. - A la découverte de l’univers des papiers-valeurs et de l’histoire du capitalisme
  • Authors : Dagmar Schönig, Thomas Fenner
  • ID : ISBN 978-3-033-04124-0 (only for the German edition), published by Wertpapierwelt
  • Languages : see different editions
  • Number of pages : 77 (English and French ed.), 152 (German ed.)
  • Images : about 110 color images
  • Available from Wertpapierwelt, see here 

This catalogue accompanies the main exhibition currently presented in Wertpapierwelt's scripophily museum. An easy read, written for the broad public, and still comprehensive, this work makes us understand about the how, what, when and why of securities and capitalism. Do you know the difference between a subscription right and an interim certificate ? Can you tell why the introduction of bearer stocks made sense at a specific moment in history ? You'll find answers on questions like these and many more in this handy publication.

German World War I loan design by Hanns Anker
8. Kriegsanleihe, Germany, 1918
design by Hanns Johannes Anker (1873-1950) 
one of many certificates featured in the book
image by courtesy of Wertpapierwelt

  • Shares & Co. - How financial instruments work
    • Introduction : From bartering to stock exchanges, The corporate capital, From physical commercial paper to digital book-entries
    • Shares
    • Bonds
    • Derivatives
    • Historical financial instruments
    • Security features of securities certificates
  • The story of capitalism - How shares changed the world
    • 17th/18th centuries : The origins of the joint stock company
    • 19th century : Shares take off in the nineteenth century
    • 20th century : World wars, economic miracles and the world wide web

Both the English and French editions are printed as a booklet (Price: 15 CHF). Pages contain up to three smaller images. The German edition (Price: 20 CHF) is published as a book with a hard cover counting twice as many pages. The contents is the same but the images are larger (one per page). For the linguists among us, why not buy an English or French edition together with the German edition. Not only will you enjoy larger images, but you can immerse yourself in a German scripophily language course.


Related links