Scripophily: Antique Stocks and Bonds
About Tom's Vignettes
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I'm Tom of Tom's Vignettes, a dealer in antique stocks and bonds and other financial paper. I have been in this business since 1998.
Scripophily: Antique Stocks and Bonds
Scripophily, the collection of antique stocks and bonds, is a relatively new and exciting collectible area. Certificates are valued for their vignettes, which often depict bygone industries and times, and their historical significance. Many interesting certificates can still be acquired at modest cost.
Why Collect Old Stocks and Bonds?
Scripophily offers a richer collecting experience compared to stamps, coins and other areas. First, the vignettes on many old certificates are often stunning in their aesthetic beauty, depicting old industrial facilities, railroads and railroad stations, seaports, street scenes at the turn of the century, mining facilities and more. Secondly, the historical link is more direct with stocks and bonds compared to stamps and coins. Stocks and bonds are intimately linked with economic development, and historical events and people. A stamp or coin may commemorate a historical event or person, but a stock certificate signed by the individual who made history is a much more direct link to the past. Finally, many old and attractive certificates are reasonably priced. A stamp or coin with only a few hundred printed or minted often trades for hundreds or thousands of dollars. In contrast, many similarly scarce certificates are available for $100 or less.
What Determines the Value of a Collectible Stock or Bond?
The value of a certificate reflects a variety of factors, most importantly, rarity, age, aesthetic appeal, condition, and whether it is signed by an important entrepreneur, politician, or other famous person. In the long-term, the more desirable material likely will appreciate, perhaps a lot. But other certificates may not appreciate much. And, there will be surprises on the upside as well as the downside. For example, Packard Motor Car certificates once were relatively scarce and sold for several hundred dollars. Then, a large group of them was found. Today, they sell for $15 to $20 each. The implication, in my view, is that one should collect for the enjoyment certificates provide, not because one anticipates price appreciation. There are better, less risky, ways to invest. Still, I think that if one puts together a coherent collection of stocks and bonds over a long time span, that person is likely to do well.
Ruby Lane Shop vs Scripophily Trader Shop vs Ebay:
I have this shop on Ruby Lane (Tom's Vignettes) as well as an independent shop Scripophily Trader. While they both specialize in antique stock and bond certificates, they differ in their emphasis. Tom's Vignettes has fewer certificates listed with most on sale. Scripophily Trader has several hundred certificates listed. There are other substantial differences between these online shops - you should look at both of them. I also have an ebay shop, also named Scripophily Trader. Many items are seen here that are not in either of my shops. My ebay name is vig.
While no one dealer can offer the lowest price on every item in inventory, I strive to offer interesting certificates at very reasonable prices. Compare with other online dealers and return to shop at Tom's Vignettes.
I am interesting in purchasing old stock and bond certificates, particularly those that are one hundred years old or older. If you have an item or collection that you would like to sell, email me, and I will provide a quote.
Shipping / Insurance:
Payment by check or PayPal. Insurance is bundled with shipping. I use a third party shipping insurer (not USPS, which does not insure 1st class large envelops, and is seriously overpriced due to pervasive fraudulent claims). I offer two domestic shipping choices: $3.50 for first class, and $7.50 for Priority. Priority is recommended for orders over $100. International shipping is $6.00 for a large 1st class envelope. Other international options are usually too expensive. Shipping charge does not increase if you order more than one item. Shipping in the US is very reliable. I lose less than one item for every 1000 I ship, and I have never made a claim for a damaged shipment in over 20 years (scripophily shipments are not exactly breakable). Do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions.
If you are looking for a specific certificate, or have questions about items I am selling or general questions about collecting stocks and bonds, email them to me, and I will do my best to answer.
Shows and Other News:
I currently participate in three shows. In late January there is the Northern Virginia Stock and Bond Show held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel near the Dullas Airport in Herndon, VA. This is now the premier national scripophily event in the US. If you have not attended a scripophily show since the Strasburg PA shows ended, you should give this new show a visit. It's a great opportunity to meet collectors and dealers from all over the US and a few from Europe as well. My second show is the Spring Allentown Paper show in late April held in the Allentown fairgrounds. My third show is the Golden Spike show held in early November in the Gaitherburg MD fairgrounds.
Thanks for visiting Tom's Vignettes.