Consumers can research companies, consult stockbrokers, contact the states in which companies were incorporated and hire researchers to find the values of old stock certificates, as BankRate.com explains. People with old stock certificates that are not redeemable can research their value as collectibles through online databases and appraisal sites.
People researching old stock certificates can use search tools on business or financial websites to determine if the companies that issued the stocks are still conducting business, states BankRate.com. If the companies for which people own stock certificates are not actively doing business, they may have merged with or been bought out by other companies. To determine company histories, owners can contact the state government agencies that regulate corporations in the states in which certificates were issued.
Consumers can also hire private companies to research old stock certificates, though this generally involves payment of fees and, in some cases, a percentage of the value of stocks. Public libraries have additional research sources and may do the research on old stock certificates that owners send in, states BankRate.com. Online databases and appraisal sites allow consumers to research whether old stock certificates hold value as collectibles. The old stock certificates of some companies still in business are more valuable than the stocks themselves.