Silver Certificates

First issued in 1878 (the same year as the first issue of Morgan Dollars) in denominations of $10 and above, Silver Certificates were redeemable in silver dollar coins on deposit at the U.S. Treasury. Smaller denomination notes of $1, $2, and $5 were produced beginning in 1886, and continued to be issued until 1963. From 1964 to 1968, they were redeemable at the Treasury in exchange for pre-packaged silver bullion granules, not coins. Redemption in silver of any form ceased on 24 June 1968. They are still legal tender U.S. currency, and remain popular. The notes typically feature blue seals and blue serial numbers. Popular large size notes include the Series 1896 “Educational” $1, $2, and $5, and the Series of 1899 notes, whose $1 design is known as the “black eagle,” and whose $5 note has been nicknamed the “Indian Chief” note, for its impressive portrait of the Sioux Chief “Running Antelope” or Ta-to-ka-in-yan-ka.

Denominations issued ranged from $1 to $1,000. The higher denominations were issued in large size only, and notes above $20 are rarely encountered. No small size silver certificates above $10 were issued.


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