Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation
. This historic document was printed by Thomas Greg & Sons and has an
ornate border around it. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's Officers.
The company, started out with five army surplus shops in 1955, now operates over 290 sporting goods stores in California, Washington, Arizona, and seven other western states. The company sells brand-name equipment and clothing for indoor and outdoor activities.
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.