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

How Jack Lew riled women everywhere
Sharonherald, February 8th

(The last time a woman was on our paper money was in the 1880s and 1890s, when Martha Washington, George's wife, was etched on a $1 silver certificate. The little used, rarely seen Susan B. Anthony silver dollars, minted between 1979 and 1981 and ...Read more

Ann McFeatters / How Jack Lew managed to disappoint and anger women everywhere
Press of Atlantic City, February 6th

(The last time a woman was on our paper money was in the 1880s and 1890s, when Martha Washington, George's wife, was etched on a $1 silver certificate. The little used, rarely seen Susan B. Anthony silver dollars, minted between 1979 and 1981 and ...Read more

A NEW YEAR, A NEW FACE, February 4th

Martha Washington, for a period of time, had her portrait on the face of the $1 USD silver certificate. Sacagawea and her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, were honored with the obverse of the 2000 $1 coin and of course, the woman who was one of the ...Read more

Dollar bill signed by the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde is in an internet-only ...
ArtfixDaily, February 1st

A 1923 silver certificate dollar bill, signed by the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, examined and declared genuine by a respected and qualified document examiner, is the expected headliner in an internet-only auction now online and slated to end...Read more

Shysters manipulate paper money Coin Lore | Coin World
Coin World, February 1st

Notes like this Series 1886 $1 silver certificate were targets of the unscrupulous hoping to “raise” a note's face value by altering details. This note was not subjected to that fate. Con Lore column from Feb. 15, 2016, issue of Coin World: In the...Read more

Still waiting for a female face on paper money, January 31st

(The last time a woman was on our paper money was in the 1880s and 1890s, when Martha Washington, George's wife, was etched on a $1 silver certificate. The little used, rarely seen Susan B. Anthony silver dollars, minted between 1979 and 1981 and ...Read more

A Woman on the $10 Bill, and Everyone Has 2 Cents to Put In
New York Times, January 26th

His question: Which woman from American history should be chosen as the first on paper currency since Martha Washington briefly graced the $1 silver certificate in the late 19th century? The outpouring of responses about the forthcoming redesign of the...Read more

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

The real value of a silver certificate today lies not in its ability to be used as legal tender, but for its value to collectors. The value can vary depending on the year issued as well as the condition. For example, the most common silver certificates...Read more