New $5 bill starts circulating today
The new $5 enters circulation today with a ceremonial "first spend" at the gift shop of President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C. The various Federal Reserve Banks will also start providing new $5 bills as they fill orders for cash from banks. Some banks should have them in a matter of days, although it'll probably be several weeks before you start seeing them.
Having written about the new $5 when the design was unveiled back in October, I wanted to let you know the new bills are actually out there, as of today.
Of course, old $5 bills remain legal tender and should spend just the same.
The treasury is trying to use every avenue to get the word out, including bloggers. (I got email from their advertising agency mentioning my earlier post and inviting me to the event at the Lincoln Cottage!) I guess this makes sense--the more people know that the new bill is coming, the less confusion there'll be. Also, the more people know about the new security measures, the tougher it'll be for counterfeiters.
With that in mind, here are the new security measures:
There are now two watermarks--a large numeral 5 on the right where there used to be a portrait of Lincoln and three smaller 5s in a column to the left:
The security thread has been moved to the right of the portrait:
The idea behind both the changes is to make the bill more different from higher denomination bills, so it'll be easier to spot counterfeits made by bleaching out a $5 and printing a counterfeit $50 or $100 bill on the paper.