The 1899 five-dollar bill. A silver certificate is a kind of paper money, which was issued by the US Treasury in 1878–1968. They could be exchanged for silver bars or silver coins. At the end of the nineteenth century, disputes took place in the United States as to which policy of maintaining the dollar’s exchange rate should be chosen: either a gold or bimetallic standard (i.e., gold + silver). Despite the fact that the supporters of the “gold standard” won, a law was passed that the treasury was obliged to issue a certain amount of dollars, backed not by gold, but namely by silver. What was the main reason: the economy, the desire to calm down a part of the public, or lobbying the silver mine’s owners—is unknown.
The banknote central part carries a portrait of the Sioux Nation’s Indian chief called Running Antelope or Tatoka Inyanka. A well-known brave man, speaker, and diplomat, he believed that a compromise with the white was beneficial for the tribes.
The banknote was nicknamed the “Indian Chief.”