Fed Distributes Redesigned $50s
|Louise Roseman, director of operations and payments systems for the Federal Reserve Board, points out the features of a new $50 note to Fawaz Tony Ismail, owner of Alamo Flags in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28, the bills first day of issue. Joining Roseman are (from left) Thomas Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Bruce Townsend, deputy assistant director of the Secret Service; and Brian Roseboro, undersecretary for domestic finance of the Department of the Treasury.
Newly redesigned $50 notes began to make their way into circulation
on Sept. 28 as the Federal Reserve started distributing them
to financial institutions.
The same day, officials from the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service took part in the symbolic first transaction using the new note. They used a new $50 bill, whose redesign includes star and stripe motifs, to buy an American flag from the Alamo Flag shop in Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Safer and more secure
The design for the new $50 note was unveiled on April 26 and
is the second denomination in the Series 2004 currencythe
redesigned $20 note debuted in 2003. The notes in this series
feature security enhancementssome introduced in the
1990s, including a watermark, a security thread, and color-shifting
inkthat help thwart counterfeiting.
Showing its colors
This note series is also the first modern U.S. currency printed
in colors other than green and black. On the new $50 note,
blue stars appear to the left of Grants portrait and red
stripes and a small metallic silver-blue star to the right.
These colors and symbols not only make the notes more complex
and difficult to counterfeit but also help people tell the
different denominations apart.
The next note to be redesigned will be the $10 note, which
will be unveiled in the spring of 2005. The $100 note will
also be revamped, but no date is set for its release. There
are no plans to redesign the $5, $2, and $1 notes.
Getting the word out
To help inform people about the currencys updated security
features, the government is conducting a worldwide education
program aimed at the media, cash handlers, merchants, and
business and industry associations. Since May 2003, the Treasurys
Bureau of Engraving and Printing has distributed more than
52 million pieces of training materials, including posters,
videos, and brochures, about the new currency.