New plans to redesign the U.S. $5 Federal Reserve Note, announced June 29 by the U.S. Treasury, come in response to a counterfeiting technique that turns $5s into $100s.
The trick some counterfeiters are using is to bleach the ink off $5 notes, then print counterfeit $100 notes on the genuine $5 paper, resulting in a potentially more deceptive fake because of the feel of the paper as well as similarities between the placement of security features on $5 and $100 notes.
Redesign of the $100, which was previously the next note in line for redesign, would help reduce viability of this counterfeiting method, particularly over time as older $100s dwindle in circulation and draw closer scrutiny. However, our current and older $100s would likely remain legal tender, so this form of counterfeiting would not be eliminated by redesigning the $100 alone.
The new $5 is planned for release in early 2008. No details were available regarding possible new colors or other security features that may be added.
"Any redesign of the $5 would run along the same aesthetic lines as the other denominations in this generation of redesigned notes," said Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Larry Felix in an interview in the March 2006 Bank Note Reporter, sister publication to Numismatic News.
A redesigned $100 was expected to appear in 2007, but will be delayed. It will now follow the $5. The current series of U.S. currency redesign began with the introduction of the Series 2004 $20 note in 2003, and continued with the $50 note in 2004 and the $10 note this past March.
According to the release announcing that the $5 would be redesigned, the amount of counterfeit U.S. currency worldwide is less than one percent of genuine U.S. currency in circulation.
It continues to be the government?s policy to introduce new currency designs about every seven to 10 years to incorporate advances in security technology and stay ahead of counterfeiters.
There is no redesign planned for either $1 or $2 notes.
The announcement was issued jointly by the the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Secret Service.