April 7, 2005 – Over the last two years, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant have been looking bigger, brighter and smarter. Their new looks coincide with the U.S. government's redesign of the $20 and $50 bills they are pictured on, making them more colorful than the old "greenbacks" and more difficult to counterfeit.
Next in line for a makeover is Alexander Hamilton, who graces the $10 bill. The Federal Reserve will begin circulating the newly designed $10 note in early 2006.
Similar to the new $20 and $50 notes' designs, the updated $10 note will feature enhanced security features, subtle background colors and American symbols of freedom. The new design is scheduled to be unveiled in late 2005.
"We know that the $10 note is commonly circulated outside the United States, especially in some Latin American markets, and we will work closely with the banking institutions worldwide to ensure that the new $10 notes entry into markets is a smooth transition" said Tom Ferguson, director of the U.S. Treasurys Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Ferguson added that all old designs will remain in circulation and maintain their full face value.
The BEP has begun working with makers of vending machines, ATMs and other machines that receive and dispense cash to make technical adjustments to prepare for the new design.
The new $10 note will retain three important security features that were first introduced in the 1990s and are easy for consumers and merchants alike to check:
1. Color-shifting ink: The numeral in the lower right corner on the face of the note, indicating its denomination, changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted;
2. Watermark: A faint image, similar to the portrait, which is part of the paper itself, is visible from both sides when held up to the light;
3. Security thread: Also visible from both sides when held up to the light, this vertical strip of plastic is embedded in the paper and spells out the denomination in tiny print.
Counterfeiting of U.S. currency has been kept in check through a combination of improvements in security features, aggressive law enforcement and education efforts to inform the public about how to check their currency.
But advances in technology make digital counterfeiting of currency easier and cheaper. The government expects to redesign the currency about every seven to 10 years.
The $100 bill is also slated to be redesigned, but a timetable for its introduction is not yet set. The U.S. government has no plans to redesign the $5, $1 or $2 bills.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.