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Are Silver Certificates Worth Anything? Here’s What You Need to Know 

 August 26, 2021

By  devinhsmartin

Silver certificates were printed a few decades back and used as legal tender in the US. When silver certificates were issued, they could be redeemed for their value in silver, but at the present, it doesn’t work that way anymore. Some may only be worth their face value, while for some collectors, uncommon prints sell for around thousands of dollars. So how much are silver dollars worth? Read further to know more. 

Are Silver Certificates Worth Anything

Image from Picryl–  US $5 1923 Silver Certificate

What’s a Silver Certificate?

There are many silver certificates issued by the Federal Reserve from 1878 until 1964. This was the paper money that circulated before. Originally, the certificates can be redeemed in exchange for silver. A silver certificate allows investors to acquire silver without buying the silver metal itself. 

Between June 1967 to June 1968, it can be exchanged for raw silver bullion. After 1968, the silver certificates can’t be redeemed for silver bullions in the Federal Reserve Notes. Therefore, it is basically obsolete though it’s still a legal tender. [1

What to Know About Collecting Dollar Silver Certificates

Do you plan on collecting silver certificates? There are many ways you can do it. Some collectors collect Federal Reserve notes of all denominations, while some collect all series, while there are collectors who collect denominations from a certain period. 

If you want to collect each denomination, of each signature or series, you’re free to do so. You can also have a comprehensive collection of silver certificates from 1878 to 1964. Whichever collection you decide, there’s no wrong or right way. 

Decide what’s right for you and do your research when you start collecting. Here are some tips to remember when starting your silver dollars collection: 

  • Determine your budget: Since this is a collector’s hobby, determine the budget you’re willing to spend for this hobby. Also, make sure that what you’re buying is not in the amount where you can be ripped off.
  • Decide on the grades: Silver certificates are graded depending on their physical condition. Collectors always go for well-preserved paper money, The original color, detail, and finish must be present. If a silver certificate has a higher grade, expect that it has a higher price.

How Much Are Silver Certificate Bills Worth Today?

The silver dollar certificate portrays a unique time in American history. But today, as a legal tender, silver certificate bills are worth their face value. However, for collectors, especially the rare silver dollars, it can be worth a lot of money. 

Today, the worth of a silver certificate bill does not only depend on its face value as a legal tender but as a collector’s item. Its value for collectors also depends on its condition and misprints. 

What Is a One Dollar Silver Certificate Worth?

One dollar circulated silver certificates that are in perfect condition are worth around a little more than their face value. Meanwhile, the value of a silver $1 dollar certificate can be between $2-$4 per piece. But the rare bills may be worth a lot of money.

silver certificate dollar

Image from Flickr – 1935E Silver Certificate

How to Invest in Silver 

Silver certificates can be valuable to collectors depending on their condition. However, if you plan to invest in silver, it’s more advisable to collect the precious metal itself rather than the silver certificates. Investing in silver jewelry is a good idea because you can monetize them in the future.

If you plan to sell silver you can simply sell it in pawnshops or traders. You can start with investing in silver jewelry, silver bullion, or even silverware. You can even invest in the stock market. Like gold, the value of silver may also increase or decrease over time, if you play your cards right, this can be a good investment. 

Obsolescence

In 1963, the US Congress passed the PL88-36 bill that revoked the Silver Purchase Act. It instructs that $1 silver bill certificates should retire because of the scarcity of silver bullions or silver coins. All silver certificate holders were given 10 months to exchange their notes for silver bullions or silver coins before it becomes obsolete.  [2]

In 1964, C. Douglas Dillon, the Secretary of Treasury stopped issuing the coins. From 1964-1968, silver certificates can be redeemed to silver granules. The period of redemption of silver certificate notes ended in June of 1968. 

1964 silver dollar bill

Image from Wikimedia – Series of 1934A, Ten Dollar Silver Certificate

Features Adding Value to the Worth of a Silver Certificate

A silver certificate can have an added value based on its features. As mentioned earlier, the best determinant of a silver certificate’s value is its grading. If you plan to buy a silver certificate, make sure it is graded from a legit paper money grading company.

To give you an idea, paper grading companies use Sheldon’s numerical scale to grade money. It ranges from 0-70, being 70 as money with perfect condition. Paper currency can be graded from Good, Very Good, Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine, Almost Uncirculated, or Crisp Uncirculated.

