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Watch for new $10s

Taking a further step in the redesign of U.S. currency, the Series 2004A $10 Federal Reserve Note was released to circulation March 2.
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Taking a further step in the redesign of U.S. currency, the Series 2004A $10 Federal Reserve Note was released to circulation March 2.

A pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution was the first item purchased with a new Series 2004A $10 Federal Reserve Note. Officials from the Treasury, Federal Reserve Board and Secret Service conducted the ?first spend? of the $10 at the National Archives, home of the U.S. Constitution, in Washington, D.C.

The new $10 has added background colors of red, yellow and orange and new design elements, most notably on the face of the note are red images of the Statue of Liberty?s torch and the words ?We the People? from the U.S. Constitution.

One aspect that makes the 2004A $10 different from the redesigned $20 and $50 notes released in 2004 and 2005 is the treatment of the watermark area. On the $10, an oval of unprinted space helps draw attention to the watermark, seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark should be visible from both sides of the note.

In addition to the watermark image of Alexander Hamilton, the $10 incorporates several familiar security features, including color-shifting ink at the lower right on the face and a security thread embedded in the paper to the right of the portrait that reads USA TEN in tiny print.

?Through the introduction of new designs with state-of-the-art security features, we will continue to safeguard the integrity of U.S. currency and help protect businesses and consumers,? said U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, whose facsimile signature appears on the notes along with that of Treasury Secretary John W. Snow.

While the government estimates that fewer than one in 10,000 $10 notes is a counterfeit, it notes that use of digital technology to produce fakes has increased dramatically. While most digitally produced counterfeits remain easy for attentive people to discern, due to the advanced security features in genuine notes and the unique feel of currency paper, their increased numbers can result in more accidental acceptances.

?Each time we issue a redesigned denomination, our goal is to ensure its smooth transition into daily commerce both domestically and abroad,? said Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Larry Felix. ?Over the past six months, we have worked with manufacturers of ATMs and other machines that receive and dispense cash, as well as retailers, small businesses and international governments, so that they may prepare for today?s day of issue of the redesigned $10 note.?

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Cabral said that changes to U.S. currency continue to be anticipated in a seven- to 10-year cycle. The $100 bill is the next note scheduled for redesign, and the $5 may be redesigned as well, according to Felix. As has been maintained for several years, there are no plans to redesign the $1 or $2 notes.