January 19, 2009

January newsletter online

January 2009 Coxrail newsletterMy latest newsletter is finally finished and online.

In this issue, my main discussion is about how to ship collectible certificates. With the tremendous growth of amateur online sellers, the number of certificates damaged in transit seems to have increased. That is certainly my personal experience. While I don't have any statistics on overall losses, more of my correspondents have reported receiving damaged goods in the last six months than at any similar previous period.

It appears to me that many amateur eBay sellers just plain don't know how to ship paper. There are others, seemingly more experienced, who should know better but are cutting too many corners trying to save pennies on postage and packaging. Some people are actually shipping certificates in bubble envelopes! Huh?!?!?

So I thought it was time to go back to basics and review the concepts of shipping paper. I make the analogy that shipping paper collectible is like surgery: First, Do No Harm!

My theme of illustrations this time is a collection of logos and monograms used by printing and engraving companies on stocks and bonds. I am probably missing something, but I can only find three companies that used ornaments to promote corporate identity. (The monogram at left is from the Franklin-Lee Bank Note Company.)

These days, you can't even watch a television show without seeing a logo in the bottom right corner. But, with the exception of the Goes Lithographic Company, logos and monograms are virtually absent from certificates.


Anonymous said...

The monogram shown in this post is labeled "Tiny, rarely-seen monogram from the Homer Lee Bank Note Company, only about 0.2 inches wide" in your newsletter. I guess I don't see the HLBNCo. I do see ABNCo.


Terry Cox said...

I stand corrected; the monogram actually represents the FRANKLIN-LEE BANK NOTE COMPANY. (You can see the top part of the 'F' sticking out above the 'B' and the 'L' extending below the right leg of the 'N'.) This monogram appears on a stock certificate of the Cleveland Lorain & Wheeling Railway Co (CLE-574-S-51. The certificate carries the imprint of the Homer Lee Bank Note Company, but seems to have been printed at (or shortly after) the time HLBNCo became part of the Franklin-Lee Bank Note Company in 1898. The FLBNCo monogram was overprinted on top of the colored border and appears in bottom right corner. The certificate is dated 1904, the year before FLBNCo was merged into American Bank Note Company.

Terry Cox said...

This newsletter is somewhat of a milestone. I did not realize it, but this newsletter represents the start of my 10th year writing newsletters.

It is appropriate that this newsletter has already attracted more comments than any other, primarily because of my article about inadequate and thoughtless packaging of collectible paper documents. Several people also complained about how beginning sellers also have a nagging tendency to OVERPACK and make it really hard to get into packages.

This Jan, 2009 newsletter has attracted a few comments about whether we should consider transferred certificates as 'cancelled.' (In this respect, I am being outvoted!) Be sure to send YOUR opinions.

Anonymous said...

Great newsletter Terry, Thanks. On the cancellation question, if a stock for a company I'm familiar with is lightly cancelled, as with a transfer, I've never valued it differently than uncancelled versions. After all, it just helps document the history of the piece. But when I see a piece for a company I don't recognize, and a buying decision must be made without additional information, I find it very helpful to look for any signs of transfer, cancellation, or book pasting. I find it a big clue to determining if the stock is from a hoard/archive, or if it's truly rare and came out of someone's Grandpa's safe. So I'll take a complete description of the front and back of a certificate over a strictly accurate usage of cancelled/uncancelled any day!