WASHINGTON – Appropriate for the upcoming spring blooming season, your wallet is about to get more colorful. The newly redesigned $10 bill is going into circulation.
The new $10 — featuring shades of orange, yellow and red — will join colorized versions of the $20 bill and the $50 bill as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing attempts to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters and ever-more sophisticated copying machines.
The Federal Reserve will begin shipping Thursday the first of 800 million of the new $10 bills to commercial banks. In the next few days, those bills will start showing up in cash registers around the country.
To highlight the occasion, U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, whose signature appears on the nation's currency, will spend the first redesigned $10 at the gift store of the National Archives.
That location was selected because the new bill will feature in red letters the phrase "We the People" from the Constitution, which is housed at the Archives.
It will take time before all the old-style green $10 bills currently in circulation are replaced by the more colorful model. The older-designed notes will continue to be valid currency for as long as they are in circulation.
The new $10 bill still features Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first Treasury secretary, on one side, and the Treasury building on the other side. But those two images are joined by the State of Liberty's torch and "We the People" in red along with small yellow 10s and a subtle orange background.
The colorized $20 note went into circulation in 2003 and it was followed in 2004 by a newly designed $50 note.
The $100 bill is the next denomination scheduled to receive a dash of color. However, the introduction of that bill has been delayed while the government conducts a search for additional security features to protect the denomination that is the most frequently counterfeited outside of the United States.
Larry Felix, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said his agency expected to receive recommendations this summer for what types of additional security features should be included on the $100 bill.
"It has to be a feature that the public can use," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It must work with the eyes and light so that it stands out."
The hope is to introduce the $100 in 2007. There are no plans to colorize the $1 bill or the $5 bill.