Dollar Days

The twenty-dollar bill has changed its face again and is now changing hands across the United States with new security features.

The U.S. Treasury Department introduced the new bill on Oct. 9 to banks across the nation through the Federal Reserve System, which features new security features intended to curb counterfeiting.

The Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Tom Ferguson said in a press release the new features are unique and change the face of American money.

“This is a historic milestone on two fronts: for the first time in modern history, U.S. currency features background colors other than black and green, and, more importantly, this currency is the most secure U.S. currency ever, to protect against counterfeiting,” Ferguson said.

Along with the different colors, the new bills also feature a more pronounced and visible watermark portrait. The plastic security thread that runs from top to bottom beside the portrait of Andrew Jackson remains, and the number 20 on the lower right corner of the face side changes color from copper brown to green based on the angle the bill is tilted.

Government officials also reassured Americans that that old twenty-dollar bills are of course still legal currency.

“While much of the public will be anxious to see and handle this newly designed $20 bill, we want to emphasize that older-design $20 notes are still in circulation, and still maintain their value,” said Marsha Reidhill, the assistant director for cash and fiscal agency for the Federal Reserve Board.

Professor of economics William Green said counterfeiting is a big issue and the new bill will help foil some future illegal printings.

“Certainly counterfeiting has become an increasingly important issue as new technology increases the chance to replicate the bill,” Green said. “This has placed a burden on the Treasury Department to have a sound currency.”

Green said that based on past trends, the Treasury Department will most likely release new bills in all the other denominations as well.

“It’s important for business to have currency that’s safe, because they want to be paid with legitimate currency,” Green said.

Most counterfeiters create and sell their “money” to purchase goods or pay for services with funds that they did earn. This affects the economy in negative ways when individuals or businesses try to deposit the fake money in their accounts. Green added that the reason for the new measures might also be to prevent terrorists from financing their operations.

“Any time you have counterfeiting, it creates financial problems,” Green said.

Senior Rebecca Elliott said that she enjoys the new look of the $20 bill.

“I like the different colors, it adds more to the look than just plain green,” Elliott said. “It looks like foreign money.”

Elliott said that while she likes the new design of bill, she doubts it will have much affect on stopping counterfeiting.

“I hope it will be successful, but I don’t think it will be because it doesn’t seem like they’ve changed much from the previous ‘new’ 20s,” she said.

Sophomore Melissa Welch works at the Java City coffee shop in the Lowman Student Center, and said she ironically had to be advised by fellow workers about the legitimacy of the new bill.

“When it first came out, if the morning cashiers hadn’t show it to me, I would have thought it was counterfeit,” Welch said.

Welch also said that she enjoys the look of the new bill, but does not know how much it will improve the current counterfeit problem.

“I really have no clue, because I don’t know what the situation is,” she said. “I don’t know how to tell if it’s effective, so I can’t tell if it is preventing (counterfeit).”

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