Feds Give Abe's 5-Spot a Facelift

New currency includes pastels and redesigned watermarks to thwart couterfeiters
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2007 4:20 PM CDT
In this image provided by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the back of the new five dollar bill is seen. Honest Abe is becoming colorful Abe with splashes of purple and gray. The government unveiled...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When you pull out a $5 bill next spring, you'll still see Honest Abe—but you'll also see a bunch of purple and gray, some big number fives, and new watermarks and security threads. Sick of pesky counterfeiters bleaching the fiver and turning it into a C-note, the feds unveiled the redesigned bill today, the AP reports.

The scam is relatively common because the two notes share certain security marks. Almost 4,000 counterfeiting arrests were made last year, representing some $62 million. "We wanted this redesigned bill to scream, 'I am a five," said one Treasury director. The spring launch of 1.5 billion bills provides plenty of time to adjust millions of US vending machine to accept the bill.