FORT WORTH, TX: Government officials last week unveiled the new $50 bill and a new visitors center at the facility where it will be printed first. The introduction marks Burson-Marsteller's second act in the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing's (BEP) five-year, $55 million effort to introduce new currency designs to foil counterfeiters. Burson helped launch the new $20 bill last fall.
About 300 federal and local officials and news media members attended the event at the Western Currency Facility (WCF), the only place outside of Washington that prints US money. The WCF opened in the early 1990s but didn't initially include a visitors' center.
It is booked solid with school- group tours through the end of May, said Mike Lake, MD of Burson's Dallas office.
The BEP also conducted events in Moscow and for foreign press in Washington because more than half of American currency circulates overseas, said Jim Lake, an MD in Burson's Washington office. The team also arranged more than 30 SMT interviews.
Like the new $20 bill, the $50 bill incorporates security features, such as background color, a watermark, security thread, and color-shifting ink.
The new bill will be put into circulation this fall, and Jim Lake said the time between unveiling and launching the new currency allows for training and educating cash handlers.
"Each subsequent rollout gets easier," Jim Lake said, adding that the $50 bill's introduction won't be as grand as the $20 bill's. "The $50 bill is not as widely used in the US."