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Scripophily: Stock Bonds & Certificates

Scripophily is a very new collectible term among the history of numismatics. Defined as the collecting of old stocks and bonds, scripophily as a movement is heavily invested in the art and history of specific stocks and bonds. It is also at a crossroads with autograph collectors who actively hunt for papers signed by notable businessmen and businesswomen. Popular time periods for scripophilists include the era of railroad construction, the introduction of the automotive industry, the banking boom in the '30s, and the recent dot-com period.

Scripophilists look for a wide variety of guidelines when selecting a collectible stock or bond to purchase. As in numismatics, the condition, age, and rarity of the item are among the chief considerations. Unlike with coins, however, scripophily pays much more attention to the history of a piece. Stocks and bonds contain large amounts of information, and much of it is historically relevant. The significance of the company, the signatures present, and whom the security was originally issued to all play a large part in the desirability of the item.

Especially attractive or significant stocks and bonds are frequently framed, adding another element to the hobby. Cohesive framing jobs can add a large amount of value to a certificate. Another subset of scripophily is dedicated to collecting live shares of active companies, specifically shares which are issued in the name of the collector. The highly electronic nature of securities today makes modern paper stocks and bonds very desirable to collectors in the field.


Quick Facts

  • A popular target for scripophilists is the board game Monopoly, especially the four railroads: Pennsylvania, Reading, B&O, and Short Line
  • Unlike most numismatics, the only value in scripophily as a whole is collectible. Modern-issue securities can be an exception to this, but most desirable collectible stocks and bonds come from companies who have ceased functioning many years ago
  • A 1792 United States federal bond issued and signed by President George Washington sold at auction for $265,000 in 2013

Recommended Items at Auction

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1908 Raleigh N.C. Brotherhood Of Railroad Trainmen
Oct 07, 8:00 PM EDT
1908 Raleigh N.C. Brotherhood Of Railroad Trainmen
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$115 Bids
Group of 3 Train Stock Certificate Albums
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 3 Train Stock Certificate Albums
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$354 Bids
Group of 11 Assorted Railway Stock Certificate Binders
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 11 Assorted Railway Stock Certificate Binders
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$554 Bids
Group of 30+ Assorted Railway Stock Certificates
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 30+ Assorted Railway Stock Certificates
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$304 Bids
American Express Co.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
American Express Co.
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€2202 Bids
Memeler Aktien-Brauerei Korn- & Likörfabriken
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Memeler Aktien-Brauerei Korn- & Likörfabriken
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€801 Bid
Malzfabrik Mellrichstadt
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Malzfabrik Mellrichstadt
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€3,0001 Bid
Wusterwitz-Rathenower-Ziegelei AG
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Wusterwitz-Rathenower-Ziegelei AG
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1,5001 Bid
National Hotel of Cuba Corp.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
National Hotel of Cuba Corp.
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1001 Bid
Bierbrauerei AG vormals Gebrüder Hugger
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Bierbrauerei AG vormals Gebrüder Hugger
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1501 Bid
Deutsch-Ukrainische Flachs-AG
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Deutsch-Ukrainische Flachs-AG
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€501 Bid
Texas & Pacific Railway
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Texas & Pacific Railway
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1,2001 Bid
National Hotel of Cuba Corp.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
National Hotel of Cuba Corp.
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1201 Bid
k.k. österr. Staatsanleihe für Eisenbahnzwecke
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
k.k. österr. Staatsanleihe für Eisenbahnzwecke
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1001 Bid
Group of 10+ Assorted Railroad Stockz
Oct 09, 9:00 AM CDT
Group of 10+ Assorted Railroad Stockz
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$151 Bid
Schmalbach-Lubeca AG
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Schmalbach-Lubeca AG
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€901 Bid
Franklin Canal Co. (Pennsylvania Section of the Erie & Cleveland Rail-Road)
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Franklin Canal Co. (Pennsylvania Section of the Erie & Cleveland Rail-Road)
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€1501 Bid
Nodaway Valley Railroad
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Nodaway Valley Railroad
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€801 Bid
Bicycle Import und Versandhandel AG
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Bicycle Import und Versandhandel AG
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€751 Bid
Boston Elevated Railway 1929 Stock Certificate
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Boston Elevated Railway 1929 Stock Certificate
by Rail and Road Auctions
Est: $30- $60
$101 Bid
AG der Wiener Localbahnen
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
AG der Wiener Localbahnen
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€801 Bid
Zugspitzbahn AG
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Zugspitzbahn AG
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€801 Bid
Elektrische Lokalbahn Wien-Landesgrenze nächst Hainburg
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CEST
Elektrische Lokalbahn Wien-Landesgrenze nächst Hainburg
by Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen
Est: €0- €0
€601 Bid
Società della Ferrovia del Monte Generoso 5% - Confederazione Svizzera - Cantone Ticino
Oct 15, 2:00 PM CEST
Società della Ferrovia del Monte Generoso 5% - Confederazione Svizzera - Cantone Ticino
by Portafoglio Storico
Est: €30- €60
€301 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Scripophily: Stock Bonds & Certificates


Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen

Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen

Portafoglio Storico

Portafoglio Storico

Antykwariat Derubeis

Antykwariat Derubeis

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers