Dollars And Cents

March 14, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

If you have old stock, keep it. The company might be worthless, the certificate might not.

With the trend toward book entries -- recording transactions on computer files -- paper certificates could become extinct within the decade.

So, stocks you kept as a souvenir of a bad investment could be worth more than the paper they're printed on.

For collectors -- the formal title is scripophilists -- paper stocks have the same appeal as stamps or old currency. They're often colorful, ornately engraved and sometimes, signed by famous industrialists.

Most stocks issued since the 1950's are worth $1 to $10 each to collectors, says dealer George LaBarre, who operates a gallery in Hollis, N.H.

Bonds for historic railroads fetch $100 to $200 each.

Stocks signed by famous industrialists are worth more. John ** D. Rovkefeller's personal shares of Standard Oil of Ohio could be worth $15,000 each.

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