Beautiful engraved RARE specimen certificate from the America Online Latin America
. This historic document was printed by United States Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary.
In 2005, America Online Latin America Inc. had filed for bankruptcy protection after losing $1 billion. From 1.4 million paying subscribers at its 2002 peak — based mostly in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico — AOL Latin America was down in March 2005 to about 400,000 subscribers, the most recent figures available.
America Online Latin America, Inc. was based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the exclusive provider of AOL-branded services in Latin America and has quickly become one of the leading Internet and interactive services providers in the region. AOL Latin America launched its first service, America Online Brazil, in November 1999, and began as a joint venture of America Online, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL), and the Cisneros Group of Companies. Banco Itaú, a leading Brazilian bank, is also a minority stockholder of AOL Latin America.
The Company combines the technology, brand name, infrastructure and relationships of AOL, the world's leader in branded interactive services, with the relationships, regional experience and extensive media assets of the Cisneros Group of Companies, one of the leading media groups in the Americas.
Under President and CEO Charles Herington, AOL Latin America currently operates services in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and serves members of the AOL-branded service in Puerto Rico.
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.