March 16, 2008
The new fiver

Do you like the color purple? If you do, you'll probably like the new $5 bill.

Abraham Lincoln is getting a little color in his cheeks.

New $5 bills bearing the gaunt visage of the nation's 16th president - but with some touches of color added - are making their way to banks and cash registers near you.

The bill goes into circulation Thursday. That's when the Federal Reserve, the supplier of the nation's cash, starts shipping the bills to banks, which send them to businesses and eventually into the hands of people in this country and beyond.


To the naked eye, the most notable difference is color - splashes of light purple at the center of the bill that blend into gray near the edges.

Small yellow "05" numerals are printed to the left of Lincoln on the front and to the right of the memorial on the back. The Great Seal of the United States, which features an eagle and shield, will appear in purple to the right of the president's portrait. Arcs of purple stars border Lincoln and the seal.

The note also will feature an enlarged "5" printed in high-contrast purple ink in the lower right corner of the back of the bill. It also will have two separate watermarks and a number of other high-tech changes to make it harder for counterfeiters to knock off.

You can get a thorough look at the bill's new design features at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which has the excellent URL of "".

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 16, 2008 to National news