Thursday, September 20, 2007

U.S. Government Uses the 'net to Launch new $5 Bill

The U.S. government is hip to technology, using the Internet as its launchpad for the newly-redesigned $5 bill. A Wi-5 preview held today online features several government officials discussing the new design, along with a Q&A session, and posted podcasts.

If you ask me, all U.S. money looks the same, but each bill does include a host of security features to help prevent counterfeiting. Of course, this new $5 bill is redesigned in such a way to make creating fakes virtually impossible.

What I don't understand is why it's deemed necessary to outline to the public exactly what each of these features entails, and how they are achieved. In fact, I saw an entire TV special recently that walked you through the U.S. facility for printing money, and discussed how each and every process was conducted. I'm not naive enough to think that criminals can't figure some of the details out on their own, but why make it easy for them by outlining each and every new security feature?

Anyway, since the information has been released, I might as well propagate it here. Redesigned features of the new $5 bill include:

-two watermarks: one large number 5 to the right of the portrait; and a column of three, smaller 5s to the left
- an embedded security thread runing vertically, to the right of the portrait, and with the letters "USA" followed by the number 5 in an alternating patterns along the thread from both sides. The thread glows blue under ultraviolet light.
- a purple, American symbol of freedom printed in the background, featuring an eagle and shield
- a high-contrast, purple inked large number 5 in the lower right corner of the back that aids the visually impaired
- the oval borders around President Lincoln's portrait on the front and Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back have been removed, and the engravings enhanced
- an arc of purple stars surrounding the portrait
- small, yellow 05s printed on the front and back of the bill
- light purple in the centre that blends into the gray near the edges

Many of the changes were made in an effort to eliminate previously existing similarities between the $5 and $100 bill that made it easy to create a counterfeit $100 from a $5.

The new $5 bill will begin circulation early next year; and a new $100 bill will follow shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

Ellen from the BEP said...

Hi, I'm Ellen from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Thanks for sharing information about the features of the new $5 bill. People need to know what genuine money looks like and how to distinguish real from counterfeit, so they can feel comfortable accepting and using it. To learn more about the redesigned bills and our public education efforts, please check out our Web site at