Oldest share certificate
Netherlands (Enkhuizen)
The oldest share certificate was issued by the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) chamber of Enkhuizen (Netherlands) on 9 September 1606 and made out to the Enkhuizen inhabitant ‘Pieter Hermanszoon boode’ (Pieter Harmensz). The certificate was accidentally unearthed by Ruben Schalk (Netherlands), a history student from Utrecht University, in 2010, while researching for his master's thesis. The date printed on the certificate is the day on which Pieter Harmensz paid the last installment of his 150 guilders investment in the VOC, making the certificate really a quittance. The certificate is housed in the Enkhuizen city archives which are kept in the Westfries Archief in Hoorn, the Regional Historic Centre for eastern West-Friesland, Netherlands. The Enkhuizen ‘share’ is almost three weeks older than the previous record holder, dated 27 september 1606, in the possession of a group of German investors (October 2010).