*NEWS*THE NEW COLOR OF MONEY
*NEWS*THE NEW COLOR OF MONEY
2006-01-17 at 9:48:00 am #13729
the new color of money
$10 bill gets a face-lift
NORTH PORT — In today’s high-tech world, many who have access to a good scanner, printer, and image-editing software have the ability to print their own money.
Therefore, the U.S. government, in its fight to safeguard its currency, has announced a new look for the $10 bill, which will start circulating on March 2.
New $20 and $50 notes were introduced in 2003 and 2004, and the new $10 bill will incorporate similar security features.
Three weeks ago a news report claimed that Tampa is starting to see an increase in counterfeit bills in the $10 and $20 denominations. They are cashed in places that are either dark, such as bars and restaurants, or in busy places, such as retail stores.
In each case, the cashier tested the bill with a special marker and it tested good. How can that be?
According to the U.S. Secret Service, counterfeiting is still done the “old fashion way:” by bleaching $1 or $5 bills, and printing on the bleached paper a higher denomination. In addition, color copier machines or scanners and an inkjet printer can print near-perfect fakes.
Digital counterfeiters are increasingly turning to digital methods, as advances in technology make counterfeiting money easier and cheaper. In 1995, for example, less than one percent of counterfeit notes detected in the U.S. were digitally produced. By 2002, that number had grown to nearly 40 percent, according to the U.S. Secret Service.
However, the old bills that do not have the new technology may still be the target of counterfeiters.
“North Port has only had six cases involving counterfeiting,” said North Port Police Capt. Robert Estrada, noting most of them involved checks or license tags.
“I cannot remember the last time we had a bill come to us,” he said, adding that any counterfeit bills are sent directly to the U.S. Secret Service.
Secret Service Director W. Ralph Basham credits a combination of factors in keeping counterfeiting low.
“Improved worldwide cooperation in law enforcement, improvements in currency design like those in the new $20 notes, and a better-informed public all contribute to our success in the fight against counterfeiting,” Basham said in a press release.
In 2004, the Secret Service reported it made 2,979 counterfeiting-related arrests in the U.S., and seized about $88.7 million in bogus money. Thirty-six percent of counterfeit money was produced outside the United States, according to the Secret Service.
To protect your hard-earned money, the U.S. government expects to redesign its currency every seven to ten years. Counterfeiting of U.S. currency has been kept at low levels through a combination of improvements in security features, aggressive law enforcement and education efforts to inform the public about how to check their currency.
SECURITY FEATURES OF THE NEW BILLS
The redesigned notes keep three of the most important security features that were first introduced in the 1990s and are easy to check: color-shifting ink, watermark and security thread.
Tilt your bill to check that the numeral in the lower right-hand corner on the face of the note changes color from copper to green. The color shift is more dramatic on the redesigned notes, making it even easier for people to check their money.
Hold your bill up to the light to look for a faint image, similar to the large portrait. On the new $10 bill, you should see an image of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton appearing to the right of his large portrait. It can be seen from both sides of the note. On the redesigned $10 note, a blank oval has been incorporated into the design to highlight the watermark’s location.
Hold your bill up to the light and make sure there’s a small strip embedded in the paper. The words “USA TEN”, or “USA TWENTY” (depending on denomination) and a small flag are visible in tiny print. It runs vertically to the right of the portrait and can be seen from both sides of the note. This thread glows orange when held under ultraviolet light.