Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from Royal Inns of America
printed in 1970. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company symbol. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Founder, Earl Gagosian and Secretary, Loraine Harting and is over 36 years old.
Earl Gagosian started Royal Inns of America based on a concept of being able to produce a quality hotel for lower cost per room than competing firms because of construction techniques he pioneered.
Earl Gagosian began in the hotel business as a 23-year-old construction supervisor with TraveLodge. He advanced to vice president before leaving the company in 1965.
He then founded the Royal Inns of America, serving as president and chairman of the board for seven years while the company built 69 hotels.
In 1980 he founded Continental Inns Inc. with his son Wayne Earl. That company has built a chain of hotels in the Southwest, which in 1987 became part of Howard Johnson Franchise Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Prime Motor Inns, Inc.
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.