Today, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing released a web-based video starring BEP Director Larry Felix, Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, and Assistant Federal Reserve Board Director Michael Lambert. Central to the video is the new design of the 5-dollar federal reserve note with new security features similar to the ones on the redesigned $10 and $20 notes. Features used on the new 5-dollar bill are as follows:

  • Watermarks on either side of Lincoln’s portrait. A larger “5” is to the right close to the edge and a vertical line of “5s” just to the left of the portrait.
  • The embedded security thread is to the right of the portrait and a different style than used on other notes.
  • The color added to the note is a light purple that is suspected to not duplicate well digitally
  • Surrounding the portrait are a circle of stars rather than having no border.
  • Micro-printing is still used on various areas of the note.
  • A high-contrast, larger “5” is on the reverse to make it easier to read to help “those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.”

BEP provides more multimedia information on the page announcing the new note.

Anyone who likes the look of interesting currency, such as the new Euro notes, will look upon the new design as more of the same. The BEP has attempted to modernize the notes while keeping a similar look that has been around since the 1920s. Other than the necessity for the security feature, the changes in the Federal Reserve Notes can be best described as “ho hum.” Maybe, if the BEP came up with better designs we might encourage more people to collect currency.

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