Collectors Stunned As Facebook Switches Gears On Issuing Paper Stock Certificates

The hopes of collectors who sought to own one share of Facebook stock from its initial public offering last week were dashed, as paper stock certificates will not be made available, after all.

The hopes of collectors who sought to own one share of Facebook stock from its initial public offering last week were dashed, as paper stock certificates will not be made available, after all.

CNNMoney reported that Computershare, which handles shareholder records for the social network, alerted GiveAShare.com and OneShare late last week that there would be no paper stock certificates.

The two companies planned to offer single Facebook shares as collectibles, for $39 apiece, including the purchase of the share, and options such as customized frames.

According to CNNMoney, GiveAShare.com will offer buyers keepsake certificate facsimiles, along with statements from Facebook’s transfer agent showing their account numbers and their official single-share holdings. OneShare, meanwhile, will create statements of ownership that are “free of any legally problematic trademarks or logos.”

GiveAShare.com Founder Rick Roman told CNNMoney

It was a complete surprise, given that they had it in their IPO filing. We got more orders in a couple of hours than we do for the whole Christmas season.

OneShare.com Chief Executive Officer Lance Lee added:

It was huge. The last time we had a day that big was when Pixar was bought by Disney. For all the fans of Pixar, it was the last chance to get the stock certificate.

On the plus side, I think (the statements of ownership are) going to be more visually interesting. On the negative side, it’s not the official stock certificate. We’re calling it a symbolic certificate.

I’m hoping they’ll change their mind. Look at it another way: You have a group of people who are buying your stock and never plan on selling it. These people don’t see themselves as customers. They see themselves as part-owners.

Readers: Do you think Facebook should revert to its initial plan and issue paper stock certificates?