Beautiful engraved RARE specimen certificate from the General Cigar Company
dated in 1957. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man in a labrotory. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 59 years old. 60 coupons attached on right side
General Cigar Company is the largest manufacturer and marketer of premium, imported, hand-made or hand-rolled cigars - those made with long filler and all natural tobacco leaf. Through another subsidiary, Culbro Tobacco, it grows, cures, ages and processes the majority of the Connecticut Shade tobacco in the world. It owns 1100 acres of prime Connecticut River Valley land, leases an additional 500 acres in Connecticut and another 80 in the Dominican Republic where it grows filler leaves and, more recently, Candela wrapper leaves. Without doubt it is the largest and most significant, vertically integrated company in the business of making the world's finest cigars.
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.