New $50 Bill Unveiled
He remains buried in Grants Tomb, but more than a century after his death, Ulysses S. Grant is getting a new look . . . on the $50 bill, that is.
The Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Secret Service unveiled the new design on April 26 at the Bureau of Engraving and Printings (BEP) Fort Worth, Texas, facility, which prints 55 percent of all U.S. paper currency. The new $50, which will enter circulation this fall, is the second note, after last years new $20, to undergo a security-enhancing redesign. The redesigned $100 note will be released in 2005.
More color, more security
Some of the new design changes are obvious. Each new note in the 2004 series will have subtle background colors; on the $50 note these colors are red and blue. The 2004 series notes also depict traditional American symbols that will differ for each denomination. On the $50 bill, blue stars and red stripes symbolize the U.S. flag.
Another noticeable change involves Grants portrait;
it has been moved higher on the note, and the border has been
Several other features first introduced in the 1990s enhance the notes security. Two of thesea watermark similar to Grants portrait and a security thread spelling out USA 50 and depicting an American flagare visible from both sides when the note is held up to light. The number 50 in the lower right corner of the face of the bill is printed with color-shifting ink that looks copper when viewed straight on but green when the note is tilted.
Keeping it real
These security enhancements are designed to thwart counterfeiters, who have become adept at using digital technology to counterfeit currency. The U.S. Secret Service says that security efforts have suppressed counterfeiting levels, estimating that forgeries constitute only 0.01 to 0.02 percent of genuine notes in worldwide circulation.
The BEP will print 76.8 million new $50s this year. Work is under way to ensure that cash-handling machines accept the new currency by the time it enters circulation.