A stock certificate from the Dutch India Company (its proper name was "Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie" or VOC) and issued in 1606 was discovered in the Netherlands. Its date precedes a stock certificate from the same company issued two weeks later, which is owned by a group of German investors.

The stock certificate was discovered buried away in the Westfries Archive and goes on exhibit at the Westfries Museum. The stock certificate is dated September 9, 1606.

Ruben Schalk, a history student from Utrecht University, found the world's oldest known 'share' during his thesis research in the Westfries Archive in Hoorn.

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