Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the First State Bank of Sarasota
. This historic document was printed by the Northern Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's logo.
First State Financial Corporation (FSTF) is a Florida-based bank holding company, whose business is conducted through its subsidiary, First State Bank, Sarasota, Florida. First State Bank is a full-service commercial bank that offers a complete range of interest-bearing and non-interest bearing accounts, including commercial and retail checking accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts, regular interest-bearing statement savings accounts and certificates of deposit. Lending products include commercial loans, real estate loans, home equity loans and consumer/installment loans. In addition, First State Bank provides travelers' checks, cashiers checks, safe deposit boxes, bank by mail services, direct deposit, online banking and automated teller services. Specialized services to commercial customers include cash management, expanded online banking, lock box and door-to-door banking.
Background from company press information.
About Specimen Certificates
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.