Newly redesigned $50 notes arrive at banks beginning on Tuesday ready to make their way into circulation and consumer wallets.
The $50 note includes enhanced security features, subtle background colors of blue and red, images of a waving American flag and a small metallic silver-blue star. The new design is part of the U.S. government's ongoing efforts to stay ahead of counterfeiting and protect the integrity of U.S. currency.
"The stability and integrity of U.S. paper currency is
"A combination of factors keep currency counterfeiting at low levels," said Bruce Townsend, Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service's Office of investigations. "Improved worldwide cooperation in law enforcement, improvements in currency design, like those in the new $50 notes that will begin circulating today, and a better-informed public all contribute to our success in the fight against counterfeiting."
The government is supporting the new currency's issue with a public education program designed to inform people in the U.S. and overseas about updated security features and ensure a smooth introduction of each newly designed note into circulation.
"As we introduce these beautiful new notes, we want to emphasize that the older design $50 notes will remain in circulation for some time to come and will remain legal tender," said Louise Roseman, the Federal Reserve Board's Director of Federal Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems.
The new $50 note is the second denomination in the Series 2004 currency, the most secure series of notes in U.S. history. The first denomination in the series to be redesigned was the $20 note, which began circulating in October 2003.
"The next denomination in the series will be a new $10 note," said Ferguson. "We are currently working on the design and expect to unveil it in the spring of 2005." The $100 note is also slated to be redesigned, but a timetable for its introduction is not yet set. The government has no plans to redesign the $5 note at this time, and the $1 and $2 notes will not be redesigned.
The new $50 design retains three important security features that were first introduced in the 1990s and are easy for consumers and merchants alike to check:
- Watermark: A faint image, similar to the portrait, which is part of the paper itself and is visible from both
- Security thread: Also visible from both sides when held up to the light, this vertical strip of plastic is embedded in the paper and spells out the denomination in tiny print.
- Color-shifting ink: The numeral in the lower right corner on the face of the note, indicating its denomination, changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted.