Silver Certificates were authorized by Congressional Acts of Feb. 28, 1878 and Aug 4, 1886. In 1878, the U.S. economy was doing quite well and the need for silver coinage outstripped the available supply. The idea was not to replace coins, but to create an easier method of exchange. The government would hold the equivalent amount of silver coins and bullion and promise to redeem the certificates on demand.
Due to the Silver Purchase Act of 1934, the redemption clause was changed to allow redemption in Silver Dollars or Silver bullion and in March 1964, the Secretary of the Treasury halted redemption in Silver Dollars. Silver Certificate legislation was abolished by Congressional Act June 4, 1963 and all redemption in silver was halted in June 24, 1968.
Small size silver certificates
Small size silver certificates were issued in denominations of $1, $5 and $10 in series 1928, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1953, and 1957. The obligation on the 1928 series silver certificates stated that they were redemable for "One Silver Dollar", which was changed in 1934 to read "One Dollar in Silver."