Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the Northern Illinois Gas Company
printed in 1968. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman. This item has the signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 38 years old.
Nicor Inc. (NYSE: GAS) is a holding company and is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Its principal businesses are Nicor Gas, one of the nation's largest natural gas distribution companies, and Tropical Shipping, a containerized shipping business serving the Caribbean region and the Bahamas. Nicor also owns and has an equity interest in several energy-related businesses.
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 we 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 grown in popularity over the past several years.