1935 Silver Certificate: What’s The Value of the 1935 One Dollar Silver Certificate?

The 1935 one-dollar silver certificates hold a special place in the world of numismatics due to their unique design and historical significance. Issued as part of the United States’ efforts to stabilize its currency during the Great Depression, these certificates were redeemable for their face value in silver coin or bullion. With their distinctive blue seal and serial numbers, they are easily distinguishable from standard US dollar bills of the same era.

Throughout their production span, several series and variations of the 1935 silver certificates were introduced, including 1935A through 1935H. They were available in different seal colors such as blue, brown, and yellow. The 1935G series even offered versions both with and without the motto “In God We Trust” on the reverse. Collectors today treasure these certificates not only for their history but also for the intricate variations that lend themselves to building diverse collections.

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History and Background

American Silver Certificates

Silver certificates were paper currency issued by the United States government, which represented a specific amount of silver held in treasury reserves. First introduced in 1878, these certificates were backed by silver and allowed the bearer to redeem their face value in silver upon demand. The 1935 series of silver certificates were quite common, with several distinct seal types and varieties, including blue seals, brown seals, and yellow seals.

The 1935 Silver Certificate was part of a broader series that spanned from 1935 to 1935H. Throughout their history, these certificates underwent numerous design and denomination changes. Their production was an innovation for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Treasury in general.

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Coinage Act of 1873

The Coinage Act of 1873 played a significant role in the history of American silver certificates. This legislation ended the free coinage of silver and effectively put the United States on a gold standard, leading to the widespread use of gold-backed currency. This act, also known as the “Crime of ’73,” led to a drastic reduction in the production of silver coins, which in turn prompted Congress to introduce silver certificates as a means of increasing the circulation of silver-backed currency.

Bimetallic Standard

Prior to the Coinage Act of 1873, the United States operated on a bimetallic standard, where both gold and silver were recognized as legal tender and were used to back the nation’s currency. Under this system, the federal government accepted both precious metals for exchange and determined their respective monetary values based on a fixed ratio. This allowed for more stable prices and a better-functioning economy.

However, due to the increasing scarcity of silver and fluctuations in its market value, the bimetallic standard proved unsustainable. The Coinage Act of 1873 aimed to remedy this by shifting the focus to gold as the primary precious metal for currency. Nonetheless, the reintroduction of silver certificates allowed silver to maintain a presence in the nation’s currency system, ensuring its continued use in American monetary history.

1935 Silver Certificate Types and Series

Series 1935

The 1935 one dollar silver certificates have different seal types and varieties, which can be valuable. There are blue seals, brown seals, and yellow seals. The different series include the following: 1935, 1935A, 1935B, 1935C, 1935D, 1935E, 1935F, 1935G, and 1935H.

1935 Silver Certificate:
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Star Notes

Star notes are a type of 1935 one dollar silver certificate that features a star (*) symbol before the serial number. These notes replace an existing note that was misprinted or damaged during the production process. Star notes add a level of collectibility and value, as they are less common compared to their non-star counterparts. The series 1935, 1935A, 1935B, 1935C, 1935D, 1935E, 1935F, 1935G, and 1935H all have the possibility of having star notes.

North Africa Notes

The North Africa notes are a unique variety of 1935 one dollar silver certificates as they were issued specifically for use by American troops in North Africa during World War II. These notes feature a special yellow seal, while the other varieties have blue or brown seals. The yellow seal indicates that these notes were considered legal tender only in the United States and certain designated areas during the war. The North Africa notes were only produced in the 1935A and 1935B series, making them quite scarce and valuable among collectors.

It should be noted that the value of 1935 one dollar silver certificates largely depends on their condition and serial number. Star notes and North Africa notes, in particular, can have a higher value due to their rarity and limited production. Overall, understanding the different types and series of 1935 one dollar silver certificates can help collectors and enthusiasts better appreciate these historical pieces of currency.

