- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004


A new $50 bill with touches of red, blue and yellow soon will be showing up at banks, in cash registers and in wallets, and a new $10 bill also is in the works. It would be the third greenback to be colorized to thwart counterfeiting.

Government officials used one of the new $50 bills yesterday morning to buy a $45 U.S. flag at a shop in Union Station. The old bills will continue to be accepted and circulated until they wear out.

As for plans for the new $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary, is expected to stay on the front, with the Treasury Department remaining on the back, said Thomas Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Various efforts have emerged to put former President Ronald Reagan on the nation’s currency, on the $10 bill or the $20 bill, or possibly the dime. They have not yet been successful.

The new $10 bill is expected to be introduced in the spring and put into circulation next fall. The last time the note got a new look was 2000, when Hamilton’s portrait was made larger and moved slightly off-center.

“As with the $50 and the $20, there will be subtle background tones and tints. They will be different from those used on the other two, so each of the notes will start to be even more distinctive and easier for people to differentiate quickly,” Mr. Ferguson said. He wouldn’t say what the colors on the new $10 bill would be.

Colors for the redesigned notes vary by denomination.

After the $10 makeover comes the $100 bill, the most counterfeited note outside the United States, Mr. Ferguson said. The $5 bill won’t get a new look, neither will the $1 and $2 notes.

A new $100 note was supposed to follow the new $50, but that changed because the bureau is considering additional security features for the $100 bill. A timetable for a new $100 bill hasn’t been set.

The colorizing project is part of a broader effort to make the bills harder to counterfeit with readily available digital technology.

“We’ve been working closely in cooperation … with the manufacturers of ink-jet printers, editing software, computer software in order to make it more difficult for people to be able to use that kind of technology to counterfeit,” Mr. Ferguson said.

As part of that effort, certain technology also has been incorporated into the new $20s, $50s and will be used with the new $10s, he said.

The $20 bill, the most counterfeited note within the United States, was the first to get extra color. Featuring touches of peach, blue and yellow, the new bill went into circulation last fall.

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