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New $5 enters banking system

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A redesigned and colorized Series 2006 $5 Federal Reserve Note was officially released to circulation March 13 during what was called a ?first spend? transaction by government officials in Washington, D.C.

Participating in the spending event were U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; Pamela Gardiner, deputy director for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Michael Lambert, assistant director of the Division of Reserve Bank Operations and Payment Systems for the Federal Reserve Board; and Michael Merritt, deputy assistant director for the Office of Investigations of the U.S. Secret Service.

While the notes were released March 13, most banks have regularly scheduled cash deliveries and the new notes will enter real circulation at different times in coming days and weeks.

The ?first spend? event took place at President Lincoln?s Cottage at the Soldier?s Home in Washington, D.C.

Lambert used a new $5 bill to buy a book of President Abraham Lincoln?s speeches from Chris Hart, a volunteer at the historical site?s gift shop.
For a denomination that initially wasn?t scheduled for redesign, the $5?s new features go a little beyond earlier redesigns.

First, a large numeral 5 watermark replaces the Lincoln watermark to the right of the portrait. Second, a column of three smaller 5s has been added in watermark form to the left of the portrait.

New color added to the note is purple, highlighted by a large, easy-to-read purple 5 on the back. Small yellow 05s have been added on the front and back as well.

The security strip was also moved to a new position, to the right of the portrait.

Visually, the addition of part of the Great Seal of the United States with its eagle, shield and arc of stars makes this $5 stand out from the previous one.
One thing the new $5 does not have that its higher denomination classmates in redesign do feature is a design element applied in metallic ink.

Older $5 notes will remain legal tender until they wear out and are retired in routine fashion. There is no effort to remove old $5s from circulation early.

The colorized $5s are dated Series 2006 and bear the signatures of Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson and U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral.

Collectors will discover there already are Series 2006 $5 bills with these officials? signatures issued in the pre-colorized design. The key difference is the serial number prefix. Pre-colorized Series 2006 $5s have an ?H? serial prefix, while the new colorized Series 2006 $5s have an ?I? prefix.

Eyes turn now to the $100 bill, up next for redesign. Expected on the redesigned $100 is use of an optically variable device that we haven?t seen before on U.S. paper money. No date is set for unveiling or release of a new $100.

For more information about redesigned U.S. paper money, see Web site www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney.

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