Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from Chai-Na-Ta Ginseng Products Limited
. This historic document was printed by the British American Bank Note Company and has a
block border with a vignette of an allegorical woman sitting on a step amongst fruit and birds. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary.
Chai-Na-Ta Corp. is the world’s largest supplier of North American ginseng. During fiscal 1996, Chai-Na-Ta focused its attention on obtaining approval to manufacture and distribute its North American ginseng tablets and ginseng multi-vitamins. Approval was obtained in only six months, approximately one-third the time usually required to complete the formal registration process. In Canada and the United States, ginseng is considered to be a food product, and as such, does not require formal government registration. Mexico, like many foreign countries, classifies ginseng-based products as medicinal and/or pharmaceutical products; and administers strict guidelines and standards for sales or importation into the country.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.