Almost a month has passed since the new US 5-dollar bill hit the market (13 March 2008) and yet many are still unaware about this denomination.
Expected to be circulated first in the U.S. and gradually spread to other countries as international banks place orders for them from the Federal Reserve, the new 5-dollar bill will not require anybody to trade their old bills for new ones. Both the new $5 bills and the older-design $5 bills will continue to maintain their full face value.
The redesigned bill featured new and enhanced security codes that make it easier to check it authenticity and more difficult for potential counterfeiters to reproduce.
The redesigned $5 bill has:
- Watermarks: There are now two watermarks on the redesigned $5 bill. A large number "5" watermark is located in a blank space to the right of the portrait replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on the older design $5 bills. A second watermark—a new column of three smaller "5"s—has been added to the new $5 bill design and is positioned to the left of the portrait.
- Security Thread: The embedded security thread runs vertically and is now located to the right of the portrait on the redesigned $5 bill. The letters "USA" followed by the number "5" in an alternating pattern are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The thread glows blue (the previous bills glowed white) when held under ultraviolet light.
The new $5 bills remain the same size and use the same—but enhanced—portraits and historical images. The most noticeable difference in the redesigned $5 bill is the addition of light purple in the center of the bill, which blends into gray near the edges.
Similar to the recently redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills, the new $5 bill features an American symbol of freedom printed in the background: The Great Seal of the United States, an eagle and shield, is printed in purple in the background of the bill's front side.
Additional design elements include:
- On the back of the bill, a larger, purple number "5" appears in the lower right corner to help those with visual impairments to distinguish the denomination.
- The oval borders around President Lincoln's portrait on the front, and the Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back have been removed. Both engravings have been enhanced.
- An arc of purple stars surrounds the portrait and The Great Seal on the front of the bill, and small yellow "05"s are printed on the front and back of the bill.
- Small yellow "05"s are printed to the left of the portrait on the front of the bill and to the right of the Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back. The zeros in the "05"s form a "EURion constellation" to prevent photocopying of the bill.
Also included in the bill are:
- Microprinting: Because they are so small, microprinted words are hard to replicate. The redesigned $5 bill features microprinting, which is the engraving of tiny text, on the front of the bill in three areas: the words “FIVE DOLLARS” can be found repeated inside the left and right borders of the bill; the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM” appear at the top of the shield within the Great Seal; and the word “USA” is repeated in between the columns of the shield. On the back of the bill the words “USA FIVE” appear along one edge of the large purple “5” low-vision feature.
- Federal Reserve Indicators: A universal seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank.
- Serial Numbers: The unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the bill. On the new $5 bill, the left serial number has shifted slightly to the right, compared with previous designs.