Design and Features

Characters and Signatures

The design of the 1935 one dollar silver certificates prominently features George Washington as the main character. Washington’s portrait is engraved on the obverse (front) of the bill, surrounded by ornate details and patterns. On the reverse (back) of the certificate, there is an engraving of the Great Seal of the United States, which includes the motto “In God We Trust”. However, it is important to note that the Series 1935G $1 silver certificate had versions both with and without the motto “In God We Trust” printed on the reverse.

The 1935 one dollar silver certificates also bear the signatures of the United States Treasury officials at the time of issuance. These signatures serve as a form of authentication and approval for each banknote.

Blue Treasury Seal

One of the distinguishing features of the 1935 one dollar silver certificates is the blue treasury seal on the front of the bill. The blue seal is an emblem of the United States Department of the Treasury and serves to identify the denomination as a silver certificate. In addition to the blue seal, the words “One Dollar” and “Silver Certificate” are also printed in blue ink on the front of the certificate.

As representative money, the 1935 one dollar silver certificates were a form of paper currency that could be exchanged, or were payable on demand, for an equivalent value in precious metals, specifically silver. Initially, these certificates were redeemable in silver coins, and later, in silver bullion, as deemed by the U.S. government.

The 1935 one dollar silver certificates played a significant role in the history of U.S. banknotes and were one of the most common series of silver certificates issued between 1935 and 1957. With their intricate designs, esteemed characters, and iconic blue treasury seal, these banknotes continue to captivate collectors and history enthusiasts alike.

Collecting and Valuation of the 1935 Silver Certificate

Condition and Grading

When collecting 1935 Silver Certificates, one of the most important factors to consider is the condition of the note. Grading plays a significant role in determining the value of these certificates. The grades can range from Very Fine to Choice Uncirculated. Higher grades, such as MS 63 or MS 68, are usually assigned to uncirculated notes, which are more valuable due to their rarity and pristine condition.

Collectors often seek out specific aspects of the 1935 Silver Certificate, like:

  • Consecutive serial numbers
  • Uncirculated notes
  • Star notes
  • Unique block varieties

These features can greatly affect the pricing and rarity of the certificates.

Market and Pricing

The market price for 1935 Silver Certificates depends on several factors, such as condition, rarity, and the factors mentioned above. Generally, the value can range from as low as $3 for circulated notes to upwards of $300 for uncirculated notes with higher grades. Here are some approximate values based on condition:

  • Very Fine Condition: A North Africa Series 1935A $1 note is worth around $75.
  • Choice Uncirculated Condition: Notes with an MS 63 grade are valued at about $285.

Some rare and unique certificates, such as the 1935 $1 Silver Certificate with an MS68 grade, can fetch up to $1,000 in value.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the values and pricing within the collectors’ market can fluctuate depending on factors like demand and rarity. The Series of 1935 Silver Certificates, with different block varieties and combinations, can impact the value of individual notes, making some more collectible than others. A thorough understanding of these factors enables collectors to make more informed decisions when building their collections.

Legal Status and Redemption

The 1935 $1 silver certificates were issued between 1935 and 1957 as a form of paper money in the United States, with a design nearly identical to the standard U.S. dollar bill featuring George Washington1. These certificates were considered legal tender, which means they could be used for transactions and circulation at their face value2.

In 1935, when these certificates were introduced, they were redeemable for an equivalent amount of silver bullion under the Silver Purchase Act. This Act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to deposit silver, which could then be exchanged for silver certificates3. This made the 1935 silver certificates a type of currency backed by a physical asset, unlike the Federal Reserve notes that are currently in circulation.

As time went on, the redemption process of silver certificates for silver bullion shifted. In 1963, Public Law 88-36 was enacted, which allowed the certificates to be exchanged for silver bullion rather than silver dollars3. This change in the law led to certain alterations in the redemption procedures.

Today, while 1935 silver certificates are still considered legal tender, their value goes beyond their face value for collectors and dealers2. The condition of the certificate can often increase its worth significantly.

The 1935 $1 silver certificates were a unique form of currency in the United States, serving as legal tender with a basis in silver bullion. Although their redemption process has changed over time, they still hold value for collectors and can be used for transactions at their face value.

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