With the increase of gold in America partially brought on by the rush of the mid 1800's, this metal became a prevalent asset for exchange. Due to its weight and difficulty of storage, the government decided to store equal amounts of gold balanced with like values issued in Gold Certificates for public circulation. The first were made available in 1882 and lasted until 1928.
In 1933, the country faced a severe depression and a banking crisis, the public began to demand gold. Runs developed on both Federal Reserve Banks (which had been established under the Federal Reserve Act in 1913) and commercial banks. In order to deal with this crisis, only Federal Reserve Banks were permitted to hold gold. With Executive Order 6102 in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all gold certificates to be returned to the Treasury Department. This included even those notes held in the possession of collectors.
In 1934, Federal Reserve Banks were required to turn over all gold coin, bullion, and certificates to the U.S. Treasury in return for a new type of gold certificate. These were never put into circulation and the last ones were printed in January 1935. In 1964, private citizens could once again hold gold certificates issued before January 30, 1934, but they could no longer be redeemed in gold. This changed in 1974, and private U.S. citizens could once again hold gold legally.
|FR-2405, KL-2747 - Series 1928 $100 Gold Certificate, Woods - Mellon, Plate# F1/5, S/N A0034370A|
First and Last Issue of the Small Size $100 Gold Certificate
|FR-2404 - Series 1928 $50 Gold Certificate, Woods - Mellon, Plate# C9/1, S/N A02467737A|
First and last issue of the Small Size $50 Gold Certificate
|FR-2402, KL-2261 - Series 1928 $20 Gold Certificate, Woods - Mellon, Plate# C119/147, S/N A40748949A, 66,204,000 printed|
First and Last Issue of the Small Size $20 Gold Certificate
|FR-2400, KL-1963 - Series 1928 $10 Gold Certificate, Woods - Mellon|
First and Last Issue of the Small Size $10 Gold Certificate — 2,544,000 Series 1928A Gold Certificates were printed, but all were probably destroyed as a result of President Roosevelt's gold recall order of 1933.