When you hear the word “stock” you likely think of buying company stock for your investment portfolio. You likely don’t think of stock certificates.
However, while investing in stock today involves completing an online transaction, buying into a company used to involve purchasing a stock certificate. These certificates were pieces of paper that included all the information for the stock you purchased.
While the financial world has modernized purchasing stocks, certificates still exist. Although they rarely hold any value, they are still an interesting part of history.
If you are interested in stock certificates and the history behind them, here are several cool facts you might not know.
1. Stock Certificates Were Legal Currency
If you’ve ever seen a corporate stock certificate, you know that they are intricately printed. This is because they were considered legal currency and used a similar printing process as money.
2. Parents Bought Children Stock Certificates
Can you imagine receiving paper stock certificates as a child? Stock certificates were so popular, parents would buy Disney certificates with full-color illustrations and hang the framed certificate in their child’s room.
3. Stock Certificates Are 400 Years Old
The oldest recorded stock certificate was issued in 1606. The certificated was hand-printed on parchment paper and issued by the Dutch East India Company.
4. Owning a Stock Certificate Was Prestigious
The fancy paper and intricate designs were part of the reason stock certificates were so prestigious. Having a physical representation of a company was also considered a sign of wealth.
5. Stock Certificates Were Uses as Wallpaper
The stock market had a massive crash in 1929, which resulted in the Great Depression. At this time, many companies went out of business, making their stock certificates void.
The Great Depression is also a time in history when people had to be industrious and find new ways to use old items. For this reason, stock certificates of closed companies were used as wallpaper in many homes.
6. There Is an Active Community of Collectors
Although most stock certificates seem worthless, they might hold some value. There is an active community of collectors who will purchase old stock certificates, regardless of their value. If you have stock certificates that have no sentimental value, consider selling them to a collector.
If you are a collector who is interested in buying stock certificate paper, see here for more information.
Stock Certificates: The Cool and Interesting Things You May Not Know
Although stock certificates are not used today, they still have a cool and interesting history.
Stock certificates were not just used to represent a share in a company, they were also used as legal currency. These certificates date back 400 years and were so prestigious, parents even bought them for their children. Although they have lost their value there is an active community of collectors who will buy them.
In a nutshell, stock certificates are much more than just a printed piece of paper.
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