US Banknotes

What is the difference between a dollar bill and a silver certificate?

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2015-03-10 01:11:01
2015-03-10 01:11:01

The actual question is a bit different, because some dollar bills - but not all - have been issued as silver certificates and some silver certificates - but not all - have been issued as dollar bills.

Silver certificates were a form of paper currency backed dollar-for-dollar by silver on deposit with the US Treasury. Silver certificates were issued in all denominations up to $1000 although 1's and 5's were by far the most common. They were usually printed with blue seals.

The government could only issue as many dollars' worth of silver certificates as they had silver metal in the vaults. They were also exchangeable for a fixed amount of silver metal. At various times you could get a dollar's worth of silver coins or silver bullion in exchange. By the 1960s demand for silver skyrocketed and the government was forced to deregulate its price. To prevent people from "gaming" the system by exchanging metal back and forth for bills and skimming the difference due to price changes, the Treasury discontinued printing silver certificates and stopped redeeming existing ones for silver.

They're technically still legal tender and very occasionally show up in change, but in general they're worth more to collectors than face value. Many $1 silver certificates are only worth a bit more than face value, sometimes as little as a quarter extra, though. Other denominations from the late 19th and early 20th do carry a higher premium.

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Related Questions


The silver certificate and the gold certificate were replaced by the Federal Reserve Dollar.


There is no such thing as a 1989 $1 Silver Certificate.


A 1934 five dollar silver certificate in good condition is worth $33.00.


The Chief 1899 $5 dollar silver certificate is paper money.


The value of the 5 dollar 1936 silver certificate is not available because there was no certificate of this denomination issued in 1936. The certificate is most likely a fake.


The oldest dollar bill is a 1935 Silver Certificate.


A martha washington silver certificate dollar bill is currently worth approx (In decent shape) 5-750.00


Check that bill again. There was no $1 silver certificate dated 1931.


There's no difference. All silver dollars minted in 1894 used the Morgan design, named for the famous designer George T. Morgan.


Most of them aren't rare. There's more information at the question "What is the value of a 1935 US 1 dollar silver certificate?"


It is impossible to define the value or worth of a 1963 5 dollar silver certificate because there were none manufactured in that year. The last batch of 5 dollar silver certificates are dated 1953.


A Morgan dollar IS a silver dollar. The term Morgan refers to the designer George T. Morgan who created the images used from 1878 to 1904 and in 1921.


The US did not print any two dollar silver certificates after 1899.


The date of any dollar is at the center bottom.


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.


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.


The U.S. hasn't printed silver certificates since the 1960s, and there was never a $2 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?"


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 US 5 dollar silver certificate?" "What is the value of a 1953 US 10 dollar silver certificate?"


The US never printed 100 dollar silver certificates with this date.



A silver certificate is paper currency. It is not a coin. No silver dollars were minted in 1943, and no silver certificates were printed with that date either.



A 1 dollar denomination silver certificate was not made in 1933 only 10 dollar. That being said if you have one it is fake.....its worth $0.00



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