Time has come that there is once again change coming to the money in your pocket. This one is so subtle that you may not even notice the difference.Last week, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing announced that as part of new cost savings measures, BEP will be producing the $1 Federal Reserve Note using a process that prints 50 notes per sheet rather than the old 32 units. The 50 note sheets will be Series 2013 notes and feature the signatures of the Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew and Treasurer of the United States Rosa Gumataotao Rios. The ever so slight but significant design change will be to the note-position identifier.
For those who do not collect currency, the note-position identifier is the little letter followed by a number that identifies where on the sheet the note was printed. On the $1 FRN, the note position identifier is on the left side of the front of the note under the “1” and next to the Federal Reserve branch number.On the new 50 note sheets, the note-position identifier will feature a code with both the letter and number the same size. The only way to determine whether the note was printed on a 32-unit sheet or a 50-unit sheet is by looking at the note-position identifier.
As part of this change, the BEP is also changing the position identifier code mechanism. On the 32 note sheets, the notes printed four-across and eight-down were divided into four eight-note blocks (or quadrants). Each block was given a number in columns where the top-left quadrant was #1, the bottom left was #2, top-right was #3, and bottom-right was #4. Within the quadrants, the note positions were lettered A-D in the first column and E-H in the second column. If you found a note with the note-position code of H3, the note would have been printed in the fourth row and fourth column of the sheet.
The new 50 note sheets simplifies the note-position numbering by assigning a letter to each of the 10 rows (A-J) and a number to each of the five columns. On this sheet, H3 would now be located on the eighth row and third column.
BEP has begun to deliver the new notes to the Federal Reserve currency distribution operations in all 12 Federal Reserve district branches. These new notes will enter circulation as per the policies of each branch. BEP has not said whether they will sell the 50-note sheets as part of their uncut currency products.
The $1 FRN is the first note to be printed on 50-note sheets. Over time, the BEP will transition the printing of other notes to 50-note sheets with the only design change being the subtle change in the note-position identifier.
As part of this change, the Federal Reserve created a video explaining the changes. You can watch the video here: