Collectors, dealers who redeemed silver certificates between 1964 and 1968 received granules in return

Readers Ask column from Aug. 11, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 08/05/14
Text Size

If possible, can you tell me more of the history of these Silver Pak items and whether there were other U.S. Treasury varieties? 

I have seen “Pellet” silver style vials with generic labels. None I have seen, except for possibly in a coin shop with my dad in the early 1960s, come even close to the Silver Pak’s look and authenticity. I have enclosed pictures of mine. 

I have only seen four of these. I would like to have a few more, but I cannot find anybody selling! Whatever you can tell me about these item(s) will be greatly appreciated.

Darrin Irwin, Erie, Pa.

It’s possible that while the silver granules in the reader’s Silver Pak could have come from the Treasury stockpile, the packaging may be from a private enterprise.

Ron Gillio, senior numismatic and consignment director for U.S. and world coins at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, says he’s never seen a government-issued packaging option like the Silver Pak.

Gillio said he redeemed hundreds of thousands of silver certificates at the San Francisco Assay Office in 1966 and 1967, for which he received silver bullion for resale.

For large numbers of notes redeemed, the government paid out bullion in the form of large flat, rectangular bars, with the weight in troy ounces written in black grease pencil. No weight, fineness or bar number was stamped into each bar, Gillio said. 

Those who redeemed just a few notes were presented separate little plastic bags containing $1 in silver granules for each $1 in notes redeemed. Each $1 silver granule packet contained 0.773 troy ounce of pure silver, the amount of silver in a standard U.S. silver dollar.

Small silver bars in various weights and stamped with the seal of the San Francisco Assay Office were paid in exchange for scrap silver for melting, according to Gillio, and not for silver certificate redemption.

You are signed in as:null

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story

No comments yet