Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the General Instrument Corporation
dated in 1989. This historic document was printed by United States Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an an allegorical woman with electrons in the background. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 18 years old.
General Instrument (GI) was a diversified electronics manufacturer which specialised in semiconductors and cable television equipment. The company was active until 1997, when it split into General Semiconductor (power semiconductors), CommScope and NextLevel Systems (the cable and satellite TV division, which later reverted to GI name). The new (post-split) General Instrument Corporation was later acquired by Motorola and became the Motorola Connected Home Solutions division. Donald Rumsfeld served as CEO of General Instrument from 1990 to 1993.
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.