Hey mister, we can't take that $5 bill: redesigned currency is safer, smarter and more secure.


Before the franchisee small-business owner dials the authorities about a customer passing strange-looking bills, the U.S. government wants businesses to know it has unveiled a new $5 bill. It is part of the government's ongoing commitment to protect U.S. currency from counterfeiters. The new $5 bill will enter circulation early 2008. As with the earlier redesign of the $10, $20 and $50 bills, some things about the new $5 bill have changed and some have stayed the same.


Security Features

The security features make it easier to spot the new $5 bills and more difficult for counterfeiters to fake them. Hold the bills up to the light to check these easy-to-use features:

* Watermarks= There are now two watermarks on the redesigned $5 bill. A large number "5" watermark is located in a blank window to the right of the portrait replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on the older

* Security Thread: The embedded security thread runs vertically to the right of the portrait on the redesigned $5 bill. The letters "USA" followed by the number "5" in an alternating pattern are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The thread glows blue when held under ultraviolet light. In older design $5 bills, the security thread was located to the left of the portrait.

Together, these features make the bills safer because they're easier to check, smarter to stay ahead of savvy counterfeiters and more secure to protect the integrity of U.S. currency.

Changes in the Design

The new $5 bill features a background color of light purple in the center of the bill which blends into gray near the edges, with small yellow "05s," printed on the front and back of the bill. While color is not a security feature that can be used to check the authenticity of the money, it does make it harder for potential counterfeiters because it adds complexity to the bill.

Color also serves another important purpose by helping everyone, particularly people with visual impairments, tell one denomination from another. The subtle purple and gray of the $5 bill will make it easier to differentiate it from $20 bills that are green, peach and blue; $50 bills are that red and blue; and $10 bills that are yellow, orange and red. In addition, the large, easy-to-read number "5" located on the lower-right corner on the back of the bill has been enlarged in the new $5 bill design and printed in high-contrast purple ink to help those with...

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