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Federal Reserve Bank
OF DALLAS
T O N Y J. S A L V A G G I O
F IR S T V IC E p r e s i d e n t

Jllly 25, 1991

DALLAS, TEXAS 75222

N o t i c e 9 1-64
TO:

The C h i e f E x e c u t i v e O f f i c e r of
each financial i n s t i t u t i o n in the
E l e v e n t h Federal Re s e r v e D i s t r i c t
SUBJECT
I n t r o d u c t i o n of N e w C u r r e n c y S e c u r i t y F e a t u r e s
DETAILS

T he U.S. D e p a r t m e n t of the T r e a s u r y and the Federal R e s e r v e r e c e n t l y
a n n o u n c e d the i n t r o d u c t i o n of two n ew s e c u r i t y e n h a n c e m e n t s to U.S. c urrency:
a s e c u r i t y t h r e a d and m i c r o p r i n t i n g .
T h e s e n ew a n t i c o u n t e r f e i t i n g e n h a n c e ­
m e n t s will a p p e a r first in S e ries 1990 $ 100 notes, w h i c h are e x p e c t e d to be
issued d u r i n g S e ptember, f o l l o w e d by $50 notes a few m o n t h s later.
Other
d e n o m i n a t i o n s , w i t h the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of $1 notes, will be i n t r o d u c e d
w i t h i n the n ext five years.
T h e r e will be no recall or d e m o n e t i z a t i o n of the
e x i s t i n g c u rrency, so no a c tion will be r e q u i r e d of the public.
Ex i s t i n g
notes will c i r c u l a t e w i t h the e n h a n c e d notes.
The n e w f e a t u r e s will a u g m e n t e x i s t i n g c o u n t e r f e i t d e t e r r e n t s in the
c u r r e n c y and will help d e t e r the use of a d v a n c e d c o p i e r and p r i n t i n g s ystems
for c o u n t e r f e i t i n g currency.
The s e c u r i t y t h r e a d is a p o l y e s t e r strip
e m b e d d e d in the p a p e r to the left of the Federal R e s e r v e seal.
T he t h r e a d is
pr i n t e d w i t h the l etters "USA" and the n o t e ’s d e n o m i n a t i o n (for example, "USA
100") in a r e p e a t e d u p - a n d - d o w n pa t t e r n along the l e n g t h of the strip.
A l t h o u g h the t h r e a d is v i s i b l e w h e n the n ote is held to a light, the r e f l e c t e d
l ight of c o p i e r s c a n n o t r e p r o d u c e the thread.
The w o r d s "The U n i t e d S tates of A m e r i c a " are r e p e a t e d in m i c r o p r i n t ­
ing along the sides of the portrait.
The le t t e r s are too small to be read
w i t h o u t a m a g n i f i e r and c a n n o t be r e p r o d u c e d d i s t i n c t l y by a copier.
T h e s e n e w features, as well as the e x i s t i n g s e c u r i t y f e a t u r e s of
U.S. c urrency, are e x p l a i n e d in the e n c l o s e d i n f o r m a t i o n kit.
The m a t e r i a l s
in the kit m a y be used to t rain y o u r e m p l o y e e s a bout the c u r r e n c y s e c u r i t y
f e a t u r e s — p a r t i c u l a r l y the e m p l o y e e s who h a n d l e c u r r e n c y or r o u t i n e l y a n s w e r
i n q u i r i e s f r o m y o u r cust o m e r s .
The kit also c o n t a i n s a s t a t e m e n t s t u f f e r that
y ou m a y send to c o mmercial c u s t o m e r s or individual a c c o u n t holders.
S p a c e has
been left for i n f o r m a t i o n a bout y o u r institution.

For additional copies, bankers and others are encouraged to use one of the following toll-free numbers in contacting the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas:
Dallas Office (800) 333-4460; El Paso Branch Intrastate (800) 592-1631, Interstate (800) 351-1012; Houston Branch Intrastate (800) 392-4162,
Interstate (800) 221-0363; San Antonio Branch Intrastate (800) 292-5810.

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org)

- 2 -

P l e a s e feel free to p r o d u c e t r a n s p a r e n c i e s f r o m the c o l o r t r a n s p a r ­
e n c y m a s t e r s i n c l u d e d in the kit.
You m a y o r d e r additional b r o c h u r e s and
posters, at cost, f r o m the Federal R e s e r v e B a n k of K a n s a s City.
An e x c e l l e n t
v i d e o t a p e t hat d e s c r i b e s n e w and e x i s t i n g c u r r e n c y s e c u r i t y f e a t u r e s is
a v a i l a b l e for use as a g r o u p or s t a n d - a l o n e t r a i n i n g tool and m a y be o b t a i n e d
w i t h the e n c l o s e d o r d e r form.
It is i m p o r t a n t that the p u b l i c u n d e r s t a n d that t hese new fea t u r e s
are p art of the g o v e r n m e n t ’s c o n t i n u i n g e f f o r t to e n s u r e the s e c u r i t y of U.S.
c u rrency.
T h e s e new f e a t u r e s will be e f f e c t i v e o nly if the p u b l i c can
r e c o g n i z e and use them, and the financial c o m m u n i t y is well s i t u a t e d to help
m a i n t a i n p u b l i c confi d e n c e .

ENCLOSURE
E n c l o s e d is an i n f o r m a t i o n kit c o n c e r n i n g the n ew c u r r e n c y s e c u r i t y
features.

MORE INFORMATION
For m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n about the s e c u r i t y features, p l e a s e c o n t a c t
M a r y Rosas, (214) 6 5 1-6336, at the D allas Office; J a v i e r J imenez, (915) 5218202, at the El Paso Branch; Luke Richards, (713) 652-1544, at the H o u s t o n
Branch; or J o h n Bullock, (512) 978-1403, at the San A n t o n i o Branch.
For additional c opies of this B a n k ’s notice, p l e a s e c o n t a c t the
P ublic A f f a i r s D e p a r t m e n t at (214) 651-6289.
Sincerely,

new and existing security features for your dollars’ protection
GET ACQUAINTED WITH YOUR MONEY
Existing security features are easy to see once you know what to
look for. The two new design enhancements were selected for easy
recognition and use as well as their counterfeit deterrent features.

NEW FEATURES
TO DETER COUNTERFEITING
WITH ADVANCED COPIERS,
SCANNERS, AND PRINTERS.

FEDERAL
RESERVE SE AL
Issuing Federal Reserve
Bank. Code letter same as

Look for differences, not similarities. Compare a suspect note with
a genuine note of the same denomination and series. Pay attention
to the high quality printing and paper.

