20 Dollar Bill

The United States twenty-dollar bill $20 is a denomination of U.S. currency. The seventh U.S. President (1829–37), Andrew Jackson has been featured on the front side of the bill since 1928, which is why the twenty-dollar bill is often called a "Jackson," while the White House is featured on the reverse side.

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 dated March 3, 1849.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the average circulation life of a $20 bill 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.

Early American currency 20 Dollar bill

20 Dollar Treasury Note 1815

1861 $20 Dollar bill, One Year Interest Bearing Note

20 Dollar bill 1863 Liberty
United States currency 20 Dollar Legal Tender Note 1863

1861: A demand note with Lady Liberty holding a sword and shield on the front, and an abstract design on the back. The back is printed green.
1862: A note that is very similar, the first $20 United States note. The back is different, with several small variations extant.

1863 US 20 Dollar bill, Interest Bearing Note
United States paper money 1863 Twenty Dollar Interest Bearing Note

1863: A $20 Interest Bearing Note with a portrait vignette of Abraham Lincoln at right. The famous portrait vignette was used on certain $20 notes of the era and engraved by Frederick Girsch from the photograph by G.S. German. Shields at the lower left and right are respectively inscribed "GOD AND OUR RIGHT" and "IN GOD IS OUR TRUST." By this time various experiments with a motto in God were conducted on pattern coins, culminating with "IN GOD WE TRUST." The female allegory at the left represents Victory. At the lower center is a mortar firing.

United States 20 Dollar bill, Compound Interest Treasury Note 1864
1864 20 Dollar Compound Interest Treasury Note

1863: A gold certificate $20 note with an Eagle vignette on the face. The reverse has a $20 gold coin and various abstract elements. The back is orange.
1865: A national bank note with "The Battle of Lexington" and of "Pocahontas" in black, and a green border.

United States 1869 20 Dollar Legal Tender Rainbow Note

United States 20 Dollar bill Alexander Hamilton
1880 $20 Legal Tender depicting Alexander Hamilton
1869: A new United States note design with Alexander Hamilton on the left side of the front and Victory holding a shield and sword. The back design is green.
1875: As above, except with a different reverse.

1880 20 Dollar Silver Certificates Decatur

1878: A silver certificate $20 note with a portrait of Captain Stephen Decatur is shown on the right hand side of the bill in his full uniform.  Decatur is a hero from the War of 1812 and he was only pictured on 1878 and 1880 twenty dollar silver certificates. A distinctive feature of 1880 $20 silver certificates is their two brown Xs printed on the face of each note. The back design is black.

1882 20 Dollar Gold Certificate, James Garfield
1882 $20 Gold Certificate

1882: A new gold certificate with a portrait of President James Garfield on the right of the face. The back is orange and features an eagle.

1882 20 Dollar bill National Currency
$20 Dollar Bill Series 1882 National Currency Brownback Bank Notes

1882: A new national bank note. The front is similar, but the back is different and printed in brown. At the left, the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. At the right Columbia leading procession.

20 Dollar Silver Certificate Daniel Manning

1886: A new silver certificate $20 note with bust of Daniel Manning, Secretary of the Treasury from 1885 to 1887. Lorenzo J. Hatch engraved the portrait. The allegorical figures represent Agriculture and Industry.

20 Dollar bill Treasury or Coin Note 1890

1890: A treasury (coin) note with bust of John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the United States, who served on the Supreme Court from 1801-1835. He was also Secretary of State from 1800-1801. Large brown spiky treasury seal at right and ornamental floral devices at the borders. Two different backs exist: both with abstract designs.
1902: A new national bank note. The front design features Hugh McCulloch, and the back has a vignette of an allegorical America.
1905: A new gold certificate $20 note with George Washington on the center of the face. The back design is orange.

20 Dollar Gold Certificate 1922 George Washington
1922 Large-Size $20 Gold Certificate George Washington

20 Dollars Gold Certificate 1928

Jackson first appeared on the $20 bill in 1928. It is not clear the reason the bill was switched from Grover Cleveland to Andrew Jackson. According to the U.S. Treasury, "Treasury Department records do not reveal the reason that portraits of these particular statesmen were chosen in preference to those of other persons of equal importance and prominence."

The placement of Jackson on the $20 bill may be a historical irony; as president, he vehemently opposed both the National Bank and paper money and made the goal of his administration the destruction of the National Bank. In his farewell address to the nation, he cautioned the public about paper money.

