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About the Silver Certificate
A silver certificate was is a legal tender note in the form of paper currency that allowed the owner or holder of the certificate to own silver without physically having the precious metal. Issued by the United States government in 1878, these certificates eventually were phased out in 1964. At the time of their use, each Silver Certificate represented ?????a specific amount of silver bullion that was deemed payable to the bearer on demand.
Silver Certificates came in two sizes. In general, Silver Certificates were similar to the dimensions of the current U.S. Dollar Bill. With that being said, the first releases of the Silver Certificate were slightly larger, with 1923 being the last of the large-sized notes. The larger certificates ranged in denominations from $1 to $1,000, while the smaller-sized certificates were available mainly in the lower-ranged denominations.
Like current U.S. paper currency, these Silver Certificates featured portraits of notable Americans like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses Grant. From 1878 to 1964, Silver Certificates were an integral part of the economy, and in March 1964, it was announced by the U.S. Treasury Secretary that these certificates would no longer be redeemable for silver dollars. Shortly after this announcement, the government stopped printing Silver Certificates altogether.
At the time of their circulation, there were five different issues of Silver Certificates:
Series of 1923 through 1957: These were the years where multiple issues of silver certificates were printed, beginning in 1923, which was the last of the notes in the larger dimensions. Another interesting thing about these years was that they were only available in $1 and $5 notes.
Are Silver Certificates Still Valid?
Silver certificates are still valid as legal tender, circulating at the face value of the note, making them exchangeable for a federal reserve note. However, depending upon the age and condition of any particular Silver Certificate, they may have a numismatic appeal to collectors and dealers that is worth more than the face value printed on the note.
Can You Still Redeem Silver Certificates?
The redemption period to exchange Silver Certificates for silver ended June 24, 1968, a deadline set by Congress. Since that date, there has been no obligation to issue and exchange silver in any form for any denomination of Silver Certificate.
Collecting Silver Certificates
Depending upon the condition and year of issue of a given note, silver certificates can still be highly collectible. Issued from the years 1878-1964 by the United States, these notes were backed by silver and were able to be redeemed for what their face value was worth in silver coins. Many silver certificates are still available to add to your collection, including the famous Silver Certificate Indian chief, the Silver Certificate “Educational Series,” Silver Certificates from the World War II era, and many more.
Although Silver Certificates are not actual silver bullion, there are a number of reasons to collect. For starters, they are works of art, beautifully designed and drawn to depict American images that are not found on modern paper currency. Silver certificates also represent an interesting time in American monetary history, not to mention the years designed also have historical significance, especially for WWII enthusiasts.
Enjoy Your Collection !!!