WASHINGTON (AP) – “We the People” started getting a lot more circulation on Thursday with the introduction of the new $10 bill.

The Constitution’s opening phrase is printed in red on the new bills, and the Federal Reserve began shipping the first of an expected 800 million of them this year to commercial banks around the country.

In addition to red, the new $10 bill features splashes of orange and yellow – all part of the government’s effort to thwart counterfeiters.

The colorized $