ENGRAVED
PRINTING
Engraved plate printing

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT A COUNTERFEIT
/

Do not return it to the passer. Delay the person if possible without
endangering yourself.

✓

Observe the passer’s description, as well as that of any companions.
Get vehicle license numbers.

/

Telephone the police or the United States Secret Service.

✓

Initial and date an unprinted portion of the note.

/

Handle the note as little as possible to preserve fingerprints.
Carefully place it in a protective covering such as an envelope.

✓

Surrender the note only to a properly identified police officer or
Secret Service agent.

PA PER
Cotton and linen rag paper
has strong, pliable “feel."

MICROPRINTING
TREASURY
SEAL
Sawtooth points sharp, dis­
tinct, and unbroken. Seal's
color same as two serial
numbers.

Your
Money
Matters...
Enhanced Currency
The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving
and Printing is producing currency with a security
thread and microprinting to augment existing counterfeit
deterrent features.
The enhancements, which cannot be distinctly copied,
will deter counterfeiters who might attempt to use
new color copiers, laser scanners, and digital printing
equipment expected to be widely available within the
coming years.
Security-enhanced Series 1990 $100 and $50 notes
are the first to be circulated by the Federal Reserve
System. Other denominations will be introduced over
the next five years, with the exception of the one
dollar note, which does not pose a great risk.

Existing Security Features

Service, responsible for counterfeit enforcement, is
successful in controlling the integrity of U.S.currency.

Existing design deterrents include the special paper;
the lacy, w eblike border; the D epartm ent of the
Treasury and Federal Reserve seals; the em bed­
ded red and blue fibers; the distinct and lifelike
portrait; and the distinctive style and placement of
the denomination and serial numbers.

Counterfeiting United States currency or altering
genuine currency to increase its value is against the
law and is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, 15
years imprisonment, or both. In 1989, almost 99
percent of prosecuted arrests were convicted.

No Recall-Just Replacement
New and existing currency will co-circulate. Both will
be legal tender. There are no plans for a recall.
Enhanced currency will replace worn or damaged
notes in the normal process of currency circulation.

Full color photographs or printed reproductions of
United States currency are also illegal. Black and
white reproductions are permitted, but they must be
larger than 150% or smaller than 75% of genuine
currency.

Counterfeiting--Not a Problem Now
Counterfeiting is not a significant problem now.The
vast majority of counterfeits are believed to be seized
before being passed to the public. C ounterfeits
amounted to a minute fraction of the 7 billion genuine
notes produced in 1989. The United States Secret

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
OF THE UNITED STATES
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

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SERIAL
NUMBERS

Issuing Federal R eserve
Bank. Code letter same as
firs t lette r in two serial
numbers.

TWo s erial num bers dis­
tin c tiv ely sty le d and e ve n ­
ly s p aced. Ink c o lo r s am e
as Treasury seal. N o tw o
notes o f s a m e s erie s and
den o m in atio n have sam e
serial num ber.

B o rd e r’s fin e lin e s and
lacy, w eb lik e design dis­
tin c t and unbroken.

Ti i t piaa
A 95517197 A
W a h h I.NG TO N . D .C .

Ti

E m bedd ed poly es te r strip
w ith re pea te d USA 50 or
USA 100 in an up-anddown pattern. Visible when
held to lig h t. Cannot be
re p ro d u ce d in re flec te d
light of copiers. In new Ser-

II%
V
A 95517197 A

A 955171

W a h h i n g t o n . D .G .

“The United States of Amer­
ica” printed repeatedly on
sides of portrait. Letters too
small to read without a mag­
nifier or for distinct copier
reproduction. In new Series
1990 $50 and $100 notes.

TREASURY
Life lik e p o rtra it dis tin ct
from fine, screenlike ba ck ­
ground.

Saw tooth points sharp, dis­
tin c t, and unbroken. Seal’s
c o lo r s am e as tw o serial
num bers.

ENGRAVED
P R IN T IN G

PAPER

Engraved pla te p rin tin g
gives new notes em bossed
“feel.”

D EN O M IN A TIO N
Note's value on corners
s am e as o v er T reasury
seal.

Cotton and linen rag paper
has strong, pliable “fe e l.”
No w aterm arks.

If you suspect a counterfeit, call the police or U.S.
Secret Service. Put the bill in an envelope and note per­
son’s description.

ENHANCED AND EXISTING NOTES WILL
CO-CIRCULATE. NO RECALL IS PLANNED.
REGARDLESS OF W HEN FIRST ISSUED,
UNITED STATES AUTHORIZED CURRENCY
REMAINS LEGAL TENDER.

Your
Money
Matters...
new and existing security features for your dollars' protection
SER IA L
NU M B ER S

NEW FEATURES
TO DETER COUNTERFEITING
WITH ADVANCED COPIERS,
SCANNERS, AND PRINTERS.

FED ER A L
RESERVE SEAL
issuing Federal R eserve
Bank. Code letter same as
first le tte r in tw o serial
numbers.

TWo s erial num bers dis­
tin c tiv e ly styled and eve n ­
ly s p ac e d . In k c o lo r sam e
as Treasury sea l. N o tw o
notes of s a m e s erie s and
d e n o m in atio n have sam e
s eria l num ber.

BORDER
B o rd e r’s fin e lin e s and
lacy, w e b lik e design dis­
tin c t and unbroken.

A 95517197 A
W a s h in g t o n . D .C .

U97A
'ON.D.C.

ILL.
FIB ERS
SECURITY THREAD

Tiny red and blue fibers
e m b ed d e d in paper.

E m bedd ed po ly es te r strip
w ith re pea te d USA 50 or
USA 100 in an up-anddown pattern. Visible when
held to lig h t. C a nnot be
re p ro d u ce d in re flec te d
light o f copiers. In new S er­
ies 1 990 $ 5 0 and $100
notes.

“The United States of Amer­
I
ica” printed repeatedly on

i of portrait. Letters too
sides

small to read without a mag­
nifier or for distinct copier
reproduction. In new Series
1990 $50 and $100 notes.

TREASU RY
SEAL

PO RTRAIT
Life lik e p o rtra it d is tin ct
from fine, scre enlik e b a ck ­
ground.

Saw tooth points sharp, dis­
tin c t, and unbroken. Seal’s
c o lo r sam e as tw o serial
num bers.

ENGRAVED
PR IN TIN G

PAPER

Engraved p la te p rinting
gives new notes em bossed
“feel.”

C otton and linen rag paper
has s trong, pliable “feel."
N o w aterm a rks .

If you suspect a counterfeit, call the police or U.S.
Secret Service. Put the bill in an envelope and note per­
son’s description.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

D E N O M IN A TIO N
Note’s v alu e on corners
s a m e as o v er T reasury
seal.

ENHANCED AND EXISTING NOTES WILL
CO-CIRCULATE. NO RECALL IS PLANNED.
REGARDLESS OF WHEN FIRST ISSUED,
UNITED STATES AUTHORIZED CURRENCY
REMAINS LEGAL TENDER.

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

Your
Matters...

FACTSHEET

THE HISTORY OF PAPER MONEY
In the early days of the nation, before and just after the Revolution, Americans used English, Spanish,
and French money.
Colonial Notes
1690

The Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first paper money in the colonies
which would later form the United States.

Continental
Currency
1775

American colonists issued paper currency for the Continental Congress to
finance the Revolutionary War. The notes were backed by the “ anticipation”
of tax revenues. Without solid backing and easily counterfeited, the notes
quickly became devalued, giving rise to the phrase “ not worth a Continental.”

Nation’s First Bank
1781

Also to support the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress chartered
the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the nation’s first “ real” bank.

The Dollar
1785

The Continental Congress determined that the official monetary system
would be based on the dollar, but the first coin representing the start of
this system would not be struck for many years.

First U.S. Bank
1791

After adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the First
Bank of the United States until 1811 and authorized it to issue paper bank
notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade. The bank served as the U.S.
Treasury’s fiscal agent, thus performing the first central bank functions.

Monetary System
1792

The federal monetary system was established with the creation of the
U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The first American coins were struck in 1793.

Second U.S. Bank
1816

The Second Bank of the United States was chartered for 20 years until 1836.

State Bank Notes
1836

With minimum regulation, a proliferation of 1,600 local state-chartered, private
banks now issued paper money. State bank notes, with over 30,000
varieties of color and design, were easily counterfeited. That, along with
bank failures, caused confusion and circulation problems.

Civil War
1861

On the brink of bankruptcy and pressed to finance the Civil War, Congress
authorized the United States Treasury to issue paper money for the first time
in the form of non-interest bearing Treasury Notes called Demand Notes.

Greenbacks
1862

Demand Notes were replaced by United States Notes. Commonly called
“ greenbacks,” they were last issued in 1971. The Secretary of the Treasury
was empowered by Congress to have notes engraved and printed, which was
done by private banknote companies.
(more)
Your M on ey Matters to you, a n d it matters to your U.S. G overnm ent

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

-

2

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The Design
1863

The design of U.S. currency incorporated a Treasury seal, the fine line
engraving necessary for the difficult-to-counterfeit intaglio printing, intricate
geometric lathe work patterns, and distinctive linen paper with embedded
red and blue fibers.

Gold Certificates
1865

Gold certificates were issued by the Department of the Treasury against gold
coin and bullion deposits and were circulated until 1933.

Secret Service
1865

The Department of the Treasury established the United States Secret Service
to control counterfeits, at that time amounting to one-third of circulated
currency.

National Bank Notes
1866

National Bank Notes, backed by U.S. government securities, became
predominant. By this time, 75 percent of bank deposits were held by nationallychartered banks. As State Bank Notes were replaced, the value of currency
stabilized for a time.

Bureau of Engraving
and Printing
1877

The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing started
printing all U.S. currency, although other steps were done outside.

Silver Certificates
1878

The Department of the Treasury was authorized to issue Silver Certificates
in exchange for silver dollars. The last issue was in the Series of 1957.

Currency Production
Consolidated
1910

The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing
assumed all currency production functions, including engraving, printing, and
processing.

Federal Reserve Act
1913

After 1893 and 1907 financial panics, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was
passed. It created the Federal Reserve System as the nation’s central bank
to regulate the flow of money and credit for economic stability and growth.
The system was authorized to issue Federal Reserve Notes, now the only
U.S. currency produced and 99 percent of all currency in circulation.

Standardized Design
1929

Currency was reduced in size by 25 percent and standardized with uniform
portraits on the faces and emblems and monuments on the backs.

In God We Trust
1957

Paper currency was first issued with “ In God We Trust” as required by
Congress in 1955. The inscription appears on all currency Series 1963 and
beyond.

Security Thread
and M icroprinting
1990

A security thread and microprinting were introduced, first in $50 and $100
notes, to deter counterfeiting by advanced copiers and printers.

#

#

#

Your
Matters...

FACTSHEET
TECHNICAL BACKGROUND
SECURITY FEATURES

The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing is producing United States
currency with new security features to be introduced by the Federal Reserve System starting with
Series 1990 $50 and $100 notes. These features —a denominated security thread and microprint­
ing deter counterfeiting with advanced color copier, scanner, and printing equipment. They were
selected after extensive testing and evaluation of numerous banknote security devices, many of
which are used successfully by other countries with lower production and circulation demands.
The following criteria were applied:

EVALUATION CRITERIA
Effectiveness:

Counterfeit deterrent effectiveness was tested by reprographic equipment manufac­
turers and government scientists. The ease of public and cash handler recogni­
tion and use was also considered.

Durability:

Durability was tested under the rigors of normal circulation. Tests included crum­
pling, folding, laundering, and soaking in a variety of solvents such as gasoline,
acids, and laundry products.

Cost:

Production tests were conducted to determine if a feature would adversely affect
production or cost, which in 1989 amounted to 7 billion notes at 2.6 cents per note.

Appearance:

Features were evaluated on their compatibility with the traditional design of
United States currency.
DEVICES/FEATURES EVALUATED

Holograms:

These three-demensional, laser-generated image devices undergo color or image
shifts when tilted. Although commonly used on credit cards, holograms were too
expensive and fragile for U.S. currency applications. Simulated circulation tests
(folding, crumpling, and chemical soaks) destroyed the image.

Multiple
Diffraction
Gratings:

Diffraction gratings have different line spacings that are superimposed to break
up light into various color patterns. This produces image and color shifts depend­
ing upon the viewing angle. These devices were expensive for large production
demands and did not survive simulated circulation testing.

Thin Film
Interference
Filter:

This multilayer reflective device produces a distinct and controlled color shift when
tilted (gold to green or red to blue). The device evaluated for U.S. currency, more
durable than holograms or diffraction gratings, would require major currency produc­
tion changes. It also did not survive simulated circulation testing.
(more)
Your M on e y Matters to you, a nd it matters to your U.S. Governm ent

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

-

2

-

Watermarks:

Watermarks applied during the paper manufacturing process produce a distinct
design that can be seen in transmitted light. This security feature, common in
other world currencies, would require a complete redesign to give sufficient clear
space for U.S. currency effectiveness.

Latent Image:

An image is created by multidirection engraved lines that are visible when viewed
at a specific angle. Effectiveness is based on the three-dimensional effect of
intaglio printing. The device rapidly degraded and was difficult to detect after simu­
lated U.S. currency circulation.

Background
Color Tints:

Complex color tints (rainbow tints) are commonly used in security documents to
provide subtle, difficult-to-produce color gradations. Useful against older copiers
and photographic reproduction equipment, the tints were not as effective against
advanced copiers or scanners. A redesign would be required to successfully
utilize this type of deterrent in U.S. currency.

Metameric
Pairs:

Two inks, appearing the same color under normal light, appear different under
intense copier and scanner lights. Copies show color differences. Some foreign
currencies have this feature. For U.S. currency, a significant redesign would be
required to provide the large area of metameric colors necessary for effectiveness.

Security
Threads:

Several variations of security threads were evaluated, such as windowed, solid,
and denominated. These devices have a continuous filament or ribbon embedded
into the base paper during manufacture. They can also be manufactured with
identifying information, such as the denomination.
The security thread determined to be the most effective counterfeit deterrent for
U.S. currency is visible when held to the light and invisible in the reflected light
of copiers or scanners. It is durable, cost effective, and can be incorporated
into the traditional design.

Microprinting:

Text is printed too small (6 to 7 thousandths of an inch) to be accurately copied
by reprographic equipment. Microprinting is inexpensive, durable, and can be
incorporated into the current U.S. currency design. After the original engraving,
it is reproduced as part of the normal printing operation.
#

#

#

Your
Matters...

FACTSHEET

ADVANCED COPIER AND PRINTER TECHNOLOGY
Advanced copier and printer technology improved dramatically during the 1980s and is expected to
continue to mature during the remainder of the 20th century. Some of this equipment is capable of
accurately reproducing the colors and fine line detail of security documents and is seen as a threat
to United States currency.
Market surveys indicate that as quality, affordability, and availability increase, advanced equipment will
become the standard in offices, copy centers, and printing facilities. Industry analysts forecast that up
to 1.7 million color copiers and 1.8 million color printers will be in use by the end of 1994. The color
copier of the ’90s has been compared to the color television of the ’70s, when color became the stan­
dard rather than the exception.
Of the new technologies, advanced copiers, electronic scanners, and color workstations are the primary
threats to currency. They do not require extensive expertise to operate and are expected to become
widely accessible. Of these, only about 30 percent pose a serious threat because of high quality, high
resolution capabilities.
ADVANCED COLOR COPIERS
There are two types of advanced color copiers: analog or optical imaging systems and digital imaging
systems. Analog imaging systems scan the image optically and directly or indirectly make an image
on paper. These systems include photographic, electrophotographic, and Cycolor. Digital imaging sys­
tems optically scan an image and convert it by computer into digital signals used to make an image
on paper. Digital systems include thermal transfer, inkjet, and also an advanced electrophotographic.
Photographic - (Analog/optical)
Photographic based color copiers at under $20,000 offer exceptionally high quality reproductions using
photographic paper. This technology, even with improvements for less specialized use, is not a threat
to security documents since copies are readily identifiable by the special photographic paper.
Cycolor-(Analog/optical)
This light activated analog imaging technology has a unique process using microencapsulated primary
color dyes. The color copier is relatively inexpensive at under $10,000. The color quality is considered
good, but the special paper requirements reduce the threat to currency security.
Thermal Transfer-(Digital)
Color thermal copiers, usually associated with computer digital printers, are priced around $10,000.
The copiers produce shiny, waxy copies in the lower quality range and are not viewed as a major
counterfeit threat.
Color Ink Jet—(Digital)
Designed for the engineering/scientific area, this technology is capable of making good quality, over­
size copies at 400 dots-per-inch with plain paper copying. Priced at approximately $95,000, it is not
widely available and does not pose a current risk to currency security.
(more)
Your M on ey Matters to you, a n d it matters to your U.S. Governm ent
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

-

2

-

Electrophotography-(Analog/optical and digital)
The electrophotographic process provides a high quality plain paper copy at high copy speeds (up to
23 copies per minute) and a per copy cost of from 7 to 15 cents. High end digital copiers of this type
can faithfully reproduce the fine detail of currency, and as the price lowers below the $20,000 point,
these copiers are expected to pose an increasing threat to currency security. Market surveys project
conservatively that 40,000 electrophotographic copiers will be placed in the United States by 1993.
ELECTRONIC SCANNERS
Scanner equipment electronically scans an image or text off of an original document and digitizes it
into a computer-readable form. The image may be displayed on a screen, changed, or combined with
other images. The edited image can then be stored, printed on a color output device, or used to make
offset or gravure printing plates. Medium quality scanners can scan or read 100 dots per inch (dpi).
High quality 400 dpi scanners can read very small one point type as well as half tones. Advanced
copiers and printing equipment using this technology are considered a security threat because of
flexible editing capabilities and fine detail reproductions.
Scanner equipment is mostly found in large graphic design firms. One thousand dpi color scanners
are priced at $25,000; 400 dpi units are less. As prices drop, this technology will become increasingly
available in design, printing, and advertising organizations.
COLOR WORKSTATION
A color workstation combines the latest personal computer, software, printer/copier, and video camera/
scanner technologies. The data or image can be stored indefinitely on magnetic floppy disks or other
media and copied later on a color output device. A document scanned in one location can be printed
on any compatible printer. Output quality depends on the dpi resolution and scanner and printer
capabilities. Printer resolution is of greater importance because scanner input can be edited to enhance
quality.
By the middle of 1990, it is anticipated that the personal computer will be linked to a digital copier to
produce high quality, inexpensive copies directly from the digitized information in the personal computer.
With the trend to use charts, graphs, and illustrations (many of which are now generated by computers)
in presentations and reports, it is expected that color workstations will soon be commonly found in
business operations.

#

#

#

Your
Money
Matters.

