Publish date:

There's hope for stock certificates

Back around 1990 a number of people in the paper money field thought that stock certificates could become an increasingly important part of numismatics.

Certificates are large. They are beautiful. They are artwork featuring intaglio engravings.

Why wouldn’t collectors who hanker after those tiny (in comparison) engravings on the Educational Note Series of 1896 Silver Certificates, or the Bison, or the Indian Chief, not enjoy collecting mighty looking railroad vignettes or allegorical figures that put Miss Liberty in the shade?

Such was not to be. Collectors simply doubled down on the notes themselves. Collectors of stock certificates have not gone away, they have simply remained on the sidelines where they always were.

Now a generation later, a person has come through the door here for a job interview expressing an interest in stock certificates. His interest seemed genuine.

Considering the many years of difference in our ages, I wonder if stock certificates might not get another chance to go mainstream.

They are still reasonably priced. Paper money has become that much more expensive.

Only time will tell. But if young people take up the torch on behalf of stock certificates, that could make all the difference.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."