Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads     by Terry Cox

A guidebook and catalog of prices
(I do NOT buy or sell certificates on this website)

Search this website for information about collecting stocks and bonds.


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

Quick scanning hints for certificates

If you'd like to learn much more about scanning certificates, start here. If you want to scan and contribute images for this project, here are some quick suggestions:

  • Scan and save at 200 dpi. This preserves adequate details for most certificates. The basic suggestion is to scan at a resolution that allows you to read the printer's name.
  • Save as "medium high quality" JPGs (JPEGs). The JPG format is a highly compatible format. However, JPG is considered a "lossy" format in that it purposely discards repetitive information during the save process. Your image deterioration is usually acceptable when you scan at at resolutions close to your final needs.
  • Scan against a WHITE background. Black backgrounds make your certificates look dirty. Colored backgrounds impart peculiar color casts which can be impossible to remove without altering the color of your certificates.
  • Do not worry about getting your certificate perfectly square on your scanner. Those problems are easy to correct with image manipulation software (such as Photoshop.)
  • If your document is too large, scan in pieces. Most certificates are too large for most entry-level and mid-level scanners, anyway. So, scan in several pieces with at least 2" of overlap . When scanning in pieces, always keep the top of your certificate facing the same direction. (See Scanning Large Certificates for more information.)
  • Avoid reducing images during scanning. (Why?)
  • Scanning software usually makes poor assumptions when scanning engraved certificates. Your eye is better. Again, see Scanning for substantially more information about scanning certificates. IF your scanner allows,
    • turn off automatic color adjustment
    • turn off automatic exposure
    • turn off automatic sharpening
  • Make sure you show all the edges of the paper.
  • Do not scan coupons.
  • Do not scan the backs of certificates unless there is something there that is absolutely critical.

Images from electronic cameras. Electronic cameras are terrific at taking snapshots. They are not terrific at photographing certificates. I almost never use camera images because of distortion, lack of detail and odd color casts.

Back to Scanning home page

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(Last updated November 19, 2015)


I strongly recommend buying the Cox Catalog 3rd Edition from your favorite SCRIPOPHILY DEALER. Catalog cover
If they do not carry, or are out of stock, you may buy directly from me. Simply click the buy button below.



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.

© Copyright 2021 by Terry Cox