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

Op-Ed: New female face of currency should replace Jackson's $20, not ...
Marin Independent Journal, July 2nd

The irony is strong in this one, isn't it? Alexander Hamilton, perhaps the most important Founding Father who never ascended to the presidency, is once again getting the sleight of hand. The Treasury's announcement on June 18th shoved Hamilton aside in ...Read more

Proofreading, Fact Checking Needed
The Missourian, July 2nd

She was on the obverse of the Series 1886 and Series 1891 $1 silver certificates and on the reverse of the Series 1896 $1 silver certificate. However, those were issued in the 19th century. Just 100 years off. Finally, we learn that the $10 bill is...Read more

Donald Wexler (1926–2015)
Artforum, July 2nd

Andy Warhol's 1962 One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate) fetched $32.2 million, as the most expensive work, exceeding its high estimate of $27.7 million. Meanwhile, a Francis Bacon 1975 self-portrait sold for $23.5 million, and his 1980 Three Studies...Read more

Warhol's Dollar Bill Fetches $32.8 Million at Sotheby's London
artnet News, July 1st

The Pop artist's first hand-painted dollar bill canvas, One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate), from 1962, sold minutes ago at Sotheby's London for $32.8 million, the biggest price fetched so far for a contemporary artwork at a busy week of sales there...Read more

Andy Warhol painting of $1 bill set to be turned into $26m at London auction
The Guardian, June 26th

The work by Andy Warhol, Silver Certificate, is part of the most valuable contemporary art auction that has been staged in the capital. On Wednesday, Sotheby's will sell art with a pre-sale estimate of between £143.2m and £204.6m, including an...Read more

An Extremely Brief History of Women on U.S. Paper Currency
National Journal, June 19th

June 19, 2015 The Treasury Department's announcement this week that it will redesign the $10 bill to feature a woman's portrait is historic. When the new note is revealed in 2020, it will be the first time in more than 100 years a female's face has...Read more

U.S. to Feature Woman on $10 Bill as Lew Seeks Suggestions
Bloomberg, June 17th

“It's time for a woman to be back on our paper currency,” Lew said in an interview with CBS Thursday morning. Martha Washington was the first and last woman whose portrait appeared on U.S. paper currency, having appeared on the $1 Silver Certificate of ...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