United States twenty dollar bill
+ United States Dollar (US$) General information
Quick links to banknotes:
- 1 US Dollar
- 5 US Dollar
- 10 US Dollar
- 20 US Dollar
- 50 US Dollar
- 100 US Dollar
(banknote with denomination of $2 is very rarely used)
Size: 156 x 66 mm
The twenty-dollar bill in the past was referred to as a "double-sawbuck" because it is twice the value of a ten-dollar bill, which was nicknamed a "sawbuck" due to the resemblance the Roman numeral for ten (X) bears to the legs of a sawbuck, although this usage had largely fallen out of favor by the 1980s. The twenty dollar gold coin was known as a "double eagle". Rather than a nickname, this nomenclature was specified by an act of Congress.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the average circulation life of a Twenty US dollar bill ($20) is 25 months (2 years) before it is replaced due to wear. Approximately 11% of all notes printed in 2009 were $20 bills. Twenty-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in violet straps.
Security features can help you to tell if a 20 dollar bill is fake or real.
Tilt your twenty dollar note to see if the numeral 20 in the lower right corner on the front of the bill changes color from copper to green. The color shift is more dramatic in the redesigned currency, making it easier for people to check their money.
Hold the bill to light and look for the watermark, or faint image, similar to the large portrait. The watermark is part of the paper itself and can be seen from both sides of the bill.
Hold the twenty dollar note to light and look for the security thread that is embedded in the paper and runs vertically up one side of the bill. If you look closely, the words USA TWENTY and a small flag are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The security thread glows green when illuminated by ultraviolet light.
Additional Design and security features
The redesigned currency remains the same size and uses the same, but enhanced portraits and historical images as the older-design bills, and importantly, continues to be recognized around the world as quintessentially American.
Symbols of Freedom
Appearing on the front of the bill are two American eagle symbols of freedom. The large blue eagle in the background to the left of President Andrew Jackson's portrait is representative of those drawn and sculpted during his time period. The smaller green metallic eagle to the lower right of the portrait is a more contemporary illustration, using the same raised ink intaglio process as the portrait, numerals and engravings. The symbols of freedom differ for each denomination.
Updated Portrait and Vignette
The oval borders and fine lines surrounding the portrait of President Jackson on the front, and the White House vignette on the back, have been removed. The portrait has been moved up and shoulders have been extended into the border. Additional engraving details have been added to the vignette background.
The numeral 20 in the lower right corner on the back of the Twenty dollar note is enlarged to help those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.
Because they are so small, microprinted words are hard to replicate. The redesigned $20 bill features microprinting on the front of the bill in two areas: bordering the first three letters of the TWENTY USA ribbon to the right of the portrait, the inscription USA20 is printed in blue. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 20 USA 20 appears in black on the border below the Treasurer's signature.
Federal Reserve Indicators
A universal seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank. There are 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches located in major cities throughout the United States.
The unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the bill. Because they are unique identifiers, serial numbers help law enforcement identify counterfeit notes, and they also help the Bureau of Engraving and Printing track quality standards for the notes they produce.
(older series click here)