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.

State seals

State seals appear on many railroad stocks and bonds, often serving for both a security-oriented vignette and a stand-in for state names. Therefore, to properly identify the states of origin for many certificates, you must be able to identify state seals.

To help you decipher state seals, I have assembled a collection of all state seals and a finding system.

The state seals that I have assembled here are generally official in nature. Unfortunately, not all states make good copies available on their websites. Please help if you find better copies.

When state seals appear on stocks and bonds, they are extremely variable in appearance. State laws often prevented engravers from using "official" state seals. Of course, official state seal were usually rendered in a manner very crude to what could be created by bank note engravers. Therefore, engravers usually modified the the most important elements of official state seals and then added new surrounding features. The least modified seals are found on certificates from the states of Alabama, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Texas.

Pennsylvania's seal, on the other hand, is represented by a huge number of variants. Generally, Pennsylvania's seal shows two horses flanking a plaque rearing on their hind legs. In actual fact, the official Pennsylvania state seal is the central plaque that the horses surround. Practically all images on certificates - and on the state flag - include the horses.

Click here to find out what state matches a state seal you already have on a certificate.

This is a special search that will allow you to find states based on features your state seals are most likely to display.

If you prefer, you can click here to see a full collection of images of ALL the state seals.

Send an email message with corrections, questions or comments about this page.
(Last updated Feb 14, 2010)


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 2023 by Terry Cox