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Don't Take New $50 for Granted

Sept. 28, 2004 – The Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Federal Reserve and the U.S Secret Service will release into circulation the first newly redesigned $50 bill on Tuesday, Sept. 28. According to the department, to underscore the "Stars and Stripes" design theme of the new note, government officials will spend the first new $50 to buy an American flag at Union Station on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
In the Virgin Islands, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, spoke Monday on the new $50 note, calling it the next step in the U.S. Government’s measures to protect the people of the Virgin Islands from counterfeit notes.
"Both the retail community and members of the V.I. public need protection against today's high-tech counterfeiters," he said.
"If you pay with a counterfeit note, you lose that note and there's no way to be compensated. Bad notes are a lose, lose situation for both consumers and retailers. This new note helps guard against the problem," he said.
The new design retains three important security features that should be noted:
-Watermark: a faint image similar to the portrait that is visible from both sides when held up to the light.
-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 when the note is tilted.
Public recognition of the new currency features is an important factor in counterfeit deterrence, Richards said.
In 2003, the U.S. Secret Service made 469 seizures of digital equipment involving currency counterfeiting and made more than 3,640 arrests in the United States for currency counterfeiting activities. The new $50 note is the second denomination in the Series 2004 currency. The first was the $20 note which began circulating in October 2003. A new $100 note is forthcoming. The $5 and $10 note are under consideration, according to press materials.
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