Like the 8-cent of this issue, a Frederick Remington painting was used for the design of the 50-cent stamp of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue. The image is simple, just a man with a white beard and two mules searching for gold. The stamp's official title describes the man as a "Western Mining Prospector." Remington titled his original image "The Gold Bug." The two, four and fifty-cent stamps of this issue all share the same vignette engraver, G. F. D. Smille.
The stamp could have been used to pay the five times rate for the domestic registered mail fee and the first class rate in one stamp. In most cases it was used with other denominations to fulfill large weight and destination rates. A total of 530,400 stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.