Did you know that the highest denomination of bank note most frequently used by Americans on an everyday basis is the the United States twenty dollar bill? It is indeed, and this is largely because the twenty dollar bill is arguably the only banknote dispensed by the Banking Auto Teller Machines, or ATM, in the United States. This is probably because it would cost the banks more money to modify these machines to become compatible in dispensing other type of bills. The United States twenty dollar bill is also the most used denomination for withdrawals and cashing in checks.
According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the average life span of a twenty dollar bill in circulation is twenty-five months or two years, before it succumbs to wear and tear and needs to be disposed and replaced. It is also said that twenty dollar bills are just a little over one-fifth of all United States paper currency produced today. These bills are delivered in violet straps by the Federal Reserve Banks for dissemination into public circulation.
The portrait of the seventh United States President, Andrew Jackson, is depicted on the obverse side of the bill, although his actions towards the Native Americans during his tenure leaves a lot to be questioned on the suitability of his representation of the twenty dollar bill. This also fuelled one of the bill’s many alternate monikers, the ‘Jackson’. The twenty dollar bill is also known as a ‘double sawbuck’, a ‘twenty banger’, and a ‘twomp’. Apart from President Jackson, other famous historical figures, from Presidents to Statesmen, and even American businessmen, that have graced the twenty dollar bills are Alexander Hamilton, Stephen Decatur, James Garfield, Daniel Manning, John Marshall, Hugh McCulloch, George Washington, and Grover Cleveland. President Andrew Jackson became the permanent fixture on the twenty dollar bill from the year 1928 onwards. The visual rendering of the White House is also featured on the reverse side of the bill.
First appearing as a demand note, the twenty made its debut in 1861, and it subsequently evolved with the many classifications and categorizations of the United States currency system, from United States note, national bank note , gold certificate, silver certificate, treasury coin note, and to the current Federal Reserve bank note it is today.
The current series of twenty dollar bills we see today was released on October 9, 2003, and it comes with a light background shading of green and yellow. The oval border previously surrounding Andrew Jackson’s portrait was not included in the new design, with background images of eagles and such added in. The oval border was also omitted out on the riverside side of the bill where the White House is now featured. Scattered all around the reverse side of the bill are also a lot of small and faded numerals of twenties, and this design is formed in the EURion constellation, a pattern of symbols found on new banknote designs since 1996. The pattern is said to be instrumental in preventing counterfeiters using color photocopiers to forge dollar bills.