Aside from the grading, there are other factors that increase the value of silver certificates for collectors. Here are some examples:

  • Printed Errors: Bills that are a product of printing error are far more collectible than the ones that are not. Examples of these printed errors are cutting, folding, or inking mistakes. 
  • Star Notes: A silver dollar certificate with a star at the beginning of its serial number is far more worth, these are called Star Notes. Star Notes were very common in 1957, and many collectors don’t buy them. But at the present, many collectors search for them.
  • Unique Serial Numbers: The value of a silver dollar with a unique set of serial numbers is also more valuable. For instance, a serial number with all zeroes is far more interesting than those with random numbers. 

The Value of Silver One Dollar Certificates

The design of silver certificates was issued similarly to the current 1 dollar U.S. bill. Like having pictures of U.S. presidents like George Washington or known persons in history like Martha Washington. 

The main difference is the texts found below the portrait that states that “the tender is valued at $1 silver payable to the bearer on demand”. These silver currencies have far more face value and sell for around $2 to $4.15. 

What’s popular among collectors are the 1899, 1935, and 1957 dollar bills. The 1899 certificates for instance are called the Black Eagle. It’s because of the large size eagle shown on the portrait (as seen in the image below). 

Below the eagle, Presidents Ulysses Grantelow and Abraham Lincoln can be found. This dollar bill, in mint condition, can be sold below $200. While an uncirculated condition Black Eagle note can cost up to $900. 



1957 silver certificate dollar bill

Image from Picryl One Silver Dollar, Silver Certificate, 1899

FAQs About Silver Certificate Dollar Bill 

What Is the Rarest Silver Dollar Certificate?

The rarest examples of silver certificates are the versions: 1928C, 1928D, and 1928E. The price of these notes range between $125-$600 in an uncirculated condition. 

How Much Is a One Dollar Silver Certificate Sold For?

The worth of a one-dollar certificate will depend on many factors. For example, 1896 $1 known as the Educational series in good condition can be sold for more than $500. While the Black Eagle $1 series silver banknote certificate in mint condition can be sold for under $200. 

What Does a Silver Certificate Mean on a Dollar Bill?

The silver certificate on a paper currency represents that in the past, it was redeemable in silver. Although these silver certificate dollar bills are only worth their denomination value, in some cases, collectors buy them for more money because of the rare value. 

What Are Two Dollar Silver Certificates Worth?

The circulated $2 silver certificates can be worth around 1.50 to 2 dollars. However, there are common varieties like the 1976 $2 Star Notes in circulated condition, which can be sold for $8. As for the uncirculated condition with high grading, it can go around for $150. These star notes in fine condition were 

What’s a 1957 Silver Certificate Worth?

A 1957 $1 Silver Certificate is worth $3.75, given that it’s not a great condition. The uncirculated condition $1 silver certificates with MS 63 grade can be worth $12-12.50.

How Much Is a 1935 $1 Silver Certificate Worth?

The 1935 $1 silver certificate is only worth $1, just like any other $1 dollar bill. If it has misprints or is a star note then it can be worth more than that. 

What Does a Blue Seal on a Dollar Bill Mean?

Like the gold standard counterparts, the silver certificate has a blue seal. The blue seal on these notes first circulated in 1878 and was backed by the U.S. stockpile of silver bullion. In the past, the blue seal on these certificates can be redeemable for silver coins or bullions. 

Can You Still Redeem Silver Certificates?

No, silver certificates cannot be redeemed. The Treasury Department ended this exchange in 1968. To this day, silver certificates are still used as legal currency but cannot be redeemed for silver coins or billions. 

What Silver Certificates Are Valuable?

There are some circulated condition silver certificates that are worth more than their face value, while there are some that are far more collectible and are worth more than their face value. Also, premium condition silver certificates can be worth much more than their face value. 

how much is a silver certificate worth

Are Silver Certificates Worth Anything? The Takeaway

Now that you have the knowledge of what silver certificates are worth, maybe you’ve decided to start a collection of your own, and that’s good. Make sure that it’s graded well and you won’t be ripped off from sellers in eBay or Amazon. Silver certificates are still worth collecting for as long as you know what you’re doing.

However, if you want to invest in silver and you’re not a collector, it’s a better idea to invest in silver itself rather than collecting silver certificates. There are many ways that you can invest in silver, it can be in coins, bars, jewelry, or the stock market. 

If you want to start investing in silver or you have silver jewelry that you want to monetize, reach out to the most trusted jewelers at Chicago, Clark Pawners. Aside from silver, you can buy or sell gold, watches, and any kind of jewelry at Clark Pawners. Clark Pawners also accepts electronics and appliances. 

References:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_certificate_(United_States) 

[2] https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-77/pdf/STATUTE-77-Pg54.pdf 

Clark Pawners & Jewelers is your trusted pawn shop in Chicago. We buy and sell jewelry, diamonds, gold and more, aside from offering cash loans.

Clark Pawners & Jewelers

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