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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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J.P. Morgan Stock, 1887 Morgan & 2017 Eagle Lot
Jul 13, 11:00 AM EDT
J.P. Morgan Stock, 1887 Morgan & 2017 Eagle Lot
by Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry
Est: $400- $550
$525 Bids
Lot of 17 Company Stock and Bond Certificates, Railroad, Mining, Cigar
Jul 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Lot of 17 Company Stock and Bond Certificates, Railroad, Mining, Cigar
by Public Sale Auction House
Est: $50- $100
$251 Bid
China c1948 Cinderella
Jul 17, 10:00 AM BST
China c1948 Cinderella
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £20- £40
£101 Bid
Lawrence Shaving Machine Co. 1894 I/U Stock Certificate
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Lawrence Shaving Machine Co. 1894 I/U Stock Certificate
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $75- $150
$301 Bid
Bodie Bluff Mining Co., 1879, I/U Stock Certificate
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Bodie Bluff Mining Co., 1879, I/U Stock Certificate
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $80- $160
$351 Bid
Daney Gold & Silver Mining Co., 1876 I/U Stock Certificate
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Daney Gold & Silver Mining Co., 1876 I/U Stock Certificate
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $90- $160
$351 Bid
Baltimore Copper Co. 1869. I/U Stock Certificate
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Baltimore Copper Co. 1869. I/U Stock Certificate
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $140- $280
$601 Bid
Universal Aero-Transportation Co., I/U Stock Certificate Early Aviation Rarity, 1916
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Universal Aero-Transportation Co., I/U Stock Certificate Early Aviation Rarity, 1916
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $200- $350
$901 Bid
Andes Silver Mining Co., 1876 I/U Stock Certificate Signed by Civil War General George S. Dodge.
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Andes Silver Mining Co., 1876 I/U Stock Certificate Signed by Civil War General George S. Dodge.
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $90- $160
$351 Bid
VERY LOW BOND NUMBER - SIGNED BY PRESIDENT TYLER'S SON
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
VERY LOW BOND NUMBER - SIGNED BY PRESIDENT TYLER'S SON
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$900 Bids
Loan Bonds. Banque De France 1918. Emprunt de la Défense Nationale – Rentes Françaises 4 %.
Jul 16, 3:00 PM CEST
Loan Bonds. Banque De France 1918. Emprunt de la Défense Nationale – Rentes Françaises 4 %.
by Bado e Mart
Est: €400- €500
€2500 Bids
THE BOND STILL HAS STILL 20 COUPONS
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
THE BOND STILL HAS STILL 20 COUPONS
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$600 Bids
DIFFERENT VERSION OF THE $500 CSA BOND
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
DIFFERENT VERSION OF THE $500 CSA BOND
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$600 Bids
VICE PRESIDENT STEPHENS IS ILLUSTRATED ON THIS CSA BOND
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
VICE PRESIDENT STEPHENS IS ILLUSTRATED ON THIS CSA BOND
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
JOHN HENRY WINDER, CONFEDERATE ARMY BRIGADIER GENERAL IS HONORED ON THIS BOND
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
JOHN HENRY WINDER, CONFEDERATE ARMY BRIGADIER GENERAL IS HONORED ON THIS BOND
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
Bank Hathya Preference Share Certificate, Jerusalem, 1937.
Jul 22, 7:00 PM IDT
Bank Hathya Preference Share Certificate, Jerusalem, 1937.
by Pasarel
Est: $300- $500
$2000 Bids
THE IRONY - THIS CSA BOND DISPLAYS 'THE RICHMOND CUSTOMS HOUSE' BUILT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 1858
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
THE IRONY - THIS CSA BOND DISPLAYS 'THE RICHMOND CUSTOMS HOUSE' BUILT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 1858
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
United States Railway Corporation Stock Certificates
Jul 31, 10:00 AM EDT
United States Railway Corporation Stock Certificates
by DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
bp parity badge
1910, Imperial Russian Volgo-Bugulmin Railroad 4% Bonds, Russia
Aug 03, 11:00 AM EDT
1910, Imperial Russian Volgo-Bugulmin Railroad 4% Bonds, Russia
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $1,000- $40,000
$1000 Bids
American Thread Co., 1920 to 1943 I/C Stock Certificate Group of over 50 Certificates
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
American Thread Co., 1920 to 1943 I/C Stock Certificate Group of over 50 Certificates
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $90- $160
$400 Bids
Sports, Zeppelin and Miscellaneous Stock Certificates and Bonds
Jul 23, 11:00 AM EDT
Sports, Zeppelin and Miscellaneous Stock Certificates and Bonds
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $70- $140
$250 Bids
Burma 1943 Independence 10 Rupee Savings Bond
Jul 17, 10:00 AM BST
Burma 1943 Independence 10 Rupee Savings Bond
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £25- £50
£200 Bids
HORSES FOR WASHINGTON'S ARMY
Jul 13, 10:00 AM EDT
HORSES FOR WASHINGTON'S ARMY
by Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Scripophily: Stock Bonds & Certificates


Archives International Auctions, LLC

Archives International Auctions, LLC

Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions

Raynor's Historical Collectible Auctions

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions