Liberty Dollar certificates were introduced in 1998 right along with the silver specie. They were a legitimate warehouse receipt program, and every certificate sold had the silver it represented stored in an independently run and audited warehouse at Sunshine Mint. The certificates were redeemable in actual silver or gold as denoted on the certificate. The date stamped on the back at the time the certificate was signed by the warehouse official began the 20 year countdown for redeemability of the certificate. If it was not redeemed within 20 years, it expired. Storage and insurance fees were paid on the metal for 5 years. If the certificate was redeemed after five years, additional storage and insurance fees could have been charged but never were in any instance that I am aware of. After the FBI raid of 2007 removed the metal backing the certificates (thereby illegally taking the property of thousands of owners of warehouse receipts), the initial reaction of folks was that the paper receipts were now worthless. Hope was maintained, however, that when the courts finally sorted the issue out, they would get their silver and/or gold back, so many held onto them. After the guilty verdict by the jury in March of 2011, hope began to wane. As of this writing (3/26/2011), the courts still have not determined the fate of the metal held on behalf of the certificate holders. In the meantime, Liberty Dollar certificates have become highly collectible. Anyone who wished to do so could easily get their money back by selling the certificates on the collector market.
Liberty Dollar certificates won the 2006 grand prize for security printing. The International Libertarian had this to say;
"Now we hear that, in an age when Federal Reserve Notes are being counterfieted at will by international criminals like the North Koreans, the Liberty Dollars printed warehouse receipt certificates have just won a Grand Prize for Document Security at the DMIA's Peak Awards 2006, to be presented at Print Solutions 2006 conference and show, October 3-5, near Chicago at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois.
Now Liberty Dollar Certificate holders can be secure knowing that their warehouse receipts are using the most secure printing technologies available to the commercial printing market, to prevent counterfieting, fraud, and dilution of the money supply. Printed by Verify First Technologies and Pro Document Solutions, the certificates went up against the best printed media from around the world."
"The contest was for the whole world and it covered checks, stock certificates, bonds, gift certificates, basically everything that would need to be secure," said NORFED founder Bernard von Nothaus in a prepared release, "Just another sign that the Liberty Dollar is a winner."
I was never an avid collector of the certificates, but I put back a few of each type that came across my hands. I hope to complete this page with the help of scans submitted by more serious collectors (if you have something not shown here, please scan at 200 dpi in the format shown and send them to me at lrgoodger 'at' gmail 'dot' com - I can merge front and back scans). I have figured out from the few that I have that there were at least five series' issued at the $10 silver base. The initial starter kits included $20 worth of certificates, which consisted of one $10, one $5 and five $1 certificates. These $20 packets ran through series' A, B, C, D and E. The initial release of $20 silver base certificates began with series F, and the currency packets contained a $20 cert, making them $40 packets. I have no idea how many series' were done at the $20 base. The $50 silver base certificates were never put into active use. Some trial runs were done and some of these non-negotiable proofs wound up in the hands of RCOs as gifts. There are comparatively few of them in existence. There are also similar non-negotiable proofs in existence of the $20 certificates and the $1000 gold certificates. I have included scans of what I have below.
(Information on the Hawaii Dala certificates is on the Hawaii Dala page)
The images below can be made even larger by clicking on them.
$10 base series A (1998)
$10 base Series B (2000)
The $1 certificate in this scan was carried in a wallet and shows how poorly the holographic logo wears under those conditions.
$10 base Series C & D examples
Apparently the different rates of usage of different denominations caused differing series start dates.
The $5 cert series C is 2003 while the $1 cert series C is 2001, and the $1 series D is 2003.
These are the only examples I have of series' C & D, and I have none of series E. Marco Busse tells me his series E $5 is dated 2005.
$20 Base Series F (2006)
When rising silver prices caused the crossover to the $20 silver base, all dates were reset to 2006 since all denominations were introduced simultaneously for this base.
This set of certificates is from a FDI (First Day of Issue) pack delivered in a dated envelope. The date matches that on the certificates.
This is the FDI pack envelope that goes with the set above (there are five $1 certs in the pack - only one is shown)
Note the same date on the envelope as the certs. Only FDI packs had dated envelopes.
Here are examples of the non-negotiable $20 and $50 prototype certificates
Note the 'NO SILVER' declaration on both sides. These certs are much scarcer than valid certs.
These are uncut sheets of non-negotiable $50 proof certificates
There are at least 3 different types of $50 proofs. They are the one above with the serial number on it and two below with 'PROOF ONLY - NO SILVER' in place of series numbers. The two below are differentiated by the holographic logo.
American Liberty Check
This is a Liberty Dollar check introduced in 2000. They were not very popular and were only offered for a couple of months. I imagine they are among the rarest of Liberty Dollar productions. The reverse scan is an enhanced black and white that shows the security watermarks. This example is discolored on the right side of the front and it is reflected in bolder watermarks on the reverse on that side. Evidently it got some moisture on it. The top scans are courtesy of collector Marco Busse.
Panama $20 Certificate
It is believed that only one sheet of these certificate prototypes was done. They were not on the normal certificate stock, but on a heavy paper. They lack the silver print and hologram used on official certificates. Note that it is not signed and does not have an activation date stamped on it. These scans are courtesy of a collector who wished to remain un-named.