With this section, the LaBarre Newsletter continues the feature begun in Number 5. Response to our first recommendations was very positive. Our readers were particularly impressed by the rationales given for each recommended item. George H. Labarre Galleries believes that this type of educational, factually oriented information is essential in establishing collectible stocks and bonds as a legitimate investment medium. Our plans call for additional efforts in this area in the future.
MICHIGAN CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY. This selection stresses autograph importance. These certificates boast the signature of Cornelius Vanderbilt on them, certainly one of the most well known names in American industry. In addition to the important autograph, Michigan Centrals are beautifully and intricately engraved and printed in attractive colors, which make them outstanding aesthetically. The boldness of signature, engraving, and printing make these a first class purchase.
Retail price for these items is $900. Very small quantities are available for purchase as well.
TRIUNFO GOLD & SILVER MINING COMPANY. Second only to rails in popularity, mining issues are attracting growing numbers of collectors. Issues such as the Triunfo have spurred that popularity. Issued out of California in the early 1860’s, these early certificates have that magical connection to Sutter’s Mill, the Gold Rush, and all of the rest which most other Western mining issues lack. Despite their rather plain, slightly primitive appearance, the charming vignette and printing graphically reflect the simplicity and arduousness of the American West. Nobody and nothing stood much on ceremony…the only effort expended was what it required to do the job, and nothing more. That sparseness and economy of thought and action finds outstanding expression in Triunfo certificates. They are truly Western Americana at its best.
Individual items are priced at $125. Small quantities are available as well.
STANDARD OIL COMPANY. Very little needs to be said about either this company or the genius behind it, John D. Rockefeller. The “Historical Notes" section in this issue recounts the Standard Oil story, which these superb certificates represent so vividly. Probably no other American stock or bond more readily captures the essence of American capitalism and industrialization than those of Standard Oil Company.
The autograph of "John D." appearing on each certificate is the item's main drawing point, but a word needs to be said about Rockefeller’s co-signer, Henry M. Flagler, who made his fortune in the oil business with Standard Oil. Flagler eventually went into semi-retirement after amassing a fortune estimated at between $60,000,000 and $90,000,000, fully intending to live out his life in luxury and without hectic business matters swirling about him.
But beginning in the 1890's [when he was already in middle age), Flagler became engrossed in the development of Florida. He was singlehandedly responsible, both conceptually and financially, for extending the Jacksonville Railroad clear to Key West, a monumental task in itself. Flagler also initiated the luxury hotel building boom, which spawned the state's tourist industry, an industry that today is the state's most important business. The famed “Gold Coast" concept was a development directly attributable to Flagler’s planning and entrepreneurship.
Standard Oil’s mystique and the autographs of Rockefeller and Flagler make these certificates absolutely unparalleled in the field of scripophily. For any collection to be labeled as truly outstanding, it must include one of these gems. Not to be overlooked is the tremendous investment potential of Standard Oils. Over the past three years, these certificates have risen in market value from $150 in 1979 to $1700 in 1982, a rate of appreciation that requires no interpretation whatsoever.
The price for Standard Oil Company certificates is, as indicated, $1700, admittedly a hefty price, but one worth every penny.
Originally Published and Printed by G.Labarre, The LaBarre Newsletter, Issue 6, Spring 1982