DEFINITION of 'Silver Certificate'

Former legal tender (paper currency) issued by the U.S. government beginning in 1878. A certificate represented a stated amount of silver bullion purchased or held by an investor. These certificates were created to allow an investor to purchase silver without having to take physical possession of the investment. Certificates were deemed payable to the bearer upon demand.

BREAKING DOWN 'Silver Certificate'

Although the U.S. stopped minting silver coins in 1806, both gold and silver coins were usable as legal tender until 1861. Today silver certificates can be redeemed for their face value in cash in the U.S. but not in actual silver.

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  1. What other options does an investor have to buying physical silver?

    Explore the various investment choices available for traders seeking to invest in the silver market, along with the advantages ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do you get a hard copy of a stock certificate?

    Before online brokers and personally-directed accounts, holding a physical stock certificate was a necessity, as this was ... Read Answer >>
  3. I hold stock certificates in a company that just had a stock split. What happens ...

    The short answer is that a stock split will have little effect on the holder of stock certificates. In most cases when an ... Read Answer >>
  4. I lost my share certificate. Do I still own the stock?

    Regardless of whether a shareholder loses his or her stock certificate, that person still owns the shares. However, in order ... Read Answer >>
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