Federal Reserve

1914 20 Dollar bill Federal Reserve Note
Large Size US Paper Money

1914: Began as a large-sized note with a portrait of Grover Cleveland on the face, and, on the back, a steam locomotive approaching from the left, and a steamship approaching from the right.

USD 20 Dollar Federal Reserve Bank Note 1915
1915 Twenty Dollar Federal Reserve Bank Note

1918: A federal reserve bank note with Grover Cleveland on the front, and a back design similar to the 1914 Federal Reserve Note.
1928: Switched to a small-sized note with a portrait of Andrew Jackson on the face and the south view of the White House on the reverse. The banknote is redeemable in gold or silver (at the bearer's discretion) at any Federal Reserve Bank.
1934: The obligation is changed. The bill is no longer redeemable in gold, but rather in "lawful money". This is due to the U.S. being taken off of the gold standard. "Lawful Money" in this case means silver.
1942: A special emergency series, with brown serial numbers and "HAWAII" overprinted on both the front and the back, is issued. These notes are designed to circulate on the islands, and be deemed invalid in the event of a Japanese invasion.
1948: The White House picture was updated to reflect renovations to the building itself, including the addition of the Truman Balcony, as well as the passage of time. Most notably, the trees are larger.
1950: Design elements like the serial numbers are reduced in size and moved around subtly, presumably for aesthetic reasons.
1963: "Redeemable in Lawful Money" is replaced by "In God We Trust". The two acts (one taking U.S. currency off silver backing, and the other authorizing the national motto) are coincidental, even if their combined result is implemented in one redesign. Also, several design elements are rearranged, less perceptibly than the change in 1950, mostly to make room for the slightly rearranged obligations.
1969: The new treasury seal appears on all denominations, including the $20.
1977: A new type of serial-number press results in a slightly different font. The old presses are gradually retired, and old-style serial numbers appear as late as 1981 for this denomination.
1990: Anti-counterfeiting features are added: microprinting around the portrait, and a plastic strip embedded in the paper.
September 24, 1998: Received a completely new appearance to further deter counterfeiting; the picture of the White House was changed to the north side view. A larger, off-center portrait of Jackson was used on front, and several anti-counterfeiting features were added, including color-shifting ink, microprinting, and a watermark. The plastic strip now reads "USA 20" and glows green under a black light.
October 9, 2003: The current series of 20 dollar bills is released with light background shading in green and yellow, and no oval around Andrew Jackson's portrait (background images of eagles, etc. were also added to the front); the back is the same view of the White House, but without the oval around it. Ninety faint "20"s are scattered on the back in yellow as a "EURion constellation" to prevent photocopying. The first issue's series date is 2004 with Marin-Snow signatures.

Confederate States of America dollar

Confederate Currency 1861 20 Dollar Bill Sailing Ship
July 25, 1861 Confederate $20 Bill from Richmond

This $20 Confederate note shows a three-masted ship sailing in the center, figure 20 at left. This note was printed with black ink and has no design on the back.  Total issue was 264,988. Printed by Hoyer and Ludwig of Richmond VA.

Confederate Currency 20 Dollar Bill 1861

Currency was authorized by the Confederate government  August 19, 1861, and December 24, 1861, issued September 2, 1861. Industry seated behind large 20 with Cupid and beehives at sides. Vice President Alexander Stephens at lower left, Hope with anchor at right. 2,835,285 notes were issued.

Confederate Currency 1861 20 Dollar Bill
September 2nd 1861 Confederate $20 Bill from Richmond

Confederate Currency 20 Dollar Bill Civil War Note 1864
Twenty dollar note issued by the Confederate States of America, February 17th 1864 in Richmond, Virginia.
Confederate Currency $20 Dollar Bill - Civil War Note, February 17th 1864 in Richmond, Virginia

This $20 Confederate note has a picture of the Tennessee State Capitol in the center with a pink overprint. In the lower right corner is a picture of Alexander H. Stephens. This note in particular has a double ratification error listing both six months and two years as redeemable dates.

US Military Payment Certificates

Military Payment Certificate 20 Dollars MPC Series 681
Series 681 $20 Military Payment Certificate

20 Dollars Military Payment Certificate MPC

Figure of young woman wearing a bonnet. The Vignette: ‘America’ Head, was engraved by Alfred Sealey in 1869 and used for the Export Tobacco Stamp in 1872, and on a Plate Printers’ Ball ticket.

Military Payment Certificate 20 Dollars MPC Series 692 Indian Chief Ouray
Series 692 $20 Military Payment Certificate