Water Tight

The US government unveiled its new US$ 50 note on Tuesday designed with enhanced security features to beat counterfeiting.rn

rnrn rnThe New US$ 50 bill

rnrnrn rnThe New US$ 20 bill

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US government officials from the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the United States Secret Service, unveiled the new US$ 50 note design, the US Embassy said.rn

rnThe currency has enhanced security features, subtle background colors of blue and red, images of a waving American flag and a small metallic silver-blue star.rn

rnThe new design is part of the governments ongoing efforts to stay ahead of counterfeiting and protect the integrity of U.S. currency. rn

rn”U.S. currency is a worldwide symbol of security and integrity. These new designs help us keep it that way, by protecting against counterfeiting and making it easier for people to confirm the authenticity of their hard-earned money,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary, John W Snow. rn

rnThe US government has managed to keep counterfeiting at low levels.rn

rnThe current estimates put the level of counterfeit notes in circulation worldwide, at between 0.01 and 0.02 percent, or about 1-2 notes in every 10,000 genuine notes.rn

rnOne trick has been to stay ahead of counterfeiters by updating US currency every 7-10 years.rn

rnThe new US$ 50 design retains three important security features that were first introduced in the 1990s and are easy for consumers and merchants to look out for, said the press release. rn

rnThe watermark: A faint image, similar to the portrait, which is part of the paper itself and is visible from both sides when held up to the light.rn

rnThe 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.rn

rnColor-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. rn

rnThese features are difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce well and they discourage attempts at counterfeiting, said the press release. rn

rnThe new US$ 50 note, which will be issued in late September or early October, is the second denomination in the lquote Series 2004 currency. rn

rnThe first was the US$ 20 note, which began circulating in October 2003.rn

rnA new US$ 100 note will follow the US$ 50 note later while the debate is still on for new designs for the US$ 5 and US$ 10 notes.rn

rnA redesign of the US$ 1 and US$ 2 notes is not planned. rn