Bellevue 425-454-1283 · Lynnwood 425-672-2646 · Issaquah 425-392-0450 · Tacoma 253-328-4014

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Though no longer used as a legal form of tender in today’s circulation, gold certificates were once a popular currency and used for everyday transactions. Why are we no longer using them? And why do collectors still find them appealing for their collections?


Historically, gold certificates first appear in London and Amsterdam, by goldsmiths who housed their customers gold bullion in their vaults. The certificates certified the amount of physical gold the owner was storing with the gold professional and before long, the certificates were being used like cash in daily transactions. The United States Treasury adopted the gold certificate practice in the mid-1800’s until 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act was implemented, making privately held (with the exception of jewelry) illegal.


During the period following the Emergency Banking Act, gold certificates became a novelty of the past but this novelty has since proven big paydays for collectors and United States history lovers.


Many gold certificates were issued in $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000 denominations. While gold certificates with higher face values then $500 and $1,000 have been issued, these remain in significantly lower supply and command a higher asking price from potential buyers. Gold certificates with lower face values ($10, $20 on average) typically sell for double their face value but can command higher depending on the certificates condition.


Many collectors love adding gold certificates to their rare currency collections due their significance in American history along with their aesthetically pleasing designs. The vivid orange-gold coloring exhibited by gold certificates on both the front and back of the notes, symbolizes the gold by which they were backed. Yet another historical feature from an ever-evolving nation displayed through its currency.


For more information about gold certificates and available stock, please visit one of four Bellevue Rare Coins locations in the Greater Seattle Area.



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Since 1979, Bellevue Rare Coins has been a trusted, family-owned business serving the Greater Seattle Area with locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood, Issaquah, and West Seattle. Specializing in gold, silver, diamond, and jewelry purchasing, in addition to dealing in rare coins. We now offer a vast selection of fine, vintage and custom designed jewelry. Visit anyone of our four friendly locations for the best deals selling or buying.


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  • Bellevue


    321 Bellevue Way NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-454-1283
  • Lynnwood


    18411 Alderwood Mall Parkway Suite F
    Lynnwood, WA 98037
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-672-2646
  • Issaquah


    1175 NW Gilman Blvd Suite B16
    Issaquah, WA 98027
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-392-0450
  • Tacoma


    2302 Pacific Ave
    Tacoma, WA 98402
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 253-328-4014