• Update: 2023-03-16 17:15

Title encoding convention

The encoding conventions used are intended to make the data more readable and accessible. These conventions must be respected when editing or adding data to maintain consistency in your data.

Some specific formats must be respected, for dates for example. All these conventions are detailed below with respect to :

the name of the share, the type, the country of the registered office, the country of activity, the registered office, the province, the date of issue and creation, the capital and the number of shares issued, the color and the decoration of the title.

For the name of the action, or more simply of the company, all the 'common' names, if present at the beginning, were put at the end. This is Société Anonyme (abbreviated S.A.), Company (abbreviated SOC.), Company (abbreviated CIE), Belgian or any other country name, National, General and all adjectives.

To properly mark this, a comma followed by a space is inserted before the return. For example :

the title "Société Anonyme Belge de Tramways" =  "TRAMWAYS, S.A. BELGE DE";

the title "Compagnie d'Anvers Société Anonyme" = "ANVERS, CIE. D'. - S.A."

All stock names are written in capital letters without an accent but with the 2 dots (¨) above the letters.

For titles written in several languages (Russian titles for example), the various translations have generally been encoded followed by the symbol '/'. However for some titles in unusual foreign languages (Hungarian, Finnish, ...) an English translation has sometimes been introduced.. 

For loans of cities and state, some special conventions are applications. 

Read the special conventions :

For state and city loans, special rules have been used to facilitate searches and readability of lists and listings.

For state bonds, we first enter the name of the country written in English and capital letters followed by the year of issue of the loan. Then comes in the language of the title the name of the country followed by a mention of the loan. Thus the loan opposite of Congo Belge was encoded as follows : 'BELGIAN CONGO 1906 - ROYAUME DE BELGIQUE COLONIE DU CONGO - DETTE PUBLIQUE 4%....'

For loans of cities or towns, similarly, one begins by writing the name of the city followed by the date of issue of the loan and a mention of the type of loan. The mention city, commune, canton, ... in the language of the title is returned to the end preceded by a comma. If entries are made in 2 languages, the second language is included in the description. Thus the loan opposite of the Ville d'Anvers was encoded as follows :  ANVERS 1936 - STAD ANTWERPEN 1936 LEENING VAN 75.000.000 FRK / VILLE D'ANVERS 1936 EMPRUNT DE 75.000.000 FRS

You will still find many titles that do not respect this convention introduced quite recently

Finally, it should be noted that for the same title, it has been encoded separately as "issued", that is to say circulated and as "unissued" if they both exist on the market. The title not issued (a specimen or a blanco therefore title without signature or number or a title missing a signature and / or number) has in the description of the type of title the mention 'spec.' added, for specimen.

However no distinction has been made between the different types of securities issued or non-issued. Thus actions canceled by perforation, roulette, bic or simply not canceled are considered identical. This may, however, have an influence on the price.

For the type of action, it is encoded as written on the coat and in the original language.

The country of the head office is the country of the head office or the country of the currency of issue of the title.

The country of activity is the country of the main activity or historically of origin of the company. When a company operates in more than one country, it is only possible to enter one.

The registered office has generally been encoded as written on the title and therefore in the language of the title.

The province is the province of the company's main business and is not the province of the company's head office.

The date formats and the meaning of the date field 'written by hand' as well as the number of shares issued and the 'total issue' field. The creation date is the year of creation of the company.

Read the date formats :

Date formats

Date of issue

In order to have the greatest possible flexibility, dates have several possible formats in addition to the standard date format. The dates are entered as follows (jj = day, mm = month, aaaa = year) with some examples :

  • j(j)/m(m)/aaaa  ou  m(m)/aaaa  ou  aaaa : 10/3/1968 ou 03/1968
  • j(j)-m(m)-aaaa  ou  m(m)-aaaa  ou  aaaa : 08-1970
  • aa.. : 19.. : specific year of issue unknown but in the 1900s
  • aaa. : 196. : specific year of issue unknown but between 1960 and 1969
  • caaaaa : ca1950 : around the 1950s
  • aaaa? : 1970? : supposed year 1970 but without certainty
  • saaaa : s1969 : stamped, stamp of the year 1969

Creation date 

This is the year of creation of the company entered in 4 digits. However, for a bond issue, it is the year of the first issue. Indeed, long-term loans, the coupon sheet were often renewed every 20 years, and it was common to give a new title.

For example, for the loan of the city of Antwerp of 1903, there are 4 different titles. For each of them, the creation date will be 1903 but the issue dates will vary between 1903 and 1963.

Other information


On certain shares, and in general these are registered certificates of registration, the date of the action was written by hand. And so a specific title can circulate with several dates.

The information written by hand draws your attention to the fact that even if the date of your title differs from that encoded in the database, it may be the same title! An audit can be done visually (if a photo is available) and on the issued share capital if it is specified. The same share capital will generally mean that it is the same title.

Total issue 

Certain shares are issued in several cuts: cut of 1,2,5,10,100 or even 1,000 shares. For a total issue of 800,000 shares for example, it is rarely specified how many shares of x shares were issued.
In general, in this case the total emission has been encoded and the total emission field has been checked (Total emission: yes). To deduce the maximum number of titles, divide the total issue by the cut.

For a total issue of 800,000 shares, a cut of 1,000 shares therefore exists at a maximum of 800 copies. However, in some auctions, the total issue is not stipulated but the maximum number issued in the case of cuts. In this case, you will read: Total issue: no. 

The capital is the capital of the company, with a point to separate the 000 and without specification of the currency if it is the same as that of the type of the action.

The color is entered in English to avoid translation problems. Black is encoded too. So if the only color of the title is blue, it means that the whole coat is blue including the text.

The decoration of the title is a field that gives an idea whether the title is decorated or not, for example : DDD, DD, ED, ... Click here for a description of the different possibilities.

Finally, it must be said that these guidelines are not always respected. Thus encoded titles of a German auction house will be more often in German than in the original language.



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Belgian Association for Scripophily N.P.O.

Avenue de l'Equinoxe, 18
B-1200 Brussels
Company number : BE 420507371
RPM Tribunal de l’entreprise francophone de Bruxelles
GSM : 032(0)494 04 99 16

Account :

Code IBAN : BE98 3200 1739 4493

Association Belge de Scriptophilie A.S.B.L. 

Avenue de l'Equinoxe, 18 
B-1200 Bruxelles 
N°  d'entreprise : BE 420507371
RPM Tribunal de l’entreprise francophone de Bruxelles
Portble : 032(0)494 04 99 16

Compte bancaire : 

Code IBAN : BE98 3200 1739 4493