Collecting Bonds and Shares is great fun and can be very rewarding but there are a few 'rules' that you should follow.
- Buy certificates in VF (very fine) or better condition UNLESS the item is particularly rare and desirable. Grading follows numismatic convention. F = Fine = a well circulated piece with many folds and wear with maybe a few small edge tears. VF = Very fine = A piece with a few folds but clean and crisp. EF = Extremely fine = A piece with maybe one or two light creases but with hardly any circulation.
- Some sellers have been offering just coupons from bonds and this practice is UNACCEPTABLE. It means they are destroying genuine and complete pieces for some extra profit. Professional dealers would never entertain buying or selling single coupons.
- Try to find out as much about your collecting area as you can. Joining the International Bond & Share Society is the best annual £25 you will spend. Read interesting articles and learn from fellow collectors and dealers.
- Look after your collection. Find good quality albums - preferably with low acid pages.
- Certificates can be framed but you should be extremely careful and use only archival materials. I have seen many nice certificates damaged by sunlight and their value halved or worse. Don't hang in direct sunlight even if UV glass is used. If you want to put a certificate on the wall and most of us do, make sure its not an expensive one.