Sept. 28, 2005 A new $10 bill, the third in the series of redesigned bills that make it more difficult for counterfeiters to copy the bills, will enter circulation in early 2006. The U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Secret Service unveiled the bill Wednesday at a ceremony in New York.
"The new $10 notes will be safer, smarter and more secure. These new changes protect both consumers and businesses from fraud," Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said in a news release Monday.
The $10 bill has special significance for the Virgin Islands because it bears the portrait of the first treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton. He grew up on St. Croix.
According to Tom Ferguson, the Treasury Department's director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, $10 bills are commonly circulated outside of the United States, particularly in Latin America.
"We will work closely with the banking institutions worldwide to ensure that the new $10 note's entry into markets is a smooth transition," Ferguson said.
The bill incorporates enhanced security features, subtle background colors and symbols of freedom into the designs.
The new currency makes counterfeiting more difficult and makes it easier for financial institutions, professional cash-handlers and the public to check their U.S. currency.
"Counterfeiting has been kept at low levels through a combination of improvements in security features, aggressive law enforcement and education efforts to inform the public about how to check their currency," said Larry Johnson, special agent in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Secret Service. "In order to safeguard their hard-earned money, we encourage those who use U.S. currency to learn to use the notes' security features in checking their notes' authenticity."
The new $10 bill has three security features that are easy for consumers and merchants to check. They have color-shifting ink, which means 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.
It has a watermark – a faint image, similar to the portrait, which is part of the paper itself and is visible from both sides when held up to the light.
And the security thread is 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.
Richards also urged residents to familiarize themselves with the new bill. He said that if residents accept a counterfeit bill, it cannot be replaced with a real one.
The old $10 bills will remain in circulation until they're no longer usable.
The Treasury Department put the redesigned $20 bill into circulation in 2003 and the $50 bill in September 2004.
The government plans to update currency every seven to 10 years to stay ahead of counterfeiters using digital methods. In 2004, the number of counterfeits digitally produced accounted for about 54 percent of all bills detected. In 1995, the percentage stood at less than 1 percent.
The $100 bill is the next scheduled for redesign. At this time, the government does not plan to redesign the $5, $2 and $1 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.