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

Ty Cobb Tin Sells for $18720
Maine Antique Digest, October 1st

He said the highlight was an 1896 $5 silver certificate that sold for $32,760 to a floor bidder. The top-selling national bank note was a $5 blue seal from the First National Bank of Fairbanks, which went to a phone bidder for $18,720. High...Read more

Interview with the Director of Exhibits & Archives at the Museum of American ...
Coin Update News, September 23rd

Some of the more rare and interesting notes include a beautifully engraved silver certificate of the 1896 series (also known as the Education Series), depicting allegorical figures of “History Instructing Youth.” Also on display are North African and...Read more

MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back at South Georgia news in the fall of 1899 | QUIZ
The Albany Herald, September 20th

It was soon found that the bill was actually an altered $1 silver certificate. The “0”' was added by pasting the number cut from an old Confederate note onto the newer bill. Unable to make his $300 bail, the man remained in jail. ##—The job of...Read more

Paper money errors can make a collector's day
Coin World, September 18th

Looking at this Series 1935E $1 silver certificate missing a portion of the third printing it's easy to see there is a problem. The face of the note is scribbled with a blue wax marker by a BEP inspector clearly indicating it should be pulled out for...Read more

CVCC will host college night for students in Catawba County
Charlotte Observer, September 12th

In addition, the report showed more than 95 percent of the district's students passed Math III. On the ACT WorkKeys test, 59.1 percent of graduates earned a Silver Certificate or higher. FFA alumni meet: The Future Farmers of America Alumni chapter...Read more

Ground broken for Regional Simulation Center
Fort Leavenworth Lamp, September 11th

The building's design earned a silver certificate from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program that recognizes energy-efficient buildings. The design features solar panels and other energy-saving measures. The building will house...Read more

Fort breaks ground for Regional Simulation Center
Leavenworth Times, September 4th

Martin noted during the groundbreaking ceremony that the building's design had earned a silver certificate in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program. "This program recognizes best in class building strategies and practices that promote ...Read more

1882 $100 Gold Certificate leading lot
NumisMaster.com, August 22nd

A “unique in private hands” 1882 $100 Gold Certificate was the star of Stack's Bowers Aug. 7 sale at the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. The rarity, Fr. 1203, which features Bruce-Wyman signatures and a small...Read more