Beautifully engraved Specimen certificate from the Community Bank of the Bay
. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of company title. This item has printed signatures by the Company's President,Secretary, and Chairman.
The bank, which opened in 1996, was the first California bank chartered under a federal program to promote banking in underserved communities, mostly low-and-moderate-income. But years of mismanagement and poor lending practices almost emptied the bank's coffers before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the state's Department of Financial Institutions intervened in early 2002. Regulators mandated changes in the bank's lending and collections policies and ordered the board to bring in new management.
The cease-and-desist order cited a laundry list of unsafe banking practices and violations of laws or banking regulations that had to be fixed, including hazardous lending practices, inadequate capital, too many risky loans, inadequate loan reserves and inadequate liquidity provisions.
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 and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.