Counterfeiting has become a crime that costs the United States millions of dollars annually. With the new $5 bill that will enter circulation starting in January of 2008, the U.S. mint hopes that it will limit the opportunities for these criminals. Not only is the new $5 bill designed to limit the success of counterfeiters it is also designed with a new appearance for general use. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has issued a press release describing the new security upgrades and appearance changes.
According to the press release, last year alone the U.S. Secret Service and international authorities seized over $53 million in counterfeit bills before they entered circulation. $65 million were introduced into circulation before they were detected and removed. The new $5 bill which will enter circulation in January of 2008 has several new security features that are easily detectable to help businesses and consumers from falling victim to accepting counterfeit bills. The two key aspects are the watermarks and the security thread.
There are two watermarks on the new $5 bill. There is a large number 5 watermark just to the right of the portrait on the bill. This $5 watermark replaces the watermark portrait of President Lincoln. The second watermark on the bill is a column of 3 smaller number 5’s and it is just to the left of the portrait on the new $5 bill.
The new security thread on the $5 bill will actually glow blue if you hold it under ultraviolet light. It is located to the right of the portrait on the new bill. The new security thread is a column of the letters USA and the number 5, alternating several times in the column.
So, what are the differences with these new watermarks and security threads. The watermark is no longer in a position similar to higher valued U.S. bills. This helps avoid counterfeiting using the bleaching technique. Meanwhile the security thread is also in a different location than the $100 bill, and located on the opposite side of the portrait of Lincoln from the previous versions of the $5 bill.
Unfortunately nobody can guarantee that the new $5 bill will not be counterfeited and put into circulation in the U.S. and internationally. The new version though does have some strong counterfeiting protections in it’s design and it should limit the effectiveness of counterfeiters. This is good news for U.S. consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy alike.
Prnewswire.com. “New $5 Bill Debuts During ‘Wi-5’ Event”