Beautifully engraved hard to find specimen certificate from America Online, Incorporated
. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the America Online company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's Chairman of the Board ( Steve Case ) and its Chief Financial Officer. This certificate came out of the American Banknote Company archives and was part of a group of 5 certificates that had the same unique serial number 135100 for American Banknote Company AOL Specimen certificates.
America Online, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Brands include the AOL(R) service, the AOL.com(R) website, and the AIM(R), MapQuest(R), Moviefone(R), Netscape(R), CompuServe(R) and ICQ(R) services. America Online offers a range of digital services including the TotalTalk(TM) voice service. The company also has operations in Canada and Europe. America Online, Inc. is based in Dulles, Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
About Specimen Certificates
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.