U.S. to change color of money?


Registered Senior Member
"Goodbye to the greenback?"
Before too long, you could have a rainbow in your wallet.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Imagine opening your wallet and seeing a rainbow of dollar bills: a pale yellow $20, a baby blue $50, or maybe even a lavender Benjamin.

The idea isn't that farfetched. The U.S. Treasury Department recently testified before Congress about the need to change U.S. currency to keep ahead of growing counterfeit operations. And one security feature that may be added to the bills is what the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) terms "a subtle background color".

So is that it for the greenback? Ink used to print on the front of the bills would still be black, and ink on the back would stay green. But, said Jim Hagedorn, a spokesperson for the BEP, "each redesigned denomination would have a different background color. It wouldn't look its traditional green."

The changes could take effect as soon as 2003, said Hagedorn.

Monopoly money?

The addition of background color and other security features would make it harder to counterfeit bills, said Hagedorn, a problem that has grown in recent years, with the advent of inkjet printers and modern photographic technology. (Commonly faked bills are usually in large denominations -- as a result, the Treasury Department has no plans to redesign the $1 bill).

Of the 47.5 million counterfeit bills circulated in the U.S. last year, 39 percent are what the U.S. Secret Service calls "P-notes", or computer and inkjet-printed notes, as compared to 1995, when less than 1 percent of counterfeit notes came from a computer.

"Before this technology emerged, you had to be a skilled printer to make counterfeit bills," said Jim Mackin, a spokesperson for the U.S. Secret Service. "Now, it's easier."

Color and additional changes are the latest attempts by the Treasury to thwart counterfeiting. Bills were changed in 1996 to include larger, off-center portraits of the presidents and a watermark visible when bills are held up to the light. Those bills were known as the "NCD" (New Currency Design) notes; the newer bills are known as the "NexGen" (Next Generation) notes.

"The 1996 changes were very successful in allowing the public to be the first line of defense against counterfeiting," said Mackin. "That allowed anyone standing in line at the grocery store to determine whether they had a real bill in their hands. We want to encourage people to take a second and authenticate their money."

Would changing the color of money make us all able to sniff out fakes? That remains to be seen. But while the Treasury Department has remained tight-lipped on exactly when the NexGen bills will hit the streets, they seem to be moving ahead on the issue.

"The Treasury, the Fed, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are all preparing for changes," Hagedorn said. "We're getting to the point where the currency will have to be redesigned."
Change the color of currency? I hope so.
If for no other reason than our money is BOOOOOOOOOR-ING!

Looks like we are slowly heading in the direction that some of the European countries have been for years. Multi-colored bills, some having foil strips of silver in them to represent their value and as an anticounterfit measure. While nowhere did it say that we would have metal inserted into the bill who is to say that it is not next.

"Monopoly money" was coined by the public-at-large to distinglish the Nexgen bills from the older ones. Now it would seem that they are looking at it going the way of the "silver certificate" and "bearer" bills. Didn't seem to have much life expectancy as the old bills. Neither will color changes have a lot to do with life expectancy.

Another thing the gov has not had a lot of success with is getting the public to accept metal coins in place of the lower demomination bills. They want to change to save the cost of printing replacement bills as often. But the public has little want or need to accept the replacement. It must be that the public likes the $ bill as it is.
In Europe, some countries have changed their 'regular' money into the Euro last January. Very colorful to look at. The Netherlands had to change their being used to the Guilder in getting used to the Euro. A Euro is worth 2,34 Guilders. So they really have to re-calculate now. :) It seems to work out well and it is very colorful.

Not everybody is happy with the change, but as with so many other things, they will get used to it... :)
So do we and its SO much easier to tell what notes you are after that way