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Q & A

Friday, October 1, 2004

Why is there a new $50?

Series 2004 currency was designed to stay ahead of the advancing technology counterfeiters use. The $20 was issued in 2003, followed by the $50 in 2004. The new $100 will be released at a future date.

Has U.S. currency ever been redesigned before?

Yes. The Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve released a new design for the $100 note in 1996, followed by new designs for the $50 in 1997, the $20 in 1998, and the $5 and $10 in 1999. These were the first significant design changes since 1928. Prior to 1928, designs changed frequently.

If new designs are a continual process now, when should we expect the next new design?

To stay ahead of counterfeiters, the United States will create new designs every 7-10 years.

What are some of the changes in the new $50?

You'll be able to see several new, colorful features:

  • background colors of blue and red,
  • copper-to-green color-shifting ink,
  • a waving American flag and metallic silver-blue star, and
  • small yellow 50s.

Will the old notes (currency) be recalled or devalued?

No. The United States has never devalued its currency.

Why not make our new currency really colorful like many other countries' currency or change its size?

The U.S. dollar is associated with stability, security and strength. Changing the size would not affect security, but it could create confusion for millions around the world who recognize the traditional appearance of U.S. notes.

What should people do if they receive a counterfeit note?

Most often, counterfeiters attempt to pass their notes at businesses. If you think you've received a counterfeit note, do not return it to the passer. Immediately notify the local police or the U.S. Secret Service. Note the passer's physical characteristics, and (when possible) write down the license plate number and description of the vehicle. Safeguard the note and release it only to the proper authorities.

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