Financial Update (First Quarter 2008)

Redesigned $5 Bill Enters Circulation

5 dollar bill The redesigned $5 bill entered circulation on March 13 bearing new colors and a number of other anticounterfeiting features. The bill includes watermarks and an enhanced security thread, which will help business and consumers validate the new bill.

The color palette expands
The most noticeable difference in the new bill is the addition of light purple in the center of the bill, which blends into gray near the edges. Two watermarks, both composed of the number 5, adorn the bill. A large "5" watermark sits to the right of Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the front of the bill, and a second watermark—a column of three smaller "5"s—sits to the left of the portrait.

The security thread runs vertically and to the right of President Lincoln's portrait. The letters "USA" followed by the number "5" alternate in a pattern visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The thread glows blue when exposed to ultraviolet light. The bill also features microprinting with the words "FIVE DOLLARS," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "USA," and "USA FIVE."

Press release
Facts about the $5 bill redesign
Features of the new $5 bill
Dollars and Cents
Timeline of current and previous currency redesigns

President Lincoln's portrait has also received some attention in the redesign. The oval borders around his portrait have been removed, the portrait itself has been moved higher on the bill, and the shoulders extend into the bill's border.

Efforts to smooth bill's introduction under way
The U.S. government is working closely with the business community, national organizations, and foreign central banks to ensure a smooth transition for the redesigned bill. With about $770 billion in U.S. currency in worldwide circulation, public education and awareness programs have proven vital in the past when introducing redesigned currency. Similar efforts have been conducted for the new $5 bill, including how to use the security features to authenticate paper money.

The last redesign of the $5 bill was in May 2000. Next in line for a redesign is the $100 bill, although no release date has been set.

Counterfeiting of U.S. currency has been kept at low levels through a combination of improvements in security features, aggressive law enforcement and education to inform the public about how to check their paper money. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which produces U.S. currency, redesigns currency to make counterfeiting difficult.

March 24, 2008