Treasury to Unveil New $20 in May
WASHINGTON-The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing plans show off its most recent redesign of the $20 bill to enhance anti-counterfeiting measures May 13. The new design will affect $100, $50, and $20 notes, Treasury said; $10s and $5s are still under consideration, but the $2 and $1 will not be included. The $20 will be released for use this fall, while the $100 and $50 will follow within the next 12 to 18 months. The new bills will remain the same size and display similar portraits and historical images, but include subtle background colors. The color itself is not a security feature, but its use will allow for other features to deter counterfeiting. The new series will also use current security features like watermarks, security threads, microprinting, and color shifting ink. Treasury also said that the introduction of color would make bills more readily identifiable. According to the U.S. Secret Service, $47.5 million in counterfeit money was put in circulation in fiscal year 2001. Thirty-nine percent of that was computer generated, as opposed to 0.5% in 1995. The alterations are aimed at staying ahead of computer technologies for counterfeiting. The bureau and the Fed are planning extensive public education efforts aimed at targeted industries, such as credit unions and other financial institutions. The bureau is already working with companies that manufacture currency-accepting machines, such as soda machines, to expedite the development of software for accepting the new notes. In order to maintain up-to-date security, bills are redesigned every seven to 10 years. The last redesign occurred in 1996.