USA Today reports that your $20 bills will be more colorful starting this fall.
On March 27, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving will unveil a new remake of the double-sawbuck, adding “one predominant, yet subtle, color that will appear in the background and at least one other color,” along with other new security measures.
This will be the first U.S. currency to be a color other than green.
The $20 is the most commonly counterfeited bill in the USA, and close to 40% of the money seized in this country in the last fiscal year was made with laser printers, up from less than 1% in 1995.
The plan is to update currency every seven to 10 years. After the new $20 is introduced, the $50 and the $100 will come next.
In New York, it’s not at all uncommon to see signs in lunch restaurants and other retail establishments saying that they won’t accept $100s — and in some cases $50s. Even with the 1996 redesign, there’s too much counterfeit floating around. And if there’s so much around in New York, can you imagine how much counterfeit U.S. currency there must be overseas, where people aren’t as familiar with the money as Americans are?
[Later: I took a closer look at that press release linked to above. It’s dated June 20, 2002. So this isn’t exactly new news. The only actually new thing is the date of the unveiling; otherwise, it’s USA Today that make it news today. This is instructive for students of the news media.]