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)

Search this website for information about collecting 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.

Frequently asked questions

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Over time, people have been asked practically every kind of question imagineable. That does not mean I always know the answers. When I do, I try to record them somewhere on this website. But the web site is getting large.

The easiest way to find an answer is to put a few key words in the search box above and let Google try to find the answer.

You might also search the list below to see if your question fits into one of these main categories.

Failing all those attempts, write. I will try to help.

Questions about certificates

Questions about stock certificates
Questions about bonds
Questions about other kinds of certificates
Questions that pertain to all kinds of certificates

Questions about collecting

Questions about buying and selling
Questions about valuable autographs
Questions about protecting your collection

Other questions

Questions about the database
Questions about contributing information
Questions about scanning certificates
Questions about states and provinces in North America
Questions about railroads
Personal questions
Questions that don't fit into neat categories


General questions that affect all kinds of certificates

What are the primary differences between stocks and bonds?
What about missing signatures?
Why don't you describe the backs of certificates?
Explain the jargon of stocks and bonds.
How can I find out if my certificates still have values as securities?
Do you have any examples of "imprinted revenue" stamps?
Are there any scams and hypes I should watch out for?
Are there any fake certificates known?
Do the colors of certificates vary much?
What are the funny colored dots I see on some certificates? ("Planchette paper")
What are CUSIP numbers?
Should I frame certificates?
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Questions about preservation

What kinds of holders should I use?
What can I do to keep my certificates from deteriorating?
Where can I find preservation materials?
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Questions about stock certificates

How can I identify what is REALLY a stock certificate?
How is "capital" stock different than "common" stock?
What denominations are used on stock certificates?
Is there a relationship between colors and denominations of stock?
Should I remove stubs from stock certificates?
I have seen "Less Than 100 Shares" certificates altered and used for larger amounts. Are they worth more than un-altered examples?
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Questions about bond certificates

How can I tell if a certificate is really a bond?
What were bonds used for?
What are the different types of bonds I might encounter?
Is there a relationship between colors and denominations of bond?
Why is the text on bonds so hard to read?
What are the differences between registered bonds and bearer bonds?
Why are bearer bonds no longer issued?
When did coupon bonds fall out of favor?
What are the differences between coupon bonds and registered bonds?
What are gold bonds?
What are "aid" bonds?
Is it true that some gold bonds can be redeemed for gold?
Someone is telling me I can make a LOT of money on gold bonds. Is that true?
What are "gold bond scams?"
Are "gold bonds" good investments?
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Questions about "other" certificates

What are certificates of deposit?
What are fractional stocks and bonds?
What are temporary certificates?
What are warrants?
Are stock transfers worth anything?
What kinds of receipts do you list?
What is railroad scrip? Why don't you list all kinds?
I have a small certificate called "Form TFEL-2." What is it?
Is there any value in individual coupons?
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General questions

Are there any collecting organizations?
What are "land grants?"
What companies were consolidated into American Bank Note Company?
Where can I see pictures of state seals?
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General questions about railroads

What railroad companies have been part of the Dow Jones Index?
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Questions about autographs on certificates

Why do you only list autographs from famous people?
What if certificates are issued to famous people, but not signed by them?
Are autographed certificates good investments?
Can the prices of autographs fall?
When did the earliest facsimile signatures appear?
How do you tell if a signature is really signed in ink?
I have an old certificate with a signature in ball point ink. Is it real?
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Questions about buying and selling

How can I sell my certificates?
How can I find dealers who sell certificates?
I sell on the internet. Why are bids are so low?
Some dealers are really high-priced! Some are really low? Why the big difference?
Do you buy or sell certificates?
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Contributing informaton

How can I help?
Can I contribute information anonymously?
I am a good researcher. Can I help research companies?
Where do I send photocopies?
Can I send you serial numbers?
I want to help, but I don't want people to know that I have a huge hoard.
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Personal Questions

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Questions about scanning

I have a scanner. Can I send images to you?
Do you have any hints on scanning?
Do you want me to send jpgs or some other format?
Should I scan at full size? Or reduce?
If I scan a large bond in parts, can I patch the pieces back together?
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Questions about the database

What types of companies do you list?
What companies are NOT included? Why not?
What areas of the world do you include?
Do you include companies that incorporated in the U.S., but operated outside North America?
How do you invent your catalog numbers?
Why do you ignore certain features when you create or describe varieties?
Why do some catalog numbers seem out of order?
You describe colors differently than me. Why?
How do you come up with prices?
Your prices seem too high!!! Why?
Your prices seem too low!!! Why?
How much do prices fluctuate?
Where did you get your lists of serial numbers?
I think you have mistakes in your serial numbers. How come?
Why do prices seem out of line with the numbers of serial numbers you have recorded?
Why do prices seem out of line with rarity?
Are low serial numbers really more valuable than higher-numbered certificates?
What do you do about companies that have "Mount" in their names?
What do you do about companies that have "Saint" in their names?
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General questions about states

Do you have any information about when states were organized?
When did US territories become states?
I have a certificate with a "state seal." How can I figure out what state it represents?
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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.