Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads     by Terry Cox

A guidebook and catalog of prices
(I neither buy nor sell stocks and bonds)

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Search the Coxrail database for descriptions of 23,700+ certificates from over 7,400 North American railroad companies.

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Catalog coverWelcome to COXRAIL.com. This site is maintained by Terry Cox, author of Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads, second edition.

BNR Press published the first edition of the catalog in 1995. Since then, collectors from North America and Europe have helped add over 7,500 new varieties of certificates!!

The second edition is available from major scripophily dealers, worldwide or from Amazon.com.

The retail price of the book is US$35.99. You can usually find the book at a discount. PLEASE contact your favorite dealer.

I want to hear from you. Please understand that I only catalog stocks and bonds related to North American railroading. I catalog values of certificates only AFTER they sell.

I do NOT give appraisals.
I do NOT authenticate autographs.
I do NOT estimate values of items in active or upcoming auctions.

NEWS!


Schedule for the third edition.


German Glossary added. This page lists the most common terms you will find in German language catalogs and price lists to describe collectible railroad certificates.


ephemera blog logo Read an interview I did with Marty Weil for his huge and timely Ephemera blog.

 


Before contributing new names of railroad companies, you might check out this page on deceptive company names. These are names that closely resemble railroads but are either model railroads, bus companies, shipping companies, or others kinds of non-railroad companies.


Questions continually arise about identifying specimens and proofs. Whereas proof coins are specially manufactured coins, proof certificates are the exact opposite. Proofs are merely test impressions of vignettes and plates prior to regular certificate production. Specimen certificates, on the other hand, are certificates identical in every way to regularly-issued certificates. I have a page that explains More than you EVER wanted to know about Specimens and Proofs.


Million dollar bills. Some of these fantasy notes were printed by American Bank Note Company, so people contact me to find out how to redeem them. (They can't!) Regardless of the fact that these notes have no relationship to stocks and bonds, people still ask me to explain more. For them, I've created a special page on million dollar bills.


COUPONS. Do individual coupons or sheets of coupons have value? In my opinion,

NO !!!

I understand some collectors will disagree. However, I am less concerned with objections than the probability of intentional deception! Pure and simple!

We are seeing more and more eBay sellers offering individual bond coupons for sale. We are witnessing people destroying perfectly good collectibles for the sole purpose of TRYING TO GET MONEY FROM UNSUSPECTING BEGINNERS!!!! Please see my longer discussion about the subject in my Letter About Coupons.

I have seen single coupons promoted as "currency" and purposely illustrated like bank notes. Some have sold for prices higher than the values of entire bonds from which they came. I can only imagine the bitter taste left in the mouths of victims when they received packages with their winnings only to discover tiny coupons inside.

Having seen many coupons sold that way, I can only conclude that selling coupons represents a serious problem of deception that eBay should address. Never mind that there is a serious potential side effect of damaging the credibility of our hobby if this practice continues.

Yes, I understand SOME coupons are genuinely rare and represent the only tangible evidence that some bonds ever existed. And yes, those kinds of rare coupons might have genuine collectible value. But, how can amateurs possibly distinguish between valuable collectibles and worthless coupons clipped from bonds and sold with deceptive intent? If anyone has a good idea of dealing with this conundrum, tell me. In the meantime, I advise that no one sell coupons to amateurs and no one buy any coupons unless they know what they are doing. Period.


Imprinted Revenues - I am fond of imprinted revenue stamps that appear on financial documents from the 1860s and 1870s. Please see my identification guide to imprinted revenues compiled with the help of revenue specialist Eric Jackson. At his suggestion, I have added large images to show what the revenues look like "on document."


Currier & Ives. Variations of this famous image of the "The Express Train" by Nathaniel Currier appear on over 60 stocks and bonds. This image was probably engraved in the early 1850s.

I do not collect Currier and Ives' colored lithographs. However, I have collected images of all the the rail-related Currier & Ives lithographs I could find and compiled them in one place. See Currier & Ives collection. Please write if you know of more.


The Professional Scripophily Trade Association organized in January, 2004. Its efforts are to promote the hobby through clear standards of customer service, ethical behavior, and education. Look for the Association logo.


TIMELINE. For those interested in events that happened during the eras of your certificates, I have compiled a TIMELINE. This feature is intended to help you understand the events that affected the development of the railroad industry.

CATALOG NUMBERS. Discover how I create catalog numbers.


SELLING? Don't know where to start? Should you sell through online auctions? Or through dealers?


There are currently over 620 pages in this site and I add new pages all the time. My goal is to give collectors as much information as I possibly can in as many different areas as they want.

In return, I ask for collectors' help.

Visit my MYSTERIES page. It shows vignettes, questionable companies, and any other things that I need help researching.


Before you send copies of certificates, check How to Send Images. Save yourself some effort by learning what kinds of images and information will help this project the most.

 

 



 

 


Papermental logoHelp support this free site! Please visit my eBay store called Papermental by Terry Cox. My inventory includes railroad passes, railroad ephemera, newspapers, magazines, engravings, and all sorts of paper collectibles.

Please contact me if you have certificates not yet listed. (See How You Can Help.)

I suggest using WeTransfer or similar file transfer sites when sending large files or large numbers of files.

PLEASE contact the many fine dealers listed on my dealers page to buy certificates.