New $5 Bill Debuts During "Wi-5" Event

    First-Ever "Digital Unveiling" of a Redesigned Bill
    Introduction Scheduled for Early 2008

    WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - The U.S. government today digitally
unveiled a new, more secure design for the $5 bill that will be issued and
enter circulation in early 2008. A new $100 bill will follow. This is the
first time in history that U.S. paper money has ever been unveiled entirely
    Similar to recently redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills, the new $5 bill
incorporates improved, easy-to-use security features, making it easier for
businesses and consumers to check the new $5 bills they receive and more
difficult for counterfeiters to fake.
    Officials from the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of
Engraving and Printing, and U.S. Secret Service were part of today's "Wi-5"
preview, an entirely digital event which emphasized the government's
commitment to staying ahead of counterfeiters. The live "unveiling" of the
$5 bill design, which featured government officials discussing currency
security efforts, took place on and also
included an online Q&A for news reporters. Podcasts featuring important
information about the new $5 bill are also posted on the site.
    "The government uses the best tools available so that it will be unlikely
that you will receive a counterfeit bill," said Treasurer of the United States
Anna Escobedo Cabral. "Improved security features are at the heart of this
currency series - security features that are easy for everyone to use. Learn
how to use them, so you don't lose your hard-earned money in the unlikely
event that someone tries to pass a counterfeit bill to you."
    The new $5 bill incorporates state-of-the-art security features that are
easy to use by cash handlers and consumers alike. Hold the bills up to the
light to check for these features:

    -   Watermarks: There are now two watermarks on the redesigned $5 bill. A
        large number "5" watermark is located to the right of the portrait
        replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found
        on the older design $5 bills. A second watermark - a column of three
        smaller "5"s - has been added to the new $5 bill design and is
        positioned to the left of the portrait.

    -   Security Thread: The embedded security thread runs vertically and is
        now located 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.

    "Our goal is to seamlessly introduce the redesigned bills to the public
by working primarily with financial institutions in the United States and
around the world, as well as with foreign central banks," said Michael
Lambert, Assistant Director, Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment
Systems, Federal Reserve Board. "There is no need to trade in your old
$5 bills for new ones. All U.S. currency issued by the U.S. government - old
and new - is legal tender and continues to be redeemable at full face value."
    Because the $5 bill is heavily used in vending and transit farecard
machines, the U.S. government began informing the manufacturers and end-users
of those machines about the upcoming new $5 bill more than a year ago, to
provide ample time to adjust them to accept the new design.
    "We are working with manufacturers of ATMs and other cash-oriented
machines to ensure they have the information they need to adjust their
machines to accept the new bills," said Larry R. Felix, Director of the
Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing. "Just as importantly, we are
educating cash handlers on how to use the improved security features. They are
the first line of defense against counterfeiting, and their familiarity with
the new design and its improved security features is vital to a smooth
    With today's unveiling of the $5 bill's new look, the U.S. government
officially launched the next phase of the public education program that will
ensure a smooth transition for the new currency by informing people worldwide
about the new design and its security features.
    Free educational materials are available to businesses, financial
institutions, trade and professional associations, citizen groups and
individuals to prepare cash handlers and consumers to recognize the new design
and protect themselves against counterfeits. Since 2003, the U.S. government
has distributed approximately 78 million pieces of public education and
training materials about the new $10, $20 and $50 bill redesigns. Materials
are available to order or download in multiple languages at
    The redesign of the $5 bill will also help protect against a method of
counterfeiting that bleaches, or removes the ink from, a $5 bill and prints
over it to create a fake $100 bill. By eliminating as many similarities as
possible between the $5 and $100 denominations, the new design foils
counterfeiting and protects U.S. currency users.
    The embedded security thread on the new $5 bill has been moved so that it
is in a distinctively different location than the thread on the $100 bill.
Previously located to the left of the portrait on the older-design $5 bill and
in a similar position on the $100 bill, the thread has now been moved to the
right of the portrait of President Abraham Lincoln on the redesigned $5 bill.
    In addition, similarities between the watermarks on the new $5 and $100
bills have also been eliminated. While the old $5 and $100 bills both have a
portrait watermark, the watermark on the new $5 bill has been changed to a
large number "5." Furthermore, a second watermark, featuring a column of three
smaller number "5"s has been added to the left of President Lincoln's
    "The combination of public education, law enforcement and improved
security features helps deter potential counterfeiters, but security features
only work if people know how to use them," said Michael Merritt, Deputy
Assistant Director, Office of Investigations, U.S. Secret Service. "Be smart;
know your money so counterfeiters don't take advantage of you."
    In the U.S. alone last year there were 3,945 arrests related to
counterfeit bills passed to individuals and businesses, equaling a total loss
of $62 million(1).
    Last year, the U.S. Secret Service and international authorities seized
just over $53 million in counterfeit bills before they entered circulation.
Nearly $65 million that had been passed into circulation was detected and
removed worldwide. In these cases, innocent victims who accepted bogus bills
suffered a financial loss(2).
    As with the redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills that preceded it, the new
$5 bill features an American symbol of freedom printed in the background: The
Great Seal of the United States, featuring an eagle and shield, is printed in
purple on the front of the bill.

    Additional design elements include:

    -   The large easy-to-read number "5" in the lower right corner on the
        back of the bill, which helps those with visual impairments to
        distinguish the denomination, has been enlarged in the new $5 bill
        design, and is printed in high-contrast purple ink.

    -   The oval borders around President Lincoln's portrait on the front,
        and the Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back have been removed. Both
        engravings have been enhanced.

    -   An arc of purple stars surrounds the portrait and The Great Seal on
        the front of the bill, and small yellow "05"s are printed on the
        front and back of the bill.

    The new $5 bill's most noticeable design difference is the addition of
light purple in the center of the bill, which blends into gray near the edges.
Consumers and cash-handlers should use the key security features - watermarks
and security thread - not color, to check the authenticity of paper money
because color can be duplicated.

    (1) U.S. Secret Service, based on FY2006 statistics.
    (2) U.S. Secret Service, based on FY2006 statistics.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Andrew Findlater, Ashley
Audrain, NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1704,,

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