Gold Certificate

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Gold Certificate'

A physical document resembling a paper bank note that entitles the holder to a specified value of gold. Because gold bullion is difficult to transfer and store, gold certificates facilitated the ownership and use of gold when it was legal currency. Gold certificates were in general circulation in the United States and used as money from 1882 to 1933.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Gold Certificate'

The United States government under President Franklin D. Roosevelt made gold certificates, as well as the possession of gold in any other form except jewelry, illegal in 1933 when the U.S. went off the gold standard. About 30 years later, gold certificates became legal again, and they have been prized by collectors ever since, but they are not legal tender. The highest denomination of gold certificate ever issued was for $100,000, but it was only used as an accounting tool within the Federal Reserve. One such note belongs to the Smithsonian collection at the National Museum of American History.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Short Gold ETF

    An exchange traded fund that seeks to profit from negative changes ...
  2. Silver Certificate

    Former legal tender (paper currency) issued by the U.S. government ...
  3. Gold Reserve Act Of 1934

    An act that took away title to all gold and gold certificates ...
  4. Fool's Gold

    Also known as iron pyrite, fool's gold is a gold-colored mineral ...
  5. Gold Standard

    A monetary system in which a country's government allows its ...
  6. Gold Fix

    The twice-daily act of setting gold prices by the five members ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What techniques can be used for hedging exposure to the electronics sector?

    Hedging exposure to the electronics sector offers an investor a way to insulate his portfolio from losses during periods ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What techniques are most useful for hedging exposure to the banking sector?

    The banking sector moves in the same direction as the broader market, but its volatility is much lower. The sector's stability ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is credit a form of fiat money?

    To understand why credit is a form of fiat money, one must first understand what money is. At its most basic level, money ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why should you invest in tangible assets?

    Savers who deliberately buy tangible assets for investment purposes value their tangible goods as a form of value diversification ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is fiat money more prone to inflation than commodity money?

    The value of fiat money is based largely on public faith in the issuer. Commodity money's value is based on the material ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Is all paper money fiat money?

    The majority of currency on paper is considered fiat money. Fiat money is money that can be used as tender but does not have ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What Is Wrong With Gold?

    Despite its historic and symbolic appeal, this metal is simply a commodity. Here we explore its meaning as an investment.
  2. Options & Futures

    Getting Into The Gold Market

    Add some sparkle to your portfolio by getting in on this classic commodity.
  3. Options & Futures

    A Beginner's Guide To Precious Metals

    All that glitters isn't gold. Find out how to get started on your treasure hunt.
  4. Budgeting

    The Gold Standard Revisited

    Think the value of gold is unshakable? Read this chronicle of its rise and fall.
  5. Investing

    Using Technical Analysis In The Gold Markets

    The quest for this shiny commodity has made millionaires of paupers and, on the flip side, ruined many an investor.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Midas Touch For Gold Investors

    Find some golden opportunities by investing in gold commodities or futures contracts.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Market Vectors Gold Miners

    Learn about Market Vectors Gold Miners, one of the most volatile ETFs in the market, which fell 75% from 2011 to 2015 after climbing 300% from 2008 to 2011.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top ETFs For Investing in Greece

    Find out if it's time to add the GREK ETF -- the only major Greece-centric exchange-traded fund in the world -- as a risk/reward play to your portfolio.
  9. Economics

    The Story Behind Gold's Mini-Flash Crash

    The gold market was rocked last week by a sudden drop in prices. There are a number of factors that can lead to a flash crash in any market.
  10. Investing

    4 Structured Product Types Wealthy Clients Love

    High-net-worth investors find structured products appealing for a variety of reasons. Here's a look at four types.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  2. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  3. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  4. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  5. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  6. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!