Sunday, January 22, 2006

Scripophily Question - Collecting Railroad Bonds

From: "Leslie H Trevena"

1. Are there any Railway Bonds from 1856 that are worth more than the cost of printing.
2. Were $100 and $500 Railway Bonds issued.
3. If a person were to be in possession of such bonds what might there true value be.
4. Are there any Railway Bonds in existence today that would be worth many millions of dollars.

My reason for asking is, I know of a person claiming to have Railway Bonds from 1856, they state they have an enormous $ value today.

On reading information found on the internet, I have grave doubts as to their claim.

—Leslie Howard


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Scripophily is collecting stocks and bonds; railroad certificates are especially popular.

To get an idea of some bond prices, take a look at and search for: railroad bond

Or browse railroad stock and bond certificates by name of the railroad company.

This is assuming that you are asking about collecting the paper bond certificate, not the value of a bond investment.

Bonds signed by famous people are particularly sought after because of the autograph. The Professional Scripophily Trade Association has an article by Terry Cox, stating:
"Presently, the most 'valuable' rail-related autograph is that of Andrew Carnegie. It appeared on a Pullman Palace Car stock certificate and sold for over $70,000 in the 1999 Strasburg sale by R.M. Smythe. Other extremely valuable autographs include 'Commodore' Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of the New York Central Railroad and the Vanderbilt dynasty. His signature is extremely rare on railroad certificates. Signatures from Jay Gould, on items other than MKT stocks, are also extremely valuable."

George H. LaBarre Galleries states that "the most valuable collectible ... railroad stock signed by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt now sells for $12,000. Stocks now sell for as much as $50,000 for one certificate."

The International Bond and Share Society website states that "Prices of defunct certificates vary from a few cents to tens of thousands of dollars. Many of the most interesting pieces are in the range $50-$500."

Some factors that influence prices of collectible stocks and bonds include the signature, historical significance, condition, rarity, decorative qualify, and age.

Antique Stocks & Bonds: A Guide for Collectors and Investors explains that "As the certificate incorporates more and more of the factors that influence value positively, the price escalates accordingly. For example, a recent catalog lists an early (1876) high value ($300,000, a large amount in its day), stock certificate for Standard Oil, signed by John D. Rockefeller. The certificate is in very fine condition. The asking price is $15,000. It meets some important value criteria: a famous company, a small outstanding issue, and a famous signatory. In January 1995 a certificate sold for $33,000, the highest price ever paid at public auction. The item in question was a Bank of North America 1783 stock certificate. The above notwithstanding, current catalogs list hundreds of interesting certificates for less than $100."

Here are more Scripophily links.

Caution, links are not merchant endorsements.

1/22/2006 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Roger Mills"

Did some Railroads issue 1000 year bonds?

—Roger Mills

9/15/2014 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The award for longest lasting liability went to the Canadian Pacific Corporation, which was paying 4% on a 1000-year bond, issued by the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway in 1883, and due to be repaid in 2883!"

"Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company 1,000-year 4 per cent bonds."

9/15/2014 11:31 PM  

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