Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Securities Investment Company of St. Louis. This historic document was printed by the Security - Columbian Banknote Company in the 1938 and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the company logo ( SIC ) between two allegorical men.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They are typically used as examples that certificate printers used to show prospective clients the different types of certificate designs that were available. These certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. Many times, they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In fact, in a few instances these certificates were never issued at all as 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 is increasing in popularity in recent years.