Paper Money

Website cites 2030 date for release of Tubman $20 note

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is seen examining an image of Harriet Tubman in this April 20, 2016, Treasury file photo. In it, Lew and members of the BEP design team are examining a blowup of an image created from a public photograph of Tubman as part of their research.

Image courtesy of Treasury Department

In an internal department message for Black History Month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used the occasion to reassert the goal of making United States currency more inclusive and more comprehensive than its historical precedents.

A copy of the text from February was claimed to have been acquired by the blog website It claimed in a July 4 post that contrary to internet speculation, the Harriet Tubman $20 bill was on schedule for a 2030 roll out. The website specializes in news coverage of science and technology.

The secretary is quoted as saying, “We know that putting Dr. [Maya] Angelou on the quarter is just the beginning of the work ahead to make our currency and coinage reflect the totality of the diversity of this country, including placing Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.”

An announcement that a portrait of Harriet Tubman would displace that of Andrew Jackson on the $20 Federal Reserve note was made late in the second term of office of President Barack Obama. Public expectation following that announcement by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was that designs for the note would be revealed quickly. No such public unveiling has occurred, and at least several more years will likely pass before designs are unveiled.

In explaining the delay and citing other general sources, the Venturejolt website went on to detail why the Maya Angelou quarters could be made within months yet a new note is taking years, attributing it to the security standards of the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee. When any new bills are created, the website reminds readers, the major concern is anti-counterfeiting technology, which involves a long process for each denomination. Since notes are more complex than coins, it involves more research and development, and materials and equipment testing. The website explained to its readers what collectors already know: Minting a coin is conducted through a completely different process by a different entity, the United States Mint, not the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

All Federal Reserve notes except for the $1 and $2 notes are supposed to be revised by 2034. The $1 note cannot be changed because of a congressional mandate; the $2 note may be updated if necessary.

In 2018, the ACD Steering Committee advised that the issue dates of the $5 and $50 notes be switched because of security threats, but the schedule for the Harriet Tubman $20 FRN has not changed since 2013. The expected release dates for all denominations are: $10, 2026; $5, 2028; $20, 2030; $50, 2032; and $100, 2034.

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