Beautifully engraved specimen stock certificate from the Costco Wholesale Corporation
printed in 1991. This historic document was printed by the Security-Columbian Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of company's logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, and Secretary, and is over 20 years old.
Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of membership warehouses, mainly under the "Costco Wholesale" name, that carry quality, brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail sources. The warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use. Individuals may also purchase for their personal needs.
Costco's warehouses present one of the largest and most exclusive product category selections to be found under a single roof. Categories include groceries, candy, appliances, television and media, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewelry, watches, cameras, books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty aids, tobacco, furniture, office supplies and office equipment. Costco is known for carrying top quality national and regional brands, with 100% satisfaction guaranteed, at prices consistently below traditional wholesale or retail outlets.
Members can also shop for private label Kirkland Signature products, designed to be of equal or better quality than national brands, including juice, cookies, coffee, tires, housewares, luggage, appliances, clothing and detergent. The Company also operates self-service gasoline stations at a number of its U.S. and Canadian locations.
Additionally, Costco Wholesale Industries, a division of the Company, operates manufacturing businesses, including special food packaging, optical laboratories, meat processing and jewelry distribution. These businesses have a common goal of providing members with high quality products at substantially lower prices.
According to Jim Sinegal, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, "Costco is able to offer lower prices and better values by eliminating virtually all the frills and costs historically associated with conventional wholesalers and retailers, including salespeople, fancy buildings, delivery, billing and accounts receivable. We run a tight operation with extremely low overhead which enables us to pass on dramatic savings to our members."
Costco is open only to members and offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual) and the Executive membership. Business members qualify by owning or operating a business, and pay an annual fee ($45 in the U.S.) to shop for resale, business and personal use. This fee includes a spouse card. Business members may purchase up to six additional membership cards ($35 each) for partners or associates in the business. A transferable company card may also be purchased.
Gold Star members pay a $45 annual fee (in the U.S.), and is available to those individuals that do not own a business. This fee includes a free spouse membership.
The Company also has a third membership level, called the Executive Membership. In addition to offering all of the usual benefits, it allows members to purchase a variety of discounted consumer services (auto and homeowner insurance, real estate and mortgage services, long-distance telephone services, auto buying, personal check printing, financial planning) and/or discounted business services (merchant credit card processing, health insurance, business lending, payroll processing, communication solutions, check and forms printing) at substantially reduced rates. Executive Members also receive a 2% annual reward (up to $500) on most of their warehouse purchases. Executive Members pay an annual fee of $100.
Costco warehouses generally are open seven days per week for all members.
Costco is a Washington corporation, publicly traded under the Nasdaq ticker symbol "COST", with its home office in Issaquah, Washington.
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.