Series 1863-1934 U.S. Gold Certificate - This is to certify that there have been deposited in the treasury of The United States of America [denomination face value, i.e. Ten Dollars] in gold coin payable to the bearer on demand.
Series 1886-1963 U.S. Silver Certificate - This certifies that there is on deposit in the treasury of The United States of America [denomination face value, i.e. Ten Dollars] in silver payable to the bearer on demand.
Series 1913-1934 Federal Reserve Note - Redeemable in gold on demand at the United States Treasury or in gold or lawful money at any Federal Reserve Bank.
Series 1934-1963 Federal Reserve Note - This note is legal tender for all debts public and private and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury or at any Federal Reserve Bank.
Series 1963- Federal Reserve Note - This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.
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Federal Reserve Notes are not backed by gold or silver but instead are issued as IOU's for interest-bearing Treasury Bonds, i.e. debt
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Reader comments about this quote:
"Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, slap ink on it, and make it totally worthless" ~ Ludwig VonMises
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    J Carlton, thanks for this great VonMises quote. Ain't it the truth.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    J Carlton (-: I like it :-) I'm not sure how to rate this statement of events or, comment on it with stars. The Fed was authorized at its inception to plunder the inherent value of a once de jure U.S. Having done that, it continues its fleecing of public, private and otherwise individual helots, serfs, and slaves at large. Private ownership is no longer recognized of anything, a nation of de facto debtors has replaced a once free and prosperous representative republic.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The last time I believe they let anyone in the fort Knox facility was in the 40s. It sure makes me wonder if there is ANY gold in there now? The very essence of this nation, was the ability to own property, and gold, not too long ago, the government told the people turn in all your gold, many didn't, many did. Many also think Kennedy was killed because of the law he was about to sign, it would have restored the silver certificate, and the gold. Right after his taking office, pres Johnson made sure that law never had a chance. Many of us know the truth, our problem is, what do we do about it? Like the movie, 'Legends of the Fall,' Americans were free at one time. Now, only a few hang on, knowing the truth. At least the new generation was told, and know, the way it should be. Thank you for this quote, a reminder of the dastardly deeds done. And hopefully restoration of a constitutional government. Hopefully without bloodshed.
     -- anon, anon     
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    #1: yes, but who pulled these quotes together? they are the author of these "quotes", not the currency. #2: there is nothing magical about some metal from the ground, the promise of value is what counts.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    I am with Reston on this one. As long as my money must be accepted as payment I am happy. And (sic) it is a lot easier than walking around town with a wheel barrow full of the heavy stuff.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler & Reston- It used to be that you could secure your gold and silver in a bank and you would then receive a paper note (certificate) with the ability to exchange back for your gold and silver that had true value. That is no longer the case. It meant that anyone could accept that note as something of true value because it was backed by the gold and silver on deposit. Now we have fiat money - in other words money not backed by anything but the "faith of the people." Our founding fathers had a reason to place in Article 1, Section 8 "The Congress shall have Power To Coin Money" because gold and silver have true intrinsic value, You could not print more notes or certificates over and above the gold and silver that were on deposit thus safe-guarding the true value of the paper notes/certificates that were held by every individual.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    Waffler, will you still be happy when it takes 4000 worthless dollars to buy a loaf of bread? Because that is what happens to inflated fiat currency. THINK Man!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    How the mighty has fallen. Very sad. Where can we go from here?
     -- Lilkidmom, Niles, MI     
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    Reston's and Waffler's other posts blame greedy corporations for America's economic ills, but don't you realize that the Federal Reserve and the use of Federal Reserve Notes as currency is what has created these corporate beasts? Secondly, do you not understand the very significance of gold/silver backing for our currency? It is so that money cannot simply be printed up -- the power to do so would guarantee that whoever could print his own money could buy everything and everyone. But it is even worse than that because not only does the Fed have the power to print up money as they wish, they are 'loaning' this 'money' to the government and charging us interest on it as well! As a result, a 'dollar' now represents not an ounce of gold on deposit but an IOU for a REAL dollar with interest. This scam has conquered many nations throughout European history rendering them bankrupt and IN DEBT to those that have the power to create paper money out of nothing. Most of these big bad corrupt corporations are indeed other banks and international corporations that have grown on the debt they have pushed upon the backs of the American people. Our government has shown that it cannot be trusted with the power to borrow money ad infinitum -- instead, they have used the power to turn our government into a disgrace, into simply war upon the people, into who shall we rob next to pay for the next 'promise' to the plebs who are simply fed to each other. You are being used, the game is fixed, and we have been misdirected in order to make war upon one another instead of hanging the real thieves.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    One more thing, if there was no Federal Reserve and the US government simply issued its own currency to pay government employees, beneficiaries, contractors, hospitals, military, etc.., and did NOT have to pay interest to anyone, there would be NO DEBT, no need for TAXES, and the only tax would be inflation which would affect everyone equally. The currency would be traded on the open market just as all fiat currencies are today -- the difference is simple, the US Treasury would be flush in funds, and there would be no transnational central banks holding the debt of the entire world in their hands. Wake the f%ck up -- we are being enslaved and paying for it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    But,Waffler, you could soon being walking around town with a wheelbarrow full of worthless money.
     -- wayne, naples     
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    E. Archer, I couldn't have said it any better. My "five star" vote goes to you.
     -- Mike, Vancouver     
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