Gold Certificates were authorized by the Currency Act of March 3, 1863 and were issued in series from 1865 to 1934. The earlier Gold Certificates, due to their higher face values, were not intended for general circulation, but were used almost exclusively in interbank channels to settle gold accounts.
70 years after being authorized, Gold Certificates met their demise by the Gold Reserve Act of 1933. On December 28, 1933 the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., issued an order forbidding the holding of Gold Certificates and required their surrender. Banks were ordered to turn in all stocks of gold certificates as well as the general public. A provision had been made for collectors allowing them to retain their collection of gold coins, but this provision did not include Gold Certificates. Finally, 31 years later on April 24, 1964, the Secretary of the Treasury, C. Douglas Dillon, issued regulations removing all restrictions on the acquisition or holding of Gold Certificates which were issued by the US Government prior to January 30, 1934. This covered notes up to Series 1928 only.
Large Size Gold Certificates consisted of 9 issues and were authorized by the Currency Act of March 3, 1863. The first, second, third and sixth issues were mainly used between banks and clearinghouses and not intended for general circulation.