Beautifully engraved RARE Specimen Gold bond Certificate from the Cuba Railroad Company
dated 1902. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a train. This item has is over 102 years old. 100 coupons attached on top
The Cuba Railroad Company was financed and operated by US corporations under franchises from the Cuban government. The company was controlled by the Consolidated Railroads of Cuba, but was nationalized in 1960 as a result of Castro taking over power in Cuba.
The Cuba Railroad Company connected to the United Railroads of Havana, reducing travel time between Camaguey and the capital from three days by steamship to just 15 hours by train (improved to 9 hours by 1951). The railroad company by 1952 had merged with Northern of Cuba RR (founded in 1916), the Camaguey & Nuevitas RR (1837), the Espirituano RR, and the Guantanamo & Western RR (1882).
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 we 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 grown in popularity over the past several years.
Bonds were Payable in Gold or Gold Coin to give the impression that they were a more secure investment. In reality, they were not more secure since there wasn't any gold set aside as collateral for these bonds.
On April 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Presidential Executive Order 6102 which invoked his authority to make it unlawful to own or hold gold coins, gold bullion, or gold certificates. The export of Gold for purposes of payment was also outlawed, except under license from the Treasury.
On January 30, 1934, the Gold Reserve Act became law which made the ownership of gold illegal except for coins of numismatic value. As a result of this law, Bonds were no longer allowed to be Payable in Gold.