Next in the series of updated Federal Reserve Notes (FRN) from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will be the redesigned five dollar bill. According to the BEP press release, BEP will unveil the new design on September 20, 2007, will be presented online and accessible directly to the general public in an event they are calling “Wi-5.”

“A digital unveiling for the redesigned $5 bill provides a new opportunity to engage people in the public education process,” said Dawn Haley, Chief of the Office of External Relations at the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, “We hope that the ‘Wi-5’ theme will get consumers excited about the new bill and encourage them to use the resources on our Web site to learn about its security features and protect their hard-earned money.”

Following the online introduction, a question and answer period will take place with registered reporters. The general public will be able to observe the online Q&A session but will not be allowed to participate. This is a new format for the government and the media covering government activities. Prior commitments will prevent this blogger from participating, but I will be able to comment from the transcripts that will be posted on the BEP website.

BEP released the first redesigned note with advanced security mechanisms and color in 2003 with the redesign of the $20 FRN. The new note included a security thread embedded in the paper that runs vertically that includes “USA” and the denomination of the note. Color shifting ink was added to the 20 at the bottom right so that the color would change as you would move the bill. Finally, a watermark was added to a blank area to the right of the portrait of Alexander Hamilton with an image of the portrait. The same mechanisms were added to the $50 (2004) and $10 (2006) FRN.

BEP reports that counterfeiting has been reduced since the introduction of the new notes and increased law enforcement activitities.

A re-designed $100 note will be released in early 2008 completing the updates. BEP does not plan to update the $1 and $2 FRN.

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