FACTSHEET

STUDIES
UNITED STATES CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES
Security Thread
and Microprinting

Reactions to the New U.S. Currency: Analysis of Focus Group Discussions,
November 3,1986. Market Facts Inc., funded by the Federal Reserve Board.
To determine public reaction to currency with security thread and micro­
printing. Focus group participants were satisfied with their currency but
would accept the addition of a security thread and microprinting for wellcommunicated counterfeit deterrent reasons.

Counterfeit
Threat

Advanced Reprographic Systems: Counterfeiting Threat Assessment and
Deterrent Measures, June, 1986. National Academy of Sciences, funded
by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
To assess counterfeit threat from specific advanced reprographic equipment
and recommend counterfeit deterrents. Confirmed threat and recommended
action. For near term, suggested combination of conventional deterrent
devices, including a security thread.

Visual
Deterrents

Evaluation of Visual Counterfeiting Deterrent Features, May 1,1985. Battelle
Columbus Laboratory, funded by the Federal Reserve Board.
To analyze visual counterfeit deterrent alternatives. Battelle Columbus Labora­
tory developed comparative data on alternative visual deterrent features
to assist Department of the Treasury officials in currency design decision.
Features recommended included optical variable devices (thin film or holo­
gram), background tints, security thread, and watermarks.

Design Change
Reactions

Reactions to U.S. Currency Redesign: Analysis of Focus Group Discussion,
September 21, 1983. Market Facts Inc., funded by the Federal Reserve
Board.
To obtain further data on public opinion regarding currency design. Found
public willing to accept design changes for counterfeit protection.

Advanced
Imaging
Technologies

The Impact of Emerging Imaging Technologies on Counterfeiting of U.S.
Currency, August 16,1983. Battelle Columbus Laboratory, funded by Federal
Reserve Board.
To evaluate counterfeit threat from advanced copier and printer technology.
Found question not whether color copiers will present a threat but when.

U.S. Currency
Acceptance

Final Report: Stage Two, Public Acceptance of Proposed Changes in U.S.
Currency Project, February 23,1981. University of Michigan Graduate School
of Business, Division of Research, funded by the Federal Reserve Board.
To determine public opinion on currency redesign. Found the public satisfied
with currency design but would support a design change to deter counter­
feiting.
Your M o n e y Matters to you, a n d it matters to your U.S. G overnm ent

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

Your
Matters...

FACTSHEET
For more information, contact:
Office of Public Affairs
202-447-0193

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING
THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S SECURITY PRINTER
Since October 1, 1877, all United States currency has been printed by the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing, which started out as a six-person operation using steam powered presses in the Department
of Treasury’s basement.
Now 2,300 Bureau employees occupy 25 acres of floor space in two W ashington, D.C. buildings flanking
14th Street. Currency and stamps are designed, engraved, and printed 24 hours a day on 30 high-speed
presses. A new state-of-the-art Fort Worth, Texas, Western Currency Facility adds to the Nation’s currency
production capacity.
In 1990, at a cost of 2.6 cents each, over 7 billion notes worth about $82 billion will be produced for
circulation by the Federal Reserve System. Ninety-five percent will replace unfit notes and five percent
will support economic growth. At any one time, $200 million in notes may be in production.
Notes currently produced are the $1 (45 percent of production time), $5 and $10 (12 percent each),
$20 (26 percent), $50 (2 percent), and $100 (3 percent).
The Bureau also prints White House invitations and some 500 engraved items, such as visa counterfoils,
naturalization documents, commissions, and certificates for almost 75 Federal departments and agencies.

TOURS
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is one of the most popular tourist stops in Washington —over
500 thousand visit the printing facility each year.
Free 20-minute, self-guided tours may be taken Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., except for
Federal holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Tours start on Raoul Wallenberg Place
(formerly 15th Street).
•

Visitors can see press runs of 32-note currency sheets, Federal Reserve and Treasury seals applied,
examiners ensuring high-quality notes, and 4,000 note “ bricks” readied for distribution to Federal Reserve
banks.

VISITORS CENTER
At the Visitors Center, history, production, and counterfeit exhibits showcase interesting information about
United States currency.
Many unique items, such as uncut currency sheets of 32, 16, or 4 one dollar notes; $1 bags of $150
worth of shredded currency; engraved collectors’ prints; souvenir cards; and Department of the Interior
Duck Stamps, may be purchased at the sales counter.

MAIL ORDER SALES
•

Persons wishing to receive notices on new Bureau products or to order by mail can write: Mail Order Sales,
Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 14th and C Streets, S.W., Room 602-11 A, Washington, D.C. 20228.
Your M on ey Matters to you, a n d it matters to your U.S. G overnm ent
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

Your
Money
Matters...

FACTSHEET

THE FEDERAL RESERVE:
CENTRAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
Federal
Reserve
System

The Federal Reserve System was created by the Federal Reserve Act, passed by the
Congress in 1913, in order to provide for a safer and more flexible banking and
monetary system. For about a hundred years before the creation of the Federal Reserve,
periodic financial panics had led to failures of a large number of banks, with associ­
ated business bankruptcies and general economic contractions. Following the studies
of the National Monetary Commission, established by the Congress a year after the
particularly severe panic of 1907, several proposals were put forward for the creation
of an institution designed to counter such financial disruptions. After considerable de­
bate, the Federal Reserve System was established. Its original purposes were to give
the country an elastic currency, provide facilities for discounting commercial credits,
and improve the supervision of the banking system.

Economic
Stability
and
Growth

From the inception of the Federal Reserve System, it was clear that these original pur­
poses were aspects of broader national economic and financial objectives. Over the
years, stability and growth of the economy, a high level of employment, stability in
the purchasing power of the dollar, and a reasonable balance in transactions with for­
eign countries have come to be recognized as primary objectives of governmental
economic policy.

Currency
Circulation

An important function of the Federal Reserve System is to ensure that the economy
has enough currency and coin to meet the public’s demand. Currency and coin are
put into or retired from circulation by the Federal Reserve Banks, which use de­
pository institutions as the channel of distribution. When banks and other depository
institutions need to replenish their supply of currency and coin—for example, when
the public’s need for cash rises around holiday shopping periods—depository institu­
tions order the cash from the Federal Reserve Bank or Branch in their area, and the
face value of that cash is charged to their accounts at the Federal Reserve. When
the public’s need for currency and coin declines, and depository institutions return
excess cash to a Federal Reserve Bank, its value is credited to the account of the
depository institution.

