While paper savings bonds are no longer available as of 1/1/12, the savings bond certificate for paper savings bonds which have been issued in the past is full of interesting information including:
In the Upper Left Hand Corner, there is an amount of money listed. This is known as the bond’s face value.
For I bonds, this amount is the same as the purchase price. For EE Series, the amount is half the face value of the bond. At the maturity date for EE Series paper bonds, the value of the bond is at a minimum equal to the face value. Since 2003, the maturity for EE Series bonds has been 20 years. Between 1980 and 2003, the maturity dates have ranged between 8 and 18 years. See below for maturity dates on EE Bonds.
In the Upper Right Hand Corner, there is a Series Number and Issue Date. If the current date is more than 30 years after the issue date, your bond has stopped earning interest and you should redeem it. Using the Series and Issue date you can find out the current value of the bond using this site’s Savings bond Calculator.
In the Lower Right Hand Corner, there is a serial number. Should you wish to convert your paper bonds into electronic bonds, you will need to use this number.
In the center of the savings bond is the name of the owner. If you have inherited the saving bond and therefor are not the listed owner, you will need to fill out some paperwork. For instructions, click here.
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David Waring was the founder of LearnBonds.com and has been a major contributor to the extensive library of investing news and information available on the site. Until the launch of Learnbonds.com in late 2011 there was no single site on the internet catering exclusively to the individual bond investor. This was true even though more individuals own stocks than bonds. Learn Bonds was launched to fill that gap.