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Press Release

US$10 Note Gets a New Look, New Note in Series Set for Introduction in Early 2006

PR0550E | Date: 2005-09-29

The American Institute in Taiwan announced September 29 that a new, more secure design for the US$10 note will enter circulation in early 2006. Highlighted by images of the Statue of Liberty's torch and the words "We the People" from the U.S. Constitution, the new note incorporates easy-to-use security features for people to check their money and subtle background colors in shades of orange, yellow and red.

Officials from the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Secret Service have emphasized the government's commitment to staying ahead of increasingly tech-savvy counterfeiters.

"We expect to update currency every seven to ten years, so that we may continue to stay ahead of counterfeiters," said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow. "The enhanced security features built into this new $10 note design - and into the $20 and $50 note designs that preceded it in the new series - will help maintain global confidence in our currency going forward."

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson Jr. emphasized that, when the new $10 note is issued early next year, "you can use both the newly designed $10 note and all other designs in everyday transactions." Every U.S. currency note issued since 1861 is still redeemable today at full face value.

The new $10 note, like the $20 and $50 notes introduced in 2003 and 2004, respectively, incorporates state-of-the-art security features to combat counterfeiting, including three that are easy to use by cash handlers and consumers alike:

  • Color-shifting ink: Tilt your ten to check that the numeral "10" in the lower right-hand corner on the face of the note changes color from copper to green.
  • Watermark: Hold the note up to the light to see if a faint image of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton appears to the right of his large portrait. It should be visible from both sides of the note. On the redesigned $10 note, it is easier than ever to locate the watermark - a blank oval has been incorporated into the design to highlight the watermark's location.
  • Security thread: Hold the note up to the light and make sure there's a small strip that repeats "USA TEN" in tiny print. It should run vertically to the right of the portrait.

An image of the Statue of Liberty's torch is printed in red in the background to the left of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's portrait, and a smaller, metallic red torch appears just to Hamilton's right. The opening words of the U.S. Constitution -"We the People" - are also printed in red in the background to the right of Hamilton's portrait. Small, yellow "10s" are scattered on the face and back of the note.

While consumers should not use color to check the authenticity of their currency, color does add complexity to the note, making counterfeiting more difficult. Different colors are being used for different denominations, which will help everyone -particularly those who are visually impaired - to tell denominations apart.

The U.S. government estimates that fewer than 1 in 10,000 $10 notes is a counterfeit.  Counterfeiting has been kept at low levels through a combination of improvements in security features, aggressive law enforcement and education efforts to inform the public about how to check their currency.