Unfit and
Counterfeit
Notes

Responsibility for maintaining the physical quality of circulating United States paper
currency is shared by the Federal Reserve Banks and the U.S. Department of the
Treasury. Each day, millions of dollars of deposits in Reserve Banks made by deposi­
tory institutions are carefully scrutinized. The Reserve Banks are responsible for receiv­
ing, verifying, authenticating, and storing currency and shipping it as needed. Currency
that is in good condition for further circulation is stored for later distribution. Worn or
mutilated notes are removed from circulation and destroyed. Counterfeit notes which
are detected are forwarded to the U.S. Secret Service, an agency of the Treasury
Department.

Federal
Reserve
Notes

Virtually all currency in circulation is in the form of Federal Reserve notes, which
are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the U.S. Treasury. The Reserve
Banks are currently authorized to issue notes in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10,
$20, $50, and $100. Coins are produced by the Treasury’s United States Mint.

Cash
Transfers

Currency and coin are used primarily for small transactions. In the aggregate, such
transactions probably account for only a small proportion of the total value of all transfers
of funds.
Your M on ey Matters to you, a nd it matters to your U.S. Governm ent

BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

New
Paper — ^
Money

Bureau ofEngraving
t^ondPrinting

Federal Reserve Bank
New.
and
Vault
Paying
Fit

New and Fit
>

Unsorted
Unsorted
Sorting

Unsorted

-------Unfit"
Paper Money
Shredder

FLOW OF CURRENCY
into and out of circulation

New and Fit

The Public

Depository
Institutions
Unsorted
4

FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT MAP

DISTRICT

DISTRICT

1
2
3
4
5
6

7
8
9
10
11
12

Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Cleveland
Richmond
Atlanta

Chicago
St. Louis
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Dallas
San Francisco

LIST OF FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM LOCATIONS
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, W ashington, D.C. 20551

Federal Reserve
Banks

Telephone
Number

BOSTON*

617-973-3000

600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, M assachusetts 02106

NEW YORK*

212-720-5000
716-849-5000

33 Liberty Street (Federal Reserve P.O. Station), New York, New Y ork 10045
160 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14202 (P.O. Box 961, Buffalo, New York 14240-0961)

PHILADELPHIA

215-574-6000

Ten Independence Mall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106 (P.O. Box 66, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 19105)

CLEVELAND*

216-579-2000
513-721-4787
412-261-7800

1455 East Sixth Street, Cleveland, O hio 44114 (P.O. Box 6387, Cleveland, Ohio 44101)
150 East Fourth Street, C incinnati, Ohio 45202 (P.O. Box 999, C incinnati, O hio 45201-0999)
717 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 (P.O. Box 867, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230)

804-697-8000
301-576-3300
704-358-2100

701 East Byrd Street, Richm ond, V irginia 23219 (P.O. Box 27622, Richm ond, Virginia 23261)
502 South Sharp Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 (P.O. Box 1378, Baltimore, Maryland 21203)
530 E. Trade Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 (P.O. Box 30248, Charlotte, North Carolina
28230)
M ount Pony Rd., State Rte. 658, (P.O. Drawer 20, C ulpeper, V irginia 22701)

Buffalo Branch

Cincinnati Branch
Pittsburgh Branch

RICHMOND*
Baitim ore Branch
C harlotte Branch
C ulpeper C om m unica­
tions and Records
Center

ATLANTA

District

703-829-1600

Birm ingham Branch

904-632-1000

Miam i Branch
Nashville Branch
New O rleans Branch

104 M arietta Street, N.W., Atlanta G eorgia 30303
1801 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabam a 35203 (P.O. Box 830447, Birm ingham , Alabama
35283-0447)
800 W ater Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204 (P.O. Box 929, Jacksonville, Florida
32231-0044)
9100 Northw est 36th Street, M iami, Florida 33178 (P.O. Box 520847, M iami, Florida 33152)
301 Eighth Avenue, North, Nashville, Tennessee 37203
525 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 (P.O. Box 61630, New Orleans, Louisiana
70161)

404-521-8500
205-731-8500

Jacksonville Branch

305-591-2065
615-251-7100
504-586-1505

CHICAGO*
Detroit Branch

ST. LOUIS
Little Rock Branch
Louisville Branch
M em phis Branch

MINNEAPOLIS
Helena Branch

KANSAS CITY

Address

312-322-5322
313-961-6880

230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604 (P.O. Box 834, Chicago, Illinois 60690-0834)
160 W. Fort Street, Detroit, M ichigan 48226 (P.O. Box 1059, Detroit, M ichigan 48231)

314-444-8444
501-372-5451
502-568-9200
901-523-7171

411 Locust Street, St. Louis, M issouri 63102 (P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, M issouri 63166)
325 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 (P.O. Box 1261, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203)
410 South Fifth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202 (P.O. Box 32710, Louisville, Kentucky 40232)
200 North Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103 (P.O. Box 407, Memphis, Tennessee 38101)

612-340-2345
406-442-3860

250 M arquette Avenue, M inneapolis, M innesota 55480
400 North Park Avenue, Helena, M ontana 59601

816-881-2000
303-572-2300
405-270-8400
402-221-5500

10

925 G rand Avenue, Kansas City, M issouri 64198
1020 16th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202 (Terminal Annex-P.O. Box 5228, Denver, Colorado 80217)
226 Dean A. M cG ee Avenue, (P.O. Box 25129, O klahom a City, O klahom a 73125)
2201 Farnam Street, Om aha, N ebraska 68102 (P.O. Box 3958, Om aha, N ebraska 68103)

214-651-6111
915-544-4730
713-659-4433
512-224-2141

11

400 South Akard Street (Station K), Dallas, Texas 75222
301 East Main Street, El Paso, Texas 79901 (P.O. Box 100, El Paso, Texas 79999)
1701 San Jacinto Street, Houston, Texas 77002 (P.O. Box 2578, Houston, Texas 77252)
126 East Nueva Street, San Antonio, Texas 78204 (P.O. Box 1471, San Antonio, Texas 78295)

415-974-2000
213-683-2300

12

Los A ngeles Branch
Portland Branch
Salt Lake C ity Branch
Seattle Branch

503-221-5900
801 -322-7900
206-343-3600

101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105 (P.O. Box 7702, San Francisco, California 94120)
950 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, C alifornia 90015 (Term inal Annex-P.O . Box 2077,
Los Angeles, C alifornia 90051)
915 S.W. Stark Street, Portland, O regon 97205 (P.O. Box 3436, Portland, O regon 97208)
120 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 (P.O. Box 30780, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130)
1015 Second Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104 (P.O. Box 3567, Seattle, TA, W ashington 98124)

Denver Branch
O klahom a City Branch
O m aha Branch

DALLAS
El Paso Branch
Houston Branch
San A ntonio Branch

SAN FRANCISCO

'A d d itio n al offices of these Banks are located at Lewiston, Maine 04240; W indsor Locks, C onnecticut 06096; Cranford, New Jersey 07016; Jericho, New
York 11753; Utica Oriskany, New York 13424; Columbus, Ohio 43216; Columbia, South Carolina 29210; Charleston, W est Virginia 25328; Des Moines, Iowa
50306; Indianapolis, Indiana 46206; and M ilwaukee, W isconsin 53201.

