What appears to be the first ever Apple stock certificate awarded to Steve Jobs is on sale for $195,000.
After the company went public in 1980, the certificate hung on Jobs’ office wall at Apple’s headquarters.
But in what is part of Silicon Valley lore, in 1985, Jobs abruptly left the company he co-founded in a power struggle with then-CEO John Sculley.
Depending on who tells the story, Jobs was either fired by Sculley or took a sabbatical.
Whatever the case, Jobs left without clearing out his office.
Sculley ordered the office cleared out and the stock certificate was thrown away, said Gary Zimet, chief executive of Moments in Time, which put the stock certificate up for sale this week.
An Apple employee retrieved the certificate out of the trash and held on to it for 31 years.
That employee, who Zimet says will remain anonymous, has written a notarized letter attesting to the legitimacy of the document. It will be shared with the buyer, Zimet said. As for other proof of the document’s legitimacy, Zimet points to the date in perforated holes on the certificate and the company seal.
Documents signed by Jobs are extremely rare. Zimet said he priced the certificate based on other sales of Apple artifacts. One batch of documents, including the dissolution letter to Ronald Wayne, one of Apple’s co-founders, was sold by Sotheby’s for $1.5 million in 2011.
Moments of Time, based in Studio City, has sold artifacts such as Ronald Reagan’s letters to his daughter Patty, Richard Nixon’s letters of condolence to students killed at Kent State and the 13th amendment signed by Abraham Lincoln.
“I’m looking to buy any and all important content signed by Jobs,” Zimet said.
As for any ethical qualms in selling something that was once Jobs’ personal property?
“The CEO ordered the office cleaned out,” Zimet said. “So finders keepers.”
Above: Steve Jobs’ first stock certificate, according to Moments in Time. (Courtesy of Moments in Time)