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

Money-themed art collection could bring in $93 million
Los Angeles Times, May 20th

Warhol's "One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)" depicts a dollar bill note and was created by hand by the American pop artist. Other Warhol works to be sold include "Front and Back Dollar Bills," a silkscreen depicting multiple dollar bills, and his...Read more

Could the US Currency Get a Feminist Face Lift?
Newsweek, May 19th

Former first lady Martha Washington briefly appeared on the $1 silver certificate in 1886. Social reformer Susan B. Anthony and Native American interpreter Sacagawea both are featured on coins currently in circulation but not in production. No paper...Read more

Urban Milwaukee Wins Press Club Awards
urbanmilwaukee, May 18th

Michael Horne studies his silver certificate. Photo by Celene Bonilla courtesy of the Milwaukee Press Club. Urban Milwaukee won three awards in the state-wide journalism awards for 2014 presented by the Milwaukee Press Club on Friday. Versatile writer ...Read more

What Is a Silver Certificate Dollar Worth?
Motley Fool, May 18th

As trading evolved, so did the use of silver and gold as currencies of trade, as these commodities were eventually used to back paper currency systems, with the silver certificate growing in prominence in the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s...Read more

Tubman on twenty
Foster's Daily Democrat, May 16th

directly with "Women on 20s," introduced legislation that would require the Secretary of the Treasury to help get a woman on U.S. paper currency for the second time ever and first since Martha Washington graced the $1 Silver Certificate in the late...Read more

18 Sarpy County youths receive Congressional Awards
Omaha World-Herald, May 15th

BELLEVUE — Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb, presented 18 Sarpy County youths with the Congressional Award in a ceremony Friday in Bellevue. The Congressional Awards were established in 1979 to challenge and recognize high school youths for ...Read more

The Constitution: Legal Tender or Good as Gold?
Barnstable Patriot, May 14th

Not too long after the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, the wording on a gold or silver certificate was replaced with a “Federal Reserve Note.” Even then it was technically supposed to represent an amount of solid (metal) currency on...Read more

Four local students net gold Congressional Award medal
Omaha World-Herald, May 13th

Four Sarpy County students received a gold Congressional Award medal Friday, while 13 others were awarded silver or bronze medals or certificates. The honors were conferred by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., who told the recipients their achievements ...Read more