Your
Matters...

FACTSHEET

THE U.S. SECRET SERVICE AND COUNTERFEITING
By the end of the Civil War, between one-third and one-half of all U.S. paper currency in circulation
was counterfeit.
On July 5, 1865, the Secret Service was created under the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
In less than a decade, counterfeiting was sharply reduced.
In the past 10 years, the breakdown of denominations counterfeited has changed dramatically.
The total of known $50 and $100 notes counterfeited has increased by 60 percent, while the
total of known $1 and $5 notes counterfeited has decreased by 16 percent, as follows:
Total $50 and $100 notes passed and seized in ’90 — 1,240,840
Total $50 and $100 notes passed and seized in ’80 — 777,957
Total $1 and $5 notes passed and seized in ’90 — 72,721
Total $1 and $5 notes passed and seized in ’80 — 87,164
To aid in counterfeit investigations, agents use the Service’s modern, well-equipped Forensic
Services Lab that includes:
—
—
—
—

a complete library of specimen notes dating back to
1865
the largest watermark file in existence
the only ink library in existence
equipment to examine and analyze notes counterfeited by various
types of printing methods as well as by office machine copiers.

In 1990, 36 percent of the dollar value of known counterfeit currency passed in the U.S. was
produced overseas, particularly in Colombia, Italy, Hong Kong, Manila, and Bangkok.
The Service has confirmation that in 1990 foreign police seized $50,806,094 in counterfeit
U.S. currency.
In 1990,139 domestic counterfeit plant operations were suppressed and 18 plants were reported
as suppressed on foreign soil.
The 1980 disposition of prosecuted arrests showed a 98.2 percent conviction rate. In 1990,
the conviction rate on prosecuted arrests was 98.9 percent.
To stem counterfeiting, the Secret Service works in conjunction with local, state, and federal
law enforcement. The Service also maintains close liaison with Interpol and foreign law enforce­
ment agencies.
Thanks to such cooperation, during the past 10 years, the Secret Service seized approximately
90 percent of all known counterfeit currency printed before the currency reached the public.
For further information, please contact Robert R. Snow,
Assistant Director, Office of Government Liaison and Public
Affairs, 1800 G Street, N.W., Room 805, Washington, D.C. 20223.
Phone: 202/535-5708.

Your M on ey Matters to you, and it matters to your U.S. Governm ent
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

OFFICE OF THE TREASURER
OF THE UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING

Your
Matters...

ORDER FORM

The materials in this folder have been developed for your use in training your employees about the
new and existing security features of United States currency. The transparency masters can be
duplicated for personalized presentations to large groups. The brochures, fact sheets and posters
reinforce and build on the information covered in the transparency masters.
An instructional videotape sponsored by the Federal Reserve System, Office of the Treasurer of the
United States and the Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing and United States
Secret Service has also been produced. This 121 minute video will add another dimension to your
/2
training plan. In fact, with the videotape, the brochure and the poster, new employees can become familiar
with the information on their own.
To order the videotape, please send the form below to Vidicopy Corporation. They will handle your
order directly.

Please send us copies of the 121 minute videotape on YOUR MONEY MATTERS at $9.95 each for
/2
quantities up to 30, including delivery. (Quantities of 31- 99 are $8.95 each, including delivery.)
copies at $9.95 for a total of $
copies at $8.95 for a total of $
Make your check payable to VIDICOPY CORPORATION and send to:
Vidicopy Corporation
650 Vaqueros Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
For quantity discount rates on 100 copies and above, call Vidicopy Corporation at (408) 739-7390.

Please send the YOUR MONEY MATTERS videotape copies to:
NAME: ______________________________________________________ ________
ORGANIZATION: ____________________________________________________
STREET ADDRESS:__________________________________________________
C IT Y :___________________________________ STATE:__________ ZIP CODE:
TELEPHONE NUMBER: ( _____ )

Your
Matters...

ORDER FORM

Additional copies of the brochure, “Your Money Matters . . .
and the 18” x 24” folded poster are
available for teller training or customer information in the quantities and prices listed below.
Brochures:

Available in units of 100 brochures at a cost of $4.00 per 100.

Posters:

Available in units of 5 posters at a cost of $3.00 per 5 posters.

Please s e n d _____ brochures for total price o f ______________.
Please s e n d _____ posters for total price o f ______________ .
Enclosed is a check f o r _________________payable to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
C o n ta c t__________________________________ _________Telephone ( ______) _________________
Return this order form to:
YOUR MONEY MATTERS
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
P.O. Box 419442
Kansas City, MO 64141—6442
Below is the address label for your order. Please type or print. If you are ordering both posters and
brochures, please fill out the label information twice. Thank you.

NAME: __________________________________________________________
INSTITUTION:

__________________________________________________

STREET ADDRESS:______________________________________________
CITY: ___________________________________

STATE:___________ ZIP:

NAME: __________
INSTITUTION:

___

STREET ADDRESS:
CITY:

STATE:

ZIP:

Y

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M o n e y
B/latters—

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UNITED STATES CURRENCY
SECURITY FEATURES
• U.S. currency is recognized and valued by people everywhere.
• Most widely held currency in the world.
• More counterfeited because of universal acceptance and traditional
design.
• But counterfeiting is not a big problem now —just a minute fraction
of the $70 billion notes produced in 1989 or the $240 billion in
worldwide circulation.
• The U.S. Secret Service, responsible for counterfeit enforcement,
keeps counterfeiting under control, aided by currency design
deterrents.
• Numerous security features have been a part of U.S. currency
design for almost a c e n tu ry -th e paper, border, seals, portraits,
serial numbers, fibers, and the finely-engraved printing all protect
against counterfeiting.
• However, advanced copier, scanner, and printing technology will
pose a new counterfeiting threat.
• People with access to modern equipment at work, at copy centers
and at printing facilities could make counterfeits in widely
dispersed areas —potentially an unmanageable enforcement
problem.
• The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing
has produced notes with two new security features—a security
thread and microprinting —to hinder advanced copier and printer
counterfeiting.
• Series 1990 $50 and $100 notes are the first to have the features.
Other denominations will follow over the next five years.
• The security-enhanced currency is being introduced by the Federal
Reserve Banks as replacements for worn or damaged notes in the
normal circulation process.
• Existing and enhanced currency will co-circulate. Both are legal
tender. No recall is planned.

