The first Silver Certificates were printed in 1878 in response to Western silver-mining interests, who were unhappy about the U.S. gold standard. They wanted silver coins, but they got the next best thing—bills redeemable in silver stored in government vaults.

The late 19th-century Silver Certificates are some of the most beautiful bank notes ever produced by the U.S. government. The so-called educational notes are particularly handsome. They include a $1 bill from 1896 with "History Instructing Youth" on the front and portraits of Martha and George Washington on the back, as well as a $2 bill from the same year with "Science Presenting Steam and Electricity to Science and Industry" on the front and portraits of inventors Robert Fulton and Samuel Morse on the back.

In 1899 the popular "Chief Onepapa" $5 was produced followed by a hiatus until 1923, when a $5 Lincoln was issued. In 1928, Silver Certificates shrunk in size a bit like all U.S. currency, and Silver Certificates were printed until 1935. In the 1940s and 1950s, most bills were taken out of circulation and shredded. The bill was briefly revived in 1957, but by 1964 the redemption of Silver Certificates for actual silver had ended.

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Recent News: US Silver Certificates

Source: Google News

Campus Adds Two More LEED Certifications
UC Merced University News, March 4th

The dining expansion, the Social Science and Management Building, the Student Activities and Athletic Center and the Student Services Building all earned platinum status, too. The campus also has eight gold certificates and a silver certificate, and...Read more

Kennerly: Here's your change — a woman on US currency
Florida Today, March 3rd

She was on the $1 silver certificate in 1886, 1891 and 1896. It took until dollar coins with women's voting rights advocate Susan B. Anthony on them were introduced in 1979 to see a woman on our money again. And that was a huge flop: The Anthony coins ...Read more

Assignment: Education - ACT WorkKeys
WKBT La Crosse, March 3rd

Students who score a level four will receive a silver certificate. Level five students get a gold certificate and levels six and seven receive platinum. “So, if a student for example, wants to go work at McDonald's or work in retail, the certificate...Read more

Sneak peek of John Dillinger Museum in Crown Point
WLS-TV, March 3rd

The museum has the actual slacks Dillinger was wearing on the night he was gunned down, as well as a silver certificate five dollar bill. Exactly 81 years ago, Dillinger escaped from the Old Lake County Jail in Crown Point with a wooden gun. That gun...Read more

Coudersport man accused of stealing collector coins, Girl Scout money
Olean Times Herald, March 3rd

He is alleged to have taken collector coins from a china closet and three SentrySafes from a storage room that contained several thousand dollars worth of collector coins, silver certificate coins and mint coins, along with more than $300 that was...Read more

Celebrating success, March 3rd

Those students were Katelyn Huff of Horn, bulletin board silver certificate; Erin Gordan of Poteet High School, creative lecture first place (national qualifier and $1,000 Texas Tech University scholarship) and educational leadership fundamentals exam...Read more

Lincoln & JFK Assassinations
The News (blog), February 25th

On February 25, 1862, President Lincoln authorized the printing of greenback notes from the U.S. Treasury, backed by silver, in the form of silver certificate notes. This fostered growth that could not be taxed and controlled by foreign banking interests...Read more

The First and Last Woman on the Dollar Bill
KIRO Seattle, February 21st

Six years after the first legal tender dollar bill featuring Washington debuted, a separate $1 silver certificate was printed featuring Martha Washington. Her solitary portrait on the obverse of this silver certificate was the very first time a female...Read more