Dealers from all over the world and collectors who are interested in Scripophily will be attending the 17th Annual International Stock and Bond Show in Herndon on January 26 and 27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Dulles Airport on 2200 Centerville Road.
“If anybody has stock certificates, they can bring them to find out their value. People have them and don’t know they may have a value,” said Bob Kerstein, the “Old Stock Detective” and founder of Scripophily.com.
The show will have thousands of historical and artistic stock and bond certificates, autographs, paper money documents, and much more.
Scripophily (scrip-ah-fil-ly) is the hobby of collecting old stock and bond certificates. Certificate values range from a few dollars to more than $500,000 for the most unique and rare items. Tens of thousands of Scripophily buyers worldwide include casual collectors, corporate archives, business executives, museums, and serious collectors.
Mr. Kerstein, a resident of Fairfax County, started collecting stock and bond certificates in 1990:
“I had moved to the Washington, D.C., area to become the Chief Financial Officer of American Mobile Satellite Corporation. One weekend, when my family was still in Seattle, I went to a Civil War collectibles show and visited a booth where they were selling Confederate bonds bearing an image of Stonewall Jackson. I laughed, because I thought the paper was worthless. Then I began to think about the history behind the certificates. I realized the paper was part of the fabric of U.S. and financial history. I got hooked; I became a collector and in 1995 set up a website and began selling online.”
Due to the computer age, more stocks and bonds are being issued electronically, which means fewer paper certificates. As a result, demand for paper certificates is increasing while supply is decreasing.
“This is the only show in the country that specializes in stocks and bonds and is managed by the world famous Bob Schell. We will be offering Free Old Stock Certificate Research Services ($39.95 Value) to anyone who brings in a certificate to our booth and wants to know what happened to the company. The research service is called OldCompany.com and the services have been performed continuously since 1880,” said Mr. Kerstein.
There are many factors that determine the value of a certificate. “Collectability comes first. What makes it desirable? The historical significance: like being issued by a significant company or a famous person. Also, the beauty of a graphic picture and if it is really rare are other factors. Stock certificates make great gifts and wonderful collectibles especially when they are historically relevant,” Kerstein explained.
The 17th Annual International Stock and Bond Show
The Crowne Plaza Hotel near Dulles Airport on 2200 Centerville Road (call 800-227-6963).
9a.m. to 6p.m., Jan. 26
9a.m. to 4p.m., Jan. 27
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