When examining a new certificate I always look for the presence of a seal. I hope a remarkable scenery will be present on it. Some of these seals are so striking that they can not possibly be overlooked at. Others, the embossed ones, are hardly noticeable but can just be as surprising as well.
(tip: double-click the images for more details)
Gold paper seal, embossed after being attached to the document
Texas Short Line Railway Company, 1902
In the Middle Ages, seals were made on bee wax. They were used for guaranteeing authenticity of documents and for sealing closed documents. On shares and bonds, seals are also used for authentication. More, the presence of a beautifull gold paper seal, serving as a quality label, helped issuers to attract potential buyers. Seals were also meant to make it more difficult to counterfeit a certificate. Sometimes, they were also used as proof that obligatory taxes were paid.
Seals on certificates can show the name of the issuer, a pictorial emblem representing the issuer such as a coat of arms, an incorporation date, or a picture of the kind of activity that was involved.
Seal integrated in the print design
RCA Corporation (specimen) 1977