Beautifully engraved Specimen Bond Certificate from the Sears, Roebuck and Co.
dated 1958. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's headquarters. There are 50 coupons attached to the bond not shown in the scan.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. was officially formed in 1893. The company dates its history back to 1886 when Richard W. Sears, a railroad agent in Minnesota, received an box of errant watches and then sold them to other agents.
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.