Are Old Share Certificates Worth Anything?


Quick Answer

The value of an old share certificate is dependent on the corporate history of the company and whether the certificate has been canceled. A registered security can only be claimed by the original owner or an heir. Bearer stocks and bonds can be claimed by anyone possessing the paper certificate.

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Full Answer

A canceled certificate will often have holes punched through the signature or a stamp with the word "canceled". This makes the certificate worthless. Acquisitions, mergers and bankruptcies will often void a certificate, leaving the original issuer defunct and the certificate worthless. Scripophily is the practice of collecting stock certificates. Collectors may be willing to pay for an otherwise worthless bond.

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