Facelift for the $50

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

In April 2004, the U.S. Treasury unveiled its latest redesigned bill: the $50. The new bill features splashes of red and blue, in addition to the black and green ink found on other bills. The front of the bill still features President Ulysses S. Grant. The stars and stripes of the U.S. flag, printed in blue and red, also appear on the front of the bill. The U.S. Capitol is on the back, along with tiny 50s, printed in yellow.

“The new design is more secure than ever before. We believe it will be extremely effective in discouraging counterfeiters,” said Treasury Secretary John Snow. “It’s also a lovely piece of currency, maintaining the historic look and feel of a greenback while incorporating the elements of other colors that are very important to us in this country: red, white, and blue.”

The new bill incorporates security features introduced in the 1990s, including a watermark and a security thread-both visible when the bill is held up to the light-and color shifting ink. The U.S. Treasury redesigns bills every 5 to 10 years to make counterfeiting more difficult. The government estimates that one out of every ten thousand bills is counterfeit, a low percentage, but that means upwards of $44 million dollars in use are fake.

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