In 1878, the United States began using silver certificates in their economy. Instead of carrying heavy coins, silver certificates allowed people to carry their wealth in an easier manner. At any time, an individual could turn a dollar bill for the equivalent silver value. Silver certificates ended in June of 1968. To this day, these dollar bills are no longer redeemable for silver. All dollar bills now say, “Federal Reserve Note” instead of “Silver Certificate.”
Starting A United States Silver Certificate Collection
Although silver certificates are no longer redeemable for silver, they are still rare to the collector who is looking for specific dates, cities, conditions and serial numbers. There are several variations of the silver certificate. Initially, these dollar bills were larger than what we are used to seeing in our paper money today. In 1929, these bills were reduced in size to save money, but also to make them more convenient to use.
During World War II, Hawaii, North Africa, and Europe received specially stamped U.S. Silver Certificates. This was done so that if those areas were lost, then the U.S. could demonetize any currency that was seized.
Overall, silver certificates have a rich history and have a wide variety of variation for someone looking to start a new collection.