The New Colors of U.S. Money

The New Colors of U.S. Money


For as long as all of us can remember, the US dollar has been synonymous with the color green. But as of 2004 the US government has been redesigning our paper money and adding splashes color. The new $5 bill was just introduced and might be considered the most colorful piece of US currency ever produced.

While the redesigned $10, $20 & $50 all have colorful designs the new $5 blends from purple to gray with shining yellow stars... not to mention the giant purple 5 on the back.

The New $5 Bill

US New Color Currency
US New Color Currency

Color: The most noticeable difference in the redesigned $5 bill is the addition of light purple in the center of the bill, which blends into gray near the edges. Small yellow "05"s are printed to the left of the portrait on the front of the bill and to the right of the Lincoln Memorial vignette on the back.

About the Redesigned Currency

The new $5 bill design was unveiled to the public in late September 2007 and will enter circulation in early 2008. It will be followed by a new $100 bill. Redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills are already in circulation. The reason for the redesign?

This redesigned currency is safer, smarter and more secure:
Safer because it is harder to fake and easier to check;
Smarter to stay ahead of savvy counterfeiters; and
More secure to protect the integrity of United States currency.

The Redesigned $10 Bill

US New Color CurrencyUS New Color Currency

The new $10 bill, which was the third denomination to be redesigned in the series and was introduced on March 2, 2006.

Color: The most noticeable difference in the newly designed $10 bill is the addition of subtle background colors of orange, yellow and red. The words "We the People" from the United States Constitution have been printed in red in the background to the right of the portrait. Also, small yellow "10"s have been printed in the background to the left of the portrait on the face of the bill and to the right of the vignette on the back of the bill.

The Redesigned $20 Bill

US New Color Currency
US New Color Currency

Color: The most noticeable difference in the redesigned $20 bill is the addition of subtle background colors of green, peach and blue to both sides of the bill. This marked the first time in modern American history that U.S. cash included colors other than black and green. The words "TWENTY USA" are printed in blue in the background to the right of the portrait and small yellow numeral "20"s are printed in the background on the back of the bill.

The Redesigned $50 Bill

US New Color CurrencyUS New Color Currency

Color: The most noticeable difference in the redesigned $50 bill is the addition of subtle background colors of blue and red to both sides of the bill. Also, small yellow "50"s have been printed in the background on the back of the bill.

 

Why Is US Currency Green?

The first general circulation of paper money by the federal government occurred in 1861. Pressed to finance the Civil War, Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue non-interest-bearing Demand Notes. These notes acquired the nickname "greenback" because of their color.

When the small currency notes in use today were first introduced in 1929, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) continued using green ink. There were three reasons for this decision. First, pigment of that color was readily available in large quantity. Second, the color was high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes. Finally, the public psychologically identified the color green with the strong and stable credit of the Government. There is no definite reason green was chosen originally for our currency notes. -Originally covered in our 11 Great Color Legends Post.


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34 Comments
Showing 1 - 30 of 34 Comments

MattyD

I love the new currency and the color-areas; it is not as brilliant as the varied Dutch Guilders I procured while in Amsterdam in the early 90's, but is an interesting update.

entitydesigns

Personnaly Iike the old green money:
Color of Money

pseudo.cyborg

I applaud the design refresh and abhor the colo(u)r treatments. They were trying too hard to curb counterfeit monies and instead made the damn things disgusting.

deliquescence

I think those giant numbers on the back are quite awful. However, they did well to cater to the visually impaired but could have made it much more pleasing to the eye.
Would be nice if there were 'before / after' images posted so we can see exactly what the differences are between the old design and the new one.

faded jeans

The priorities were to create a currency that
.. is safer, smarter and more secure:

Priorties. Priorities achieved imo. *s*
Whether the new currency design is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes of the public is beside the point. I am quite certain that the need for a clean and appealing design wasn't overlooked when these were in rough-draft. But it certainly was not the prime directive of redesigning the bills. The key decision of not having every feature (color, font, placement, etc) symmetrical was long overdue. As long as I can easily and quickly identify each bill then I am happy. I applaud every facet of the new currency and am ready to take them out for a test drive!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Btw, seeing MattyD's post about the colorful Dutch guilders reminded me of how beautiful I think the 250 guilder note was:Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

manekineko

oh wow those Dutch guilders you guys posted are really cool looking

mpickering


I love Australian Money

azinipi

The money is still SEXIST AS IN ANTI WOMEN... AND RACIST!!!! I would like to see the day when on our money we would see somthing else besides a crotchechety old white male!

retsof

I have a slave token from the 1830s the same size as the large cent. It has a woman in chains. Surely you wouldn't prefer that.

retsof

The new Euro notes have anonymous buildings and bridges on them so they wouldn't generate hard feelings.

retsof



The token was issued by the Abolishionist Movement to promote the cause.
Sojourner Truth with her dialect changed the question to "Ain't I a Woman".

retsof

We've got Sacagawea dollar coins and Susan B. Anthony dollar coins.

bi-gender crab

I don't know about you, but I HATE those dollar coins.
They're cool if you have one, MAYBE two to carry around.
But if you put $20 into a Charlie Ticket machine and get a ticket with $3.. and end up getting 17 of the stupid things in change, when you're not going back to your dorm for several hours, they're pretty much the worst things ever.

:(

luffly

I love foreign money. sometimes you just get used to that mean green that all those colours are refreshing to the eyes (and hands)

klip

I must say I like our new South African notes. Sorry for all the big pictures! They dont really do justice, there are many subtle colours in there as you can see a bit from this closeup:





faded jeans

If we start trying to include every founding father, every race, every religion or belief, all genders, all cultures, ect then we may just be better off following suit and do as the European countries have done with the new Euro bill. Which I personally think is a bit sad in a land where *history* stands on every corner and every landscape is dotted with the remnants of stunning architecture from days long gone. I do like the individual denominations of the Euro coins though - each country in the European union is represented by their own unique symbols and/or historical figures. Wow klip, thanks for showing those South African currency images.. it's easy to see why you're fond of them, they are both fascinating and beautiful. :)

faded jeans

Fascinating website that has an image gallery (Currency Museum) of bank notes from around the world. :)
Banknotes.com

pseudo.cyborg

Oh WOW!!! I absolutely love those Australian notes!

Lilyn


The Euro has a lot of different colors as well.

xMeganMalicious

i have a lot of older currency from china and other asian and european countries and they're all so colourful and yummy.

it's about time we american stepped it up a little bit :)

mravka

I did a series of Canadian money the last of which can be seen here.....

cent / one hundred

I also loved Dutch Guilders and German Marks before the Euro.... they were so gorgeous.

lizcrimson

i have always preferred foreign money. american money is really boring. its starting to look a bit better, but its still boring. i absolutely LOVE the south african notes. thanks klip!

lizcrimson

the gilders are gorgeous, too.

GG

As a Canadian living in the US for the last year, I can't wait until the new notes come into widespread usage. I never could figure out how people ever knew what was in their wallet - forget using a casual glance - and I can't wait to be able sift through all those damn one dollar bills a whole lot quicker.

jensche

Swiss Money ist cool. It is the Most Secure Money in the World...

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