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

A Woman's Place is on the Money
OpEdNews, May 3rd

2020 is the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the legal right to vote. And it's time our legal tender showcased the image of a woman. An historical woman has not yet graced our commonly used paper currency...Read more

Our senator on the money with this one
Foster's Daily Democrat, April 24th

Our very first First Lady, Martha Washington, graced the face of the $1 Silver Certificate bill introduced in 1886 and redesigned in 1891. She made another appearance when the bill was redesigned again in 1896, this time appearing on the back with...Read more

Would you go into debt to pay for vet care for your cat or dog?
Washington Post, April 23rd

Except for the occasional special coin or the Martha Washington $1 silver certificate, the faces of women are not part of U.S. currency. Ivy Baker Priest, the U.S. treasurer under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and whose signature once appeared on U.S. ...Read more

Lawmakers Push Bills Campaign to Put a Woman on the Twenty, April 21st

Martha Washington was briefly featured on the $1 silver certificate in 1886. An activist group called Women on 20s has organized an online petition to the White House to put a woman on the bill, complete with an online "primary" to identify the best...Read more

Time to put a woman's photo on the money, but which one?
Fort Worth Star Telegram (blog), April 21st

Martha Washington's portrait did appear on the front of the $1 Silver Certificate in 1886 and 1891, and along with her husband on the back of the 1896 silver certificate. In this day when the country is discussing gender equity issues, this is just one...Read more

Local FFA members honored
Porterville Recorder, April 21st

Porterville High School FFA had two proficiency award winners: Drew Thompson, State Finalist and Regional Winner in Ag Sales Proficiency; and Heather Welcher, Silver Certificate Beef Production Proficiency. State Degree recipients were Megan White, Zeb ...Read more

When women had the starring role on US Currency ? Stephen Mihm
Malay Mail Online, April 15th

And the female image of Liberty retained a monopoly on the coins. No “real” women adorned the money, however, with the exception of Martha Washington, who secured a distinctly B-list posting on the one-dollar silver certificate of 1886. As the 20th...Read more

Dump Jackson From the $20; Replace him with a Mankiller
Indian Country Today Media Network, April 13th

Running Antelope's appearance was brief and it was on a silver certificate, making his portrait a collector's item for everybody and beyond the reach of most modern Indians. Women on 20s is an organization that set out to remedy the exclusion of women...Read more