IBSS winter auction ending soon

27 August 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

10 days and counting until bids must be submitted. Browse our galleries and go through the lot list.

Faked new Denomination of 1937 China Liberty Bond?

12 May 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

A young German scripophilist from the Saar region informed us about a most probably faked 100.000$ China Liberty bond (1937) offered on ebay.de lately (item # 301603074892). For more details download the article here.


Brief auction report: HSK Hamburg, February 28, 2015

24 March 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

At about €100,000 less start-price as well as total hammer-price than last year, but only 100 lots less, the first German auction of 2015 went well and was fun to watch. IBSS member Dieter Engel held a lecture on short stories of Maritime Companies before the auction.  The most fighted piece in the room was a mainly unknown Dynamit-AG vormals Alfred Nobel & Co in Hamburg, Actie 1,000 Mark, 1890, specimen, unseen and oldest share of the company so far. It hit €7,500, after a call price of 1,700.

The full auction report will be published in our SCRIPOPHILY journal in April.

Known company, but unseen paper

Known company, but unseen paper



Results of IBSS winter auction

15 February 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

Results of Society Auction held on January 30, 2015

auction results Jan 2015

Auction Portafoglio Storico

24 June 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

Visit the website Portafoglio Storico. Online bidding also available.

Ad Portafoglia

Links: Dealers, auctioneers and related services

18 May 2014 of IBSS Webmaster


Spink: a very long tradition in auctioning, with scripophily added only some years ago. Now bonds and shares are regulaly offered in London, Hongkong, New York and Lugano (Switzerland) .

Historisches Wertpapierhaus (D): twice a year live auctions followed by only auctions two days later.

Booneshares (B) two live auctions anually, strong in an international variety of papers.

Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere and Hanseatisches Sammlerkontor (D): two brand names of the German “AG für Historische Wertpapiere” with roughly 10 auctions year round, all in Germany and some only online auctions or mail bids

Archives International (USA): numismatic and scripophily auctions in the US and in Hongkong, also active on ebay


scripophily.com (USA): Bob Kersteins site, a pioneer in selling and promoting scripophily.

Scott Winslow (USA): also a long time market participant with a variety outreaching scripophily

GKR Bonds (UK): Dealing in scripophily,  art and finance.

Labarre Galleries (USA: The Largest Stock and Bond Dealers in the World with over 6 Million Pieces in Stock. Free Catalogs Available.

Scripocenter (B): Mario Boones shop with international papers

Scripocollections (B): Mario Boones service of managing third-party collections.

Hugo van der Molens (NL) site www.scripophily.nl: good scource for information and papers

One  German shop (D) with focus on Reichsbankschatz papers: muenzen-halle (coin hall), an ebay-shop.

Two Italian shops (I) with a focus on their national heritage and vicinity: Scripofilia.it and Scripofilia.eu.

ASSMANN’s BONDs SHAREs PAPERs store on ebay, with a focus on international government bonds.

Back to main ‘links’.

FAQ: What is the value?

8 May 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

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, but how does a collector know what is a fair price for a certificate? As with everything else, prices are determined by the supply and demand. So what influences supply and demand? Below we have tried to define the most important factors:

Decorative Quality

Over the last few years the premium on very decorative pieces has risen sharply, particularly in Europe. Many people wish to frame pieces and will seek out attractive material. To the average collector, too, a piece with a good vignette (illustration) will be preferable to one without a vignette. It vastly adds interest to a railway share to have a picture of one of the company’s locomotives on the certificate.

Historical Importance

Many certificates were issued to finance events of historical importance, or by companies of great significance in their field. Examples of such bonds include those issued by the Confederate States of America, to finance their side of the American Civil War. The 18th century certificates issued by the English South Sea Company, the great East India companies and the Spanish colonial trading companies are much sought after. The very early railroad companies and the first manufacturers of cars and aircraft are generally valuable.


An original signature of a famous person on a certificate greatly enhances its value but note that some signatures are printed in facsimile, and others may be signed by clerks on behalf of their employers.


‘Early’ certificates are generally worth more than later certificates of the same or similar type. Most certificates on the market date from the 19th or 20th centuries, and ‘early’ is a relative term. An ‘early’ aviation share might be from about 1910, an ‘early’ automobile piece from the 1890s, railway certificates from before 1850, canals from the 1790s, and so on. Great age suggests rarity and adds historical interest, sometimes throwing new light on the earliest days of our industry and commerce.

Issued or unissued

Many collectors feel that unissued and partly issued material is less ‘valid’ than issued certificates, and the prices are generally lower. Nevertheless, unissueds are sometimes the only examples available of a certificate, or a rare form of a common issued piece (in particular, Chinese bonds). Specimens and proofs, especially of famous printers such as the American Banknote Company, can command prices well above issued examples. They are usually in immaculate condition.


It is wise to collect only certificates in the best condition available. They will cost more than poorer examples, but, apart from being nicer to own, they are a better investment and will be much easier to sell later.

The grading scale that could be used in stocks and bonds is shown below. Generally speaking, however, the grading is not used in the hobby as strictly as it is in coins and stamps. Most people acquire certificates for the artwork and history.

Uncirculated – Looks like new, no abnormal markings or folds, no staples, clean signature and no stains

Extremely Fine – Slight traces of wear

Very Fine – Minor traces of wear

Fine – Creased with clear signs of use and wear

Fair- Strong signs of use and wear

Poor- Some damage with heavy signs of wear and staining

(Source: Wikipedia)


Many factors determine rarity. Among them are: Number issued, Redemptions and cancellations, Age. But we may know how many have been issued but we may not know how many are still available to the collectors market. Here also the basic mechanism of supply and demand applies. There may be a bond with an original issue of 30.000 pieces. If only a 100 have survived it is rare. Another certificate with an original issue of 1000 pieces may be completely available and is not rare if only a few hundred collectors are interested. Generally one should be suspicious about dealers or auctioneers comments on rarity. We can see the same paper auctioned over years with the comment ‘only a few available’. In certain fields (such as the German Reichsbankschatz) a certain transparency about rarity has been etablished. Bear in mind that “unique” usually means “the first one seen”!

Back to main “FAQ”.


2 May 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

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29 April 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

Here we list some favorite links to websites related to scripophily.  For more usability we have categorized them. We appreciate all notes on changes from users and of course owners of these websites. And we are happy about suggestions for adding new websites to our inventory. Just mail to webmaster@scripophily.org

Favorites categories:

General and weblogs

Special fields of scripophily

National scripophily societies and related organisations

Dealers, auctioneers and related services

Scripophily on facebook




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