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

Armed Forces award for Pinchbeck company
Spalding Guardian, November 25th

Coveris was one of five Lincolnshire businesses to receive a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Certificate for demonstrating support to military personnel and their families. Coveris group HR director Suzanne Smith (pictured above with Colonel ...Read more

Red Kettle bell ringing campaign kicking off
Jacksoncountychronicle, November 24th

Jackson County also annually sees donations and campaigns to contribute to the campaign from local businesses and organizations, and it occasionally has received unique items in kettles, like a 1957 dollar silver certificate and an origami-folded dollar...Read more

SculptureTour Salina offers incentives for votes
Salina Journal, November 24th

Tickets to Rolling Hills Zoo, tickets to Sesame Street Live at the Bicentennial Center and a $25 Smoky Hill Silver certificate. Ballots are available at downtown businesses, in ballot boxes at each mid-block crosswalk on Santa Fe Avenue and at the...Read more

Misiuk: Equal billing for a female
The Ledger, November 23rd

Martha Washington's image graced the one-dollar silver certificate. In the mid 1800s, Pocahontas appeared on the $20 note. Those my age will recall the Susan B. Anthony dollar that fizzled soon after it was minted. More recently, Alabama's quarter...Read more

An Illustrated History of American Money Design
Gizmodo, November 20th

(She was also on the back of a different Silver Certificate along with her husband George.) As the name implies, the banknotes were redeemable for real silver and were offered in denominations of $1 through $1,000 over the course of nearly a century...Read more

Large-size notes reassert their dominance during Stack's Bowers auction
Coin World, November 20th

Finally, a $5 1899 “Indian Chief” silver certificate, which at PCGS Gem New 68 is the highest graded F-271 example, sold for $21,150. All three are superb notes, rarities for their condition, if not necessarily for their type. It is conceivable that as...Read more

Commonwealth Honors College Residential Complex receives LEED Silver certification
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, November 4th

The United States Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable building design and operation, awarded the Honors College a Silver Certificate in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design this fall. The Honors College ...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