1

Your
Money
Matters...
new and existing security features for your dollars’ protection

NEW FEATURES

FEDERAL
RESERVE SEAL

SERIAL
NUMBERS

BORDER

FO ALL DEBTS. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
R

A 95517197 A
W a s h in g t o n , D .C .

1

T i l l : I ' M T H I > S T A T E S O F V>I I HKI V
~rjR|s?2BS™

FIBERS

A95517197A

W ASHINGTON, D .C-

MICROPRINTING

PORTRAIT

TREASURY
SEAL

ENGRAVED
PRINTING

2

DENOMINATION

PAPER

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

NEW SECURITY THREAD
• Polyester strip embedded
in the paper in clear
left field between the
Federal Reserve seal
and border.
• Visible when held to a
light, it cannot be
copied in the reflected
light of copiers.
• Deters counterfeiters
with easy access to
modern copier and
printer equipment.

FOR ALL D

3

• Has USA and the note’s
value printed in an
up-and-down pattern
which can be seen from
the front or back.

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

NEW MICROPRINTING
“The United States of
America” is printed
repeatedly along the
sides of the portrait.
• Printing is so small
(6 to 7 thousandths of
an inch) that it cannot
be read without a
magnifier.
• T o the naked eye, it
appears like another
line.
• Microprinting this small
cannot be reproduced
distinctly by advanced
copiers.

4

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

FEDERAL RESERVE SEAL
• Black seal with name of
the Federal Reserve
bank issuing note. In
this note, it’s the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston
(first (1) Federal Reserve
District).
• Bank district number
(1) appears in four
places on the note—on
each side, placed
above and below the
center.
• Code letter of the
Federal Reserve bank
authorizing the note
(In this case, A for
Boston).

THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER
FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

• Letter is the same as
the first letter of serial
numbers in upper right
and lower left of the
note.

FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT BANKS
There are 12 Federal Reserve District Banks. Each is designated by a number and corresponding letter of the alphabet, e.g.
Boston: 1, A; New York: 2, B.
1
2
3
4
5
6

Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Cleveland
Richmond
Atlanta

A
B
C
D
E
F

7
8
9
10
11
12

5

Chicago
St. Louis
Minneapolis
Kansas City
Dallas
San Francisco

G
H
I
J
K
L

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

SERIAL NUMBERS
• Serial numbers in upper
right and lower left have
distinctive style, are
evenly spaced, and are
printed in the same
green ink as Treasury
seal.
• No two notes of the
same series and
denomination have the
same serial number,
e.g. each Series 1990
$100 note has a differ­
ent number.

A 95517197 A
W a s h i n g t o n ,D .C .

• Replacement notes for
those damaged in
production have a star
at end of the serial
number.
• Beginning letter stands
for Federal Reserve
Bank authorizing the
note.

6

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

BORDER
• Fine lines around border
are clear and unbroken.
• Lacy, weblike design
within border also has
distinct, unbroken
white lines.
• Counterfeits may have
blurred and indistinct
lines.

7

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

FIBERS
• Tiny red and blue fibers
are embedded in the
paper.
• Randomly spaced, they
appear on both the
front and back of the
note.
• Counterfeiters some­
times simulate fibers
with surface printing.

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

DENOMINATION
• The denomination is the
same on the corners
as printed under the
Treasury seal.
• One method of counter­
feiting is to alter genuine
currency to increase
its face value.
• “Raised notes” may
have the numerals from
high denomination bills
glued or taped in the
corners of lower
denomination notes.
• An entire face may be
glued to a different
back.

IF A NOTE IS SUSPECT:
• Compare the portrait with the back design and the numerals. Do they correspond?
• Compare the suspect note to a genuine note of the same denomination and series year.
• Compare the denomination of the note as printed under the Treasury seal with the
denomination numerals on each corner.

9

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SEAL
• Starting with the 1963
B Series $1 notes, the
Department of the
Treasury inscription was
changed from Latin to
English. All notes of
1969 series year and
later have the English
version.

W a s h i n g t o n ,D .C .

• Printed in the same green
ink as serial numbers in
the upper right and
lower left of note.
• Sawtooth points are
sharp and distinct.
Counterfeits may be
uneven, blunt, or
broken.
• Seal is printed over
denomination (in this
example, over the
“100”) although it looks
like it is interwoven
with or under the
denomination.

10

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

PORTRAIT
Portrait appears lifelike.
The eyes almost
sparkle.
Stands out distinctly
from fine, screenlike
background.
Counterfeit portrait
usually lifeless and flat.
Details merge into the
background which is
often dark and mottled.

11

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

ENGRA VED PRINTING

• Master craftsmen engrave
currency designs onto
steel plates.
• Notes produced from
engraved plates give
the surface of new
notes an embossed or
raised “feel.”

12

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

PAPER

• Paper is made of 75%
cotton and 25% linen
to withstand the rigors
of currency circulation.
• Has strong, pliable
“feel.”
• Does not have water­
marks.

13

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

PORTRAITS AND BACK DESIGNS
FACE

BACK

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

INDEPENDENCE HALL

$100

ULYSSES S. GRANT

U.S. CAPITOL

ANDREW JACKSON

WHITE HOUSE

$10

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

U.S. TREASURY BUILDING

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

LINCOLN MEMORIAL

GEORGE WASHINGTON

GREAT SEAL OF UNITED STATES

The $2 note, not currently produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, has Thomas Jefferson on the
face and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the back.

14

U.S. CURRENCY SECURITY FEATURES

COUNTERFEITS
If you suspect a counterfeit:
* DO NOT return it to the passer.
* DELAY the passer if possible without risking
harm.
* OBSERVE and record the passer’s description,
as well as that of any companions.
* NOTE license plate number and make of car.
* TELEPHONE the police or the United States
Secret Service.
* WRITE your initials and the date on an
unprinted portion of the suspect note.
* DO NOT handle the note more than necessary.
Place it in a protective envelope.
* SURRENDER the note only to a properly
identified police officer or U.S. Secret
Service Agent.

15


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102