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Coupon vs. registered
Coupon bonds. Railroads normally paid interest on their loans twice a year. The accepted procedure was for companies to attach small coupons to bonds. Then, twice a year, bondholders cut coupons from their certificates and redeemed them for interest. A single coupon from a $1,000 bond was worth $15 to $50, so coupons from bearer bonds often traded like paper money. Half of all collectible bonds in this catalog are coupon bonds.
Registered bonds. Coupons made interest payments simple. However, as companies grew, they found it ever more difficult to count and track hundreds or thousands of tiny coupons. Companies gradually dropped coupon bonds in favor of registered bonds. That allowed companies to pay interest directly to their registered bondholders.
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