Historical Stock Certificate: Worth Anything?
June 1, 2008 4:23 PM   Subscribe

My father has recently found a stock certificate for 500 shares of Norpoint Exploration Limited (issued or certified by Sterling Trusts Corporation out of Toronto on April 22, 1966). This has been living in a junk drawer since 1966 or so, if I had to guess. He's convinced that he's hit the jackpot but I can't find much in the way of information on either of these companies which leads me to think that he hasn't found anything of value. Given that Google isn't helping, who should he talk to about this? Has he found something of value?
posted by pookzilla to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Securities & Exchange Commission lists some companies
that offer a research service for old stock certificates.
posted by pokeedog at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2008

Does he know who the Transfer Agent / Registrar is? That would be the first step I'd take, should I run across an old certificate. The Registrar will be listed somewhere on the stock certificates themselves. This is true not only of Canadian companies (such as you're asking about), but also US based firms.

If your father is lucky, there may have been some takeovers or mergers that would be accretive to value. If not, well, .... In any case, what you're holding sounds like a small mining company, and earnings - as well as lifetimes - for firms active in the exploration & extraction industries are notoriously volatile.

But definitely follow up with the Registrar. They are required to maintain ownership records, even across takeovers and mergers and who knows - you folks might just hit it big!

Best of luck!
posted by Mutant at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2008

Best answer: I'd start by calling the Ontario Securities Commission, since the trust company was in Toronto: 416-593-8314 or 1-877-785-1555.
posted by joannemerriam at 4:52 PM on June 1, 2008

Best answer: From the FAQ on the OSC's web site: I have a share certificate. How can I find out if it has any value?

(FWIW, searching SEDAR seems to indicate that there is currently no publicly traded company in Canada that has "norpoint" in its name.)
posted by winston at 8:32 PM on June 1, 2008

I'd check your library for a book called "The [something... I can't remember] Book of Obsolete Securities". It's probably in the reference section.

It may say what the company became, who they were bought by, or if they're out of business.
posted by powpow at 9:36 PM on June 1, 2008

Usually you can deposit the cert in your brokerage account and they will research it for you.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:00 AM on June 2, 2008

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