When was the last time you really looked at a dollar bill? Like really looked at it? Up until last week, looking at a single buck never really crossed my mind. After picking up a non-winning Powerball ticket, I was handed some change from a local convenience store, when the clerk told me to check out one of the dollar bills he gave me in change. Lo and behold it was a $1 Silver Certificate, from 1957.

Image Credit: Paul Shea/TSM
Image Credit: Paul Shea/TSM

After a brief Google search, the 1957 $1 Silver certificate isn't worth a whole lot more than a $1, it is cool just to look at. It's got a blue seal on it, and of course some extra language on the bottom and top of the bill. But for a bill to last this long in circulation, to me, seems odd.

According to AntiqueMoney.com blue seal dollar bills "are all worth around $1.50 in circulated condition and about $5 in perfect condition. These can be bought by the 100s at shows or coin shops. They are nowhere near rare enough to be collectible. The small premium they do command is just a result of the curiosity factor."

Another question that this old dollar bill brought to mind was when exactly did the US go away from a gold/silver standard? I always thought it was right after WWII, but I would be wrong in thinking that. Mental Floss states that FDR in 1933 as a way "To help combat the Great Depression," dollars could no longer be redeemed for gold. The U.S. continued to allow foreign governments to exchange dollars for gold until 1971 when President Richard Nixon abruptly ended the practice to stop dollar-flush foreigners from sapping U.S. gold reserves."

So what will I do with my not really rare or uncommon dollar? I'm going to frame it, and hang it up on my office wall.


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