Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Holograms, modern seals on stock certificates

Present technology comes up with 3D vignettes
Old bonds and shares are very rarely seen with holograms embedded in their design. If you do spot them,  then the certificates are probably not older than 20 years. Not surprisingly modern printing technology is needed to produce them.

specimen stock certificate of the Golden Eagle International gold mining company, active in Bolivia, with hologram
Golden Eagle International, Inc., a company active in gold mining and copper mining in Boliva
specimen stock certificate for common shares of $0.0001, 1995
printed by Security-Columbian US Bank Note Co., a company part of the ABN group

The word hologram is derived from the Greek words holos, meaning 'whole' and graphos meaning 'description or image'. A hologram shows a whole object in a three dimensional way. When changing your view angle, new details of the object become visible. As you notice in this post, one can scan holograms just like any other vignette. But such attempts only yield a two dimensional image. Instead, a video should give you a better idea. As these so-called embedded holograms can only be seen under specific view angles, capturing these 'volumes' on video can be quiet challenging. 

Short video of the 'Golden Eagle' hologram

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cyril Bouda's Mercury

Many old shares certificates show vignettes of concepts such as a locomotive, a coat-of-arms, an allegorical figure or a ship. These vignettes are mostly shaped in a technical, meaningless way. By all means, this bond is an exception to that rule.

Czechoslovak bond certificate designed by Cyril Bouda
3% bond of 10000 Czechoslovak Koruna
state loan of the Republic of Czechoslovakia
1936, printed by Melantrich
double-click to enlarge
Look at that Mercury !
The bond shown here, is designed by Cyril Bouda. Your attention is immediately drawn to this giant Mercury depicted along almost the full length of the certificate (35 cm). Just look at it.
This is not the usual cheerful, speeding, half-naked Mercury that we see so often on old shares. What we see here is a modern Mercury, standing, dressed like an industrial worker and carrying a sledge-hammer instead of a mythical caduceus. Bouda’s Mercury is looking preoccupied and even weary at the coat-of-arms of Czechoslavakia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poll results - Number of scripophily collectors in the world

"of all human collecting species, the Homo Sapiens Scripophilius, is the hardest to find"

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT)
Domestic share certificate for less than 100 shares, 1959

Results of the poll
This was the question : How many scripophily collectors are there worldwide ?
  • less than 1000
  • between 1000 and 2000
  • between 2000 and 5000
  • between 5000 and 10000
  • between 10000 and 20000
  • between 20000 and 50000
  • between 50000 and 100000
  • more than 100000
Only 10 votes were made, including mine. I agree, a low number of votes. But to those who made the effort : thank you for voting !

And here are the results :

As you can see, there is no pronounced winner.
My vote ? Between 20000 and 50000.  Actually, I estimate the number of collectors at 30000. Let me explain why I think so.