Why does my 20 bill says copy money?

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As you rummage through your wallet, you come across a twenty-dollar bill with the words “COPY MONEY” printed on it. You may wonder what this means and whether your bill is genuine or counterfeit. In this article, we will explore why your twenty-dollar bill says “COPY MONEY” and what it signifies.

Why does my 20 bill says copy money?

The history of “COPY MONEY” on US currency

The use of the words “COPY MONEY” on US currency dates back to the early 1800s. At that time, banknotes were printed by private banks, and counterfeiting was a major problem. To combat this issue, the government implemented various security measures, one of which was to print the words “COPY MONEY” on the notes.

The purpose of this was to deter counterfeiters from attempting to replicate the notes. The idea was that if a counterfeiter attempted to copy the note, they would be caught by the authorities and prosecuted. This measure was effective in reducing counterfeiting, and the words “COPY MONEY” have been printed on US currency ever since.

How “COPY MONEY” affects the value of a bill?

The presence of the words “COPY MONEY” on a bill does not affect its value. The bill is still legal tender and can be used in transactions like any other bill. However, the presence of the words may cause some confusion or suspicion among individuals who are unfamiliar with the history of US currency.

If you present a bill with the words “COPY MONEY” on it, a merchant or cashier may examine it more closely to ensure that it is genuine. They may use various methods to verify the authenticity of the bill, such as checking for watermarks, security threads, or other security features.

It is important to note that the presence of “COPY MONEY” does not necessarily mean that a bill is counterfeit. In fact, counterfeiters rarely copy the words onto their fake bills. Instead, they attempt to replicate the security features and design of genuine bills. Therefore, if you are unsure about the authenticity of a bill, it is best to consult a reputable authority, such as a bank or law enforcement agency.

How to recognize a genuine $20 bill?

There are several security features that can help you identify a genuine $20 bill. These include:

  1. Watermark: Hold the bill up to the light to see a watermark of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. The watermark should be visible on both sides of the bill.
  2. Security thread: Look for a thin, vertical strip running from top to bottom of the bill. The security thread should say “USA TWENTY” and be visible when held up to the light.
  3. Color-shifting ink: Tilt the bill to see the number “20” on the bottom right corner of the front of the bill shift from copper to green.
  4. Microprinting: Look closely at the bill to see small letters and numbers printed in different locations. These include “USA20” on the shoulder of Andrew Jackson and “The United States of America” around the edge of the bill.
  5. Raised printing: Feel the bill to see that the ink on the serial numbers, treasury seal, and Federal Reserve indicators is raised.

By checking for these security features, you can help ensure that your $20 bill is genuine and avoid any issues when using it in transactions.


The words “COPY MONEY” on a $20 bill may cause some confusion or suspicion, but they do not affect the value of the bill. Understanding the history and purpose of this security measure can help you appreciate the effort that goes into protecting the integrity of US currency. By familiarizing yourself with the security features of a genuine $20 bill, you can help ensure that you are using authentic currency and avoid any potential problems or misunderstandings when using your money in transactions. Remember, if you ever have any concerns about the authenticity of a bill, seek the assistance of a reputable authority to verify its validity. By being vigilant and informed, you can help ensure that your money is safe and secure.

Why does my 20 bill says copy money?
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