An effective method of discovering a silver certificate's value is to obtain a quote from a reputable currency dealer, advises the U.S. Treasury Department. Another way is to check one of the various reference books on the topic, advises Heritage Auctions.
Silver certificates come in two sizes, small and large, according to Antique Money. Large-sized certificates generally have a higher value than the small-sized ones. Many small-sized silver certificates are fairly common and are only worth a small premium over their face value.
Some silver certificates have a star at either the beginning or the end of the bill's serial number, according to Old Currency Values. These are special bills that indicate the bill is a replacement for a damaged certificate. Because of their relative rarity, they typically have a higher value than silver certificates without a star.
Another key factor that affects value is the condition, or grade, of the bill, says the U.S. Treasury Department. Torn silver certificates or those that have seen a lot of wear and tear bring lower prices than those in good condition. Grading any type of paper currency, including silver certificates, is not an exact science, however, so different dealers may offer different quotes for the same bill.