Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Richfield Oil Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Jeffries Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical people sitting next to a picture of the an oil fied on the ocean. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary.
Atlantic Richfield ( Arco ) was formed in 1966 from the merger of Richfield Oil Corporation and Atlantic Refining Company. Atlantic Refining had been incorporated in 1870 and was one of the Rockefeller companies until the Standard Oil Group was dissolved in 1911. Richfield Oil was founded in 1905.
Richfield Oil company was based in Los Angeles. Arco was purchased by British Petroleum ( BP ) in 2000.
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.