The scripophily is the hobby which consists in collecting securities without stock market value. These may be shares as well as bonds that have been canceled or have been worthless following the bankruptcy of the company or non-delivery during various exchanges. There are also printing events, unsigned titles and numbers that have been kept by the companies.
The scripophily is, compared to the collection of stamps, coins or postcards, a recent hobby. It is indeed necessary to wait the beginning of the 70s to see appearing the first clubs of scripophily in England. In Belgium, the only existing club to date was founded in 1980 in Brussels.
Bond of the narrow gauge Railway from Brussels to Ixelles-Boendael, rather rare title.
At first, it was necessary to find a name for this wonderful hobby that is the collection of old titles (bonds and shares). The name of 'scripophily' was thus selected following a contest conducted by the English. The French translated this term as 'scripophilie', thus replacing, as has become commonplace, the ‘y’ by ‘ie’ (philosophy, philosophy ...). We Belgians translated this term by "scriptophilie", thus adding a "t" to the French translation. "Scriptum” = "paper" in Latin and "philos" = "friend" in Greek.
The scripophily exceeds however, for the enthusiasts, the simple fact of gathering old actions. The collectors are in fact looking for all the history of the securities that we have by placing them, if possible, in their socio-economic context.
When was created such company, what was its activity, its assets, its operation, its particularities, and especially its history that can be followed through its securities issued: its creation as a public limited company with the issue of shares, its expansion with capital increase and creation of new shares, bankruptcy or resumption by another group. The research work is sometimes important and extends over a lifetime of collectors.
The field of scripophily being so vast, any collectors is limited to one or two very particular fields, often representative of our economic past, and of which he will become a specialist: coal mines, banks, trams, railways....
In addition to its theme, each scripophilist also collects the actions of his region or the decorative actions or any other subject that interests him in a less precise way. As a rule, all scriptophilists collect the titles of their country.
But how do we start collecting old stocks?
Most scripophilists have connections with the world of finance either as a corporate director, or simply as a banker or stockbroker. The others had a "click" from the legacy of a package of old shares through the discovery on a flea market of an old title of society where we worked for many years.
The scripophily brings many pleasures to the collectors. In addition to discovering financial documents with a historical past, to contemplate titles sometimes as beautiful as paintings, to find an action of a company where a parent has worked, scripting allows to find on the market pieces that have never been seen, and haggle since there is no catalog...
While a philatelist knows what stamps have been issued and how many copies, and to have them, he has only to pay the list price. We scriptophilists still have the pleasure of sometimes making finds. But sometimes we also pay dearly for a title that gradually comes out of an attic fund and therefore loses little by little of its value.
The scripophily is an international hobby with followers around the world. However, there are big differences between countries. Thus, it is Germany which counts, in relation to its population, the greatest number of followers, followed by England. The market is quite limited in Belgium. It is slowly starting to develop in the Eastern countries