Five dollar silver certificates were produced from 1886 to 1953 and there were different series that were issued. Many of these silver certificates are renown for their unique designs. Keep reading below to see these designs and what the current values are for each series.
- Large Bills
- Small Bills
The earliest silver certificates were large notes. These notes are about 40% larger than the small notes that are currently in circulation. Generally these large notes are more rare and command a higher price.
This was the first five dollar silver certificate issued and today these notes can be quite valuable.
It's nicknamed the 'Morgan Back' because the back of the bill displays several Morgan silver dollars. This design makes the bill appealing to both currency and coin collectors. It's believed that the coin images were printed on the back in order for people to feel comfortable using the silver certificate. Back then, coins were much more widely used than paper currency.
These bills are rare. There were millions printed, but there just aren't many known to be in existence today. Notes in perfect uncirculated condition are especially rare and they would sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Uncirculated notes with a few minor imperfections can sell for around $5000. In good condition these notes can sell for around $900.
The 1891 series has the same front design as the 1886 series. However the back design is different. The 1891 back design is more plain looking and thus less appealing to collectors. The 1891 series is also much more common which also makes it less valuable. However it's still a nice bill to own and it's needed to complete the full silver certificate collection.
In good condition these bills sell for around $1000. A note in 'extremely fine' condition recently sold for $1700. There haven't been many uncirculated bills on the market recently, but they would likely sell for thousands of dollars.
1896 silver certificates are known as the 'educational series'. This five dollar issue is nicknamed the 'five dollar ed' and it's the most popular note in the educational series.
Before 1896 silver certificates used to have a regular portrait on the front. But in 1896 the front design changed to real artwork.
On the front of this bill you can see an angel and a chariot in front of the United States Capital dome. It's widely regarded as one of the best currency designs ever. Take a look at the picture above to judge for yourself. The beautiful design makes these notes popular.
Uncirculated notes are quite rare so there really is no fixed price for them. But the price would be around $10,000, possibly more. Notes in good condition will sell in the $800 to $2500 range.
This is another popular silver certificate because of its unique design. Nicknamed 'The Chief', it's the only piece of United States currency that features a Native American. Pictured on the front is Chief Running Antelope.
There are a few different variations of this series that command a premium. This series has star note variations, which are bills with a star before the serial number. Star notes are rare and thus command a higher price. There are also eleven different signature combinations, but only the Napier Thompson signature combination is more valuable than the rest.
In addition, low serial number bills are in existence and they will also command a premium.
Regular 1899 notes are not particularly rare so the prices are reasonable. In uncirculated condition they sell for at least $1,500. In good condition they go for at least $500.
This is the first five dollar silver certificate series to feature Abraham Lincoln. It's also the only large five dollar large silver certificate to be printed in the 20th century.
It's nicknamed the 'Porthole' because Lincoln's portrait has a large frame which makes it appear that he is looking out of a ship's porthole.
There were over four million of these bills printed but there are only around 1500 still in existence today. This makes them quite rare. Not many of them come up for sale and they are desired by both silver certificate collectors and Abraham Lincoln enthusiasts. Star notes and low serial numbers are even more rare and they command a premium price. For a regular note in uncirculated condition you can expect to pay at least $4,000. In good condition the price is around $1,000.
There were a few different small bill series issued. Generally these bills aren't as valuable as the large ones.
The 1934 five dollar silver certificates look like regular five dollar bills, except for a blue seal instead of a green seal. There were several different varieties for this series, and they include: 1934, 1934A, 1934B, 1934C, and 1934D. There is also the 1934A North Africa note, which is more valuable than the others. Star notes are available and they are also more valuable.
The common variety 1934 series notes are not very valuable. A regular 1934 note in uncirculated condition goes for around $20. In good condition they sell for around $10. Depending on the specific variety, a star note can sell for hundreds of dollars in uncirculated condition.
The 1934A North Africa notes sell for around $100 in uncirculated condition. In good condition they are priced at around $55. There are also North Africa star notes that sell for up to $1000 in uncirculated condition, and around $200 in good condition.
The 1953 five dollar silver certificates have almost the same look as the previous 1934 series. The difference is that the number five on the front left hand side of the bill is a light green color and the seal on the right side of the bill is smaller.
There were a few different variations for this series but none of the common variations are valuable. These notes for around $20 in uncirculated condition and only around $10 in good condition.
Most star notes are common and only sell for around $15 in good condition. However the 1953B series star note is the exception. This note can sell for over $1,000 in good condition, and much more in uncirculated condition.
Five dollar silver certificates are great collectible items and the earlier series notes can be quite valuable. These bills feature some of the best designs ever printed on United States paper currency. The 1896 series and 1899 series are especially famous for their front designs.