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Collections / Numismatics / Scripophily: An Introduction
Scripophily: An Introduction

Collecting Bank Notes
How to Identify & Value Your Coin
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Scripophily: An Introduction
Coins Collection

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Scripophily or the collecting of share certificates and bonds is an appealing hobby, particularly to business people the world over. The hobby can give interesting and accurate historical information on subjects such as railways, shipping and bridge building. The value of bonds varies greatly from around $16 to $20 to the more collectable ones at $320 to $400. The bonds of greatest value are those which have never been cancelled, although these are obviously few and far between! These are therefore valid share certificates which may involve considerable sums of money!

For the purpose of this article I would like to concentrate on two specific share certificates.

Bessemer Saloon Steamboat Company Ltd.

This was a British Company started by the man who invented steel making, Sir Henry Bessemer (1813 - 1898).

He later invented a steamship saloon (hence the Company name) which was suspended on hydraulic rams. Even in extremely stormy conditions, this prevented the saloon from rocking to and fro. He named this saloon the `Bessemer`.

On her maiden public voyage in the spring of 1875 the `Bessemer` collided with the Eastern Pier of Calais Harbour destroying a stretch of 20 yards and incurring considerable costs for damages. She was scrapped in 1879 and part of her was later used in a Kentish home as a billiard room!

Value:- A ?50 Certificate (in good condition) and dated the early 1870`s would be worth around $50-$60.

The Channel Tubular Railway Preliminary Company Ltd.

As early as the 1890`s, and long before the existing Channel Tunnel was designed, there were plans to build a physical connection of some form between England and France. There were various Companies formed and construction types considered, including a tunnel, a bridge and the tubular railway. The British government of the day rejected all such plans because they felt it was detrimental to the security of the Nation and over the following 50 years from then, there was no such easy route between Great Britain and the Continent. History could quite possibly have taken a very different course if there had been. As a result these certificates are of particular interest to collectors.

Value:- A Certificate, in good condition, and dated the early 1890`s would be worth in the region of $320 to $400.

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