It turns out that throwing something like a bunch of old dusty stock certificates you found stuck in a box on your attic is not such a good idea. There is a chance you have a real treasure in your hands! The value of those could also be a lot less, but that doesn’t mean these pieces of paper are worthless.
A business called Stock Search International (founded in 1969), helps people to find out if their moldy stock certificates have any actual value. The job involves a lot of investigation – digging trough libraries and state offices all around.
But even if there isn’t any current stock market value, there is a huge collector market that is hungry to obtain some of those certificates. The hobby of people collecting stock and bond certificates is called “scripophily”, loosely translated as “love of paper”.
By putting your fantasy to work, you can imagine how rich you would be today if you acquired a share from a company founded in the first decade od the 1900’s…
Take a look at these extremely rare pieces of American corporate history.
Boeing Airplane Company (Early Boeing Airplane Company stock certificate) – Delaware 1952
Coca-Cola Company – Delaware 1923
Atari Corporation – Issued to Warner Communications Investors, Inc. for 1,064,518 Shares in Atari Acquisition – 1989
Apple Computer, Inc. with John Sculley as CEO – California 1991
Standard Oil Trust signed by John. D. Rockefeller, Henry M. Flagler and Jabez Abel Bostwick 1882
Caterpillar Tractor Co. – California 1976