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A silver certificate is a note (bill) that could be redeemed for an equivalent amount of silver.

Prior to 1964, the USA was "on the silver standard." The government controlled the price of silver, and silver certificates were bills that could be exchanged for a specific amount of the metal. The government was allowed to print only as many bills as there was silver in the Treasury to redeem them, which helped to control the money supply. Silver certificates in fact were little more than a receipt or deed for a certain number of ounces of silver.

During the 19th century silver certificates were at one point or another issued in every denomination from $1 to $1000. In the 20th century that range was limited to $1, $5, and $10.

There were also bills called Federal Reserve Notes (the same kind we use today) and US Notes, similar to Federal Reserve Notes but issued directly by the Treasury rather than via the central bank. These bills weren't backed by precious metal, but by the faith of the public in the stability of the government.

Bill designs were standardized in the 1920s. Silver certificates looked similar to the other Federal Reserve and US Notes except that they had blue seals instead of green or red, and did not carry a Federal Reserve District seal or code letter.

In the 1960s the demand for silver increased sharply and the government was forced to let the price be determined by market forces. The value shot up from the controlled price of $1.29/oz to over $40 for a while, and it was no longer economical to use silver in coins or to redeem bills. The production of silver certificates was stopped in 1963 and silver was removed from coins at the start of 1965. Silver certificates were allowed to stay in circulation but they could no longer be redeemed for metal. By 1966 US Notes were also discontinued. Some consider today's Federal Reserve Notes as portions of our government's indebtedness. The pro's and con's of that are hotly debated, and are beyond the scope of the question.

Many late-date silver certificates were saved by collectors, and are still so common in collections that they are not worth much more than face value despite being almost 50 years old.

Before 1933, US banks also issued gold certificates for gold deposits. They were similar to silver certificates in that they were backed by a specific amount of gold on deposit with the Treasury.

Today silver and gold certificates cannot be redeemed for real silver or gold through the Federal Reserve.

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Q: What is a US silver certificate?
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What is a US 5 dollar silver certificate?

A silver certificate is a US banknote (bill) that could be redeemed for an equivalent amount of silver. Please see the question "What is a silver certificate?" for a much more detailed explanation.


What is a US 1 dollar silver certificate?

A silver certificate is a US banknote (bill) that could be redeemed for an equivalent amount of silver. Please see the question "What is a silver certificate?" for a much more detailed explanation.


What is the value of a 1953 A US silver certificate?

The US issued both $5 and $10 silver certificates with that date. Please make sure your bill has a blue seal and the words Silver Certificate across the top, then check one of these questions: "What is the value of a 1953 A US 5 dollar silver certificate?" "What is the value of a 1953 A US 10 dollar silver certificate?"


What is the value of a 1953 US silver certificate?

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What is the value of a US silver certificate with a picture of Running Antelope?

Your bill is an 1899 $5 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of an 1899 US 5 dollar silver certificate?" for more details.


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a mint condition silver certificate is worth $5-$6.


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The US did not make silver certificates in 1740.


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What is the value of a us blue ink 2 dollar certificate


What is the value of a 1935 D US silver certificate?

Normally it would be necessary to have its denomination but the only bill fitting that description is a $1 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 D US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for detailed information.


What is the value of a 1935 C US silver certificate?

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What is the value of a 1935 E US silver certificate?

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What is the value of a 1935 B US silver certificate?

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What is the value of a 1935 H US silver certificate?

Normally it would be necessary to have its denomination but the only bill fitting that description is a $1 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 H US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for detailed information.


What is the value of a 1935 G US silver certificate?

Normally it would be necessary to have its denomination but the only bill fitting that description is a $1 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 G US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for detailed information.


What is the value of a 1935 F US silver certificate?

Normally it would be necessary to have its denomination but the only bill fitting that description is a $1 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 F US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for detailed information.


What is the value of 1935 E us silver certificate?

Normally it would be necessary to have its denomination but the only bill fitting that description is a $1 silver certificate. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 E US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for detailed information.


What is the value of a 1935 A US 1 dollar silver certificate with a blue seal?

The blue seal indicates your bill is a silver certificate, a form of paper money issued until the early 1960s. Please see the question "What is the value of a 1935 A US 1 dollar silver certificate?" for more information.


What is the value of an 1896 US silver certificate?

Three different denominations of silver certificates are dated 1896. Please determine what you have, then look for the questions "What is the value of an 1896 US [denomination] dollar silver certificate?" for specific information.


What is a the value of a 1934 A US silver certificate?

A denomination is needed. Please see the questions "What is the value of a 1934 A US 5 dollar silver certificate?" and "... US 10 dollar ..." for more information.


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What is the value of a 1934 L US 1 dollar silver certificate?

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