Silver Certificates were used for a time in the United States as a form of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens angered by the "Crime of 1873", which placed the United States on the gold standard. more...
The certificate was matched to the same amount of value in silver coinage. For example, one fifty dollar Silver Certificate = fifty silver dollars.
There are a few features that distinguish a Silver Certificate. The seal and serial number on many of the first Silver Certificates issued was red or brown. It was not until Series 1899 for the $1, $2, and $5 denominations that the seal and number colors were officially, and permanently, changed to blue. (This occurred at different points for denominations above $5). During World War II the government issued 1935a Silver Certificates with a brown seal for Hawaii distribution and 1935a certificates with a yellow seal for North Africa distribution. The idea was that if these areas fell into enemy hands during the war, the money would be able to be easily identified and cancelled so as to prevent large monetary losses.
The obligation of a note states how much of a specific commodity the government of a country will "pay to the bearer." On most large-size Silver Certificates, the obligation reads: "This certifies that there have/has been deposited in the Treasury of the United States of America (number) silver dollar(s) payable to the bearer on demand." On small-sized Silver Certificates beginning with Series 1934, in order to denote current location of deposit, it was changed to read: "This certifies that there is on deposit in the Treasury of the United States of America (number) dollar(s) in silver payable to the bearer on demand."
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