If collecting physical stock certificates is new to you, then this blog post is for you! Read more to learn the basics of this growing hobby.
If you’ve made it this far, it’s safe to say that you have a modicum of interest in collecting stock certificates, or at least an interest in learning more about the hobby. I was in the same boat recently. Coming from the financial sector, there is certainly some interest in the history that stock certificates hold. Not to mention the similarities with collecting comic books, as both hold historical value and have aesthetic appeal based on the issuing company.
Nearly all companies no longer issue physical stock certificates to shareholders, although I have heard that some still might if you are able to request one through the issuing company or your broker. For example, the aforementioned Disney company discontinued issuing physical certificates in 2013, thus making them more collectible. Companies issued certificates for nearly 400 years. This provides us with a rich history. Coupled with the lack of new production, this creates a supply and demand for these collectibles, of which people have taken notice.
PMG is the CGC of Stock Certificates
What makes a collectible, well, collectible? Typically beyond the allure of owning a piece of history, there needs to be some third party that can help verify and grade said collectible. When it comes to physical stock certificates, Paper Money Guarantee (a company owned by Certified Collectibles Group) is essentially the CGC (also owned by Certified Collectibles Group) for this type of collectible.
PMG was started in 2005 and mainly focused on banknotes (aka paper money,) grading, and encapsulation. Around 2019 the company added scripophily (the collecting of bond and stock certificates) into their offerings for grading. So, in terms of grading, stock certificates are a fairly new entity. In terms of preservation, because the stock certificates held value at one time, there are likely people that held onto them or just threw them in their safe and forgot about them for years. In my opinion, there is an opportunity for interested parties to start hunting and grading this fairly new collectible.
How Much is a Stock Certificate Worth?
With Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, it seemed fitting to take a look at the Disney company in terms of their current trading price as well as the going price for a Disney stock certificate. I was able to find some recent sales on eBay of ungraded physical Disney stock certificates, most of which were for one share. As of the writing of this post, Disney’s stock was trading around $188 and the stock certificates were selling on eBay anywhere from $120-$200. It is interesting to note that a stock certificate specimen (essentially a proof) sold for over $500. Disney stock certificates seem to be desirable for collectors that have nostalgia for the company as well as the aesthetics of the certificate itself which includes a picture of Walt Disney and various other Disney characters.
Check out this hobby for yourself and see if it’s for you!