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Silver Certificates

Silver certificates are banknotes, the value of which is secured by silver deposited in the US Treasury. Every note has a clause that the bearer has the right to have it redeemed for silver on demand.

Silver certificates were discontinued in the 1960's. As silver prices rose, one could redeem the notes for silver coins that could be sold as silver for more than face value, and this became a problem.

Silver certificates are recognised by their blue seal of the treasury and blue serial numbers and letters. (Except for Hawaii and North Africa issues)

Gold Certificates

Similar to silver certificates, this is notes secured by deposits of gold, and redeemable in gold. All such notes were recalled after the Gold Reserve Act of 1933, and were illegal to hold until 1964.

Small size gold certificates have a yellow seal of the treasury and yellow serial numbers and letters.

United States Notes

Also called Legal Tender Notes, these notes are fiat money with The United States as their guarantor. They have no backing in silver or gold, they are actually IOUs issued by the US government.

Small-size United States notes have the seal of the treasury and serial numbers and letters in red. The back design is the same as for the Federal Reserve note, with one notable exception. The 2 dollar bill had been issued as a United States Note from 1928 to 1963 (discontinued 1966), but was reissued in 1976 as a Federal Reserve Note. The original back design was a picture of Jefferson's home, Monticello. For the 1976 issue a completely new back was designed, commemorating the bicentenary of the signing of the declaration of independence.

5 dollars United States Note - large picture

United States Note for 5 dollars, series 1953A. Note the red serial numbers and the red seal on the right. This is a replacement note, notice the star to the left of the serial numbers.

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