Students Spend New Counterfeit-Deterrent $5 Bill With Abe Lincoln


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. An actor portraying President Abraham Lincoln will accept a new counterfeit-deterrent $5 bill from local elementary school students in a 1 p.m. "first spend" ceremony today at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, 212 N. Sixth St.

The ceremony follows one earlier in the day in Washington, D.C. The first new $5 bill issued by the Federal Reserve was used in a commemorative transaction at President Lincolns Cottage at the Soldiers Home, a historic site used by Lincoln as a White House summer retreat.

Redesigning the $5 bill is part of a continuing effort by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and U.S. Secret Service to protect U.S. currency against counterfeiting, said Joe Elstner, St. Louis Fed public affairs officer. The redesign of the $5 bill will help protect against a method of counterfeiting that removes the ink from a $5 bill and changes it to look like a $100 bill.

Elstner said the key changes introduced in the new $5 bill include:

  • Watermarks. There are now two watermarks on the redesigned bill. A large number 5 watermark is at the right of the portrait, replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln on older $5 bills. A second watermarka column of three smaller 5shas been added to the new $5 bill design and is at the portraits left.
  • Security Thread. The embedded security thread runs vertically and is now on the right of the portrait on the new $5 bill, a distinctively different position than its location on the $100 bill. The letters USA followed by the number 5 in an alternating pattern are visible along the thread, which glows blue under ultraviolet light.

The days events at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum also include programs that teachers can use in their classrooms on Abraham Lincoln, handling money, the role of the Federal Reserve in circulating money, and other topics. Representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Illinois Council on Economic Education (ICEE) will present the programs. Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, St. Louis Fed Bank Relations Officer Joel James and Stanley Rupnick, representing the Illinois Council on Economic Education, will make comments at a luncheon.

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