New $5 bills released

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2008

New currency has not made it to local banks

Staff and wire reports

The $5 has gotten a makeover &8212; a colorful one. The Federal Reserve was slated to release the new bills on Thursday. However, local banks have reported they have not received them yet.

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Local merchants also reported they have not laid eyes on the new bills.

The redesign of the bill, which bears the image of the nation&8217;s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, is part of the U.S. government&8217;s effort to stay ahead of counterfeiting. President Lincoln established the U.S. Secret Service the same evening he was assassinated and made safeguarding the nation&8217;s currency from counterfeiters the agency&8217;s primary mission.

Every person or business that gets a counterfeit bill experiences a real economic loss. In 2007, $61.4 million in counterfeit money was passed in the U.S.

Splashes of color, purple and yellow, and watermarks are the most noticeable security features. Light purple touches have

been added around the center of the bill and yellow &8220;05&8221; numerals have been added to the left of Lincoln&8217;s face on the front of the bill and to the right of the memorial on the back. The Great Seal of the United States appears in purple to the right of Lincoln and arcs of purple stars border Lincoln and the seal. Also on the back of the bill is an enlarged purple &8220;5&8221; in the lower right corner.

Security threads imbedded into the paper are visible when held under an ultraviolet light.

The new bill was spent for the first time on Thursday at the gift shop of President Lincoln&8217;s Cottage located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in northwest Washington. The old $5 bills will continue to be recirculated until they wear out.

The $100 bill is next on the redesign list.