New-Design $50 Currency
October 15, 1997
Circular No. 10987

To the Chief Executive Officers of All Depository Institutions in the Second Federal Reserve District:

The second denomination of the new-design currency, the 1996 Series $50 banknote, will be issued on October 27, 1997.

The $50 note has an important new design feature - a large dark numeral "50" on a light background in the lower right-hand corner of the back of the note. The enlarged numeral is designed to make it easier to all users of U.S. currency, especially persons with low vision, to identify United States banknotes. From now on, all denominations of new-design currency, including all future redesigns of the $100 banknote, will have this low-vision feature.

As with the 1996 Series $100 note, the design of the new $50 note is intended to help protect against the use of evolving counterfeit technologies, while simplifying authentication by the public. Security-enhancing features include an off-center portrait, a watermark, color-shifting ink, a modified security thread, micro-printing, concentric fine-line printing, and a universal Federal Reserve System seal. The size, color, feel, and overall look of the newly designed currency remain the same, facilitating public education and universal recognition of the currency.

Your institution can play an important role in helping the public understand and accept the new-design currency by introducing the new notes into circulation. Like the redesigned $100 banknote, the new $50 banknote will be phased into circulation gradually. Old-series notes will be withdrawn from circulation when they reach Federal Reserve Banks and Branches; old-series notes will not be distributed by the Federal Reserve after October 24, 1997. Federal Reserve cross-shipping policies related to the $50 note are being suspended temporarily, in order to eliminate any procedural obstacles to your institution returning old-series $50 notes. All U.S. currency will, however, be honored indefinitely at full face value; there will be no recall or devaluation of any old-series U.S. banknotes.

We expect the introduction, use, and increased availability of the new $50 note to enhance the confidence of the public in the authenticity of U.S. currency.

Information about the new $50 note is available from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. If you have any questions, please contact the Bank Services Department at our Head Office, or 716-849-5065 at our Buffalo Branch. Our Currency Services Staff -- 201-531-3500 (Head Office) or 716-849-5167 (Buffalo Branch) -- also will be available to answer your questions.

Thank you for your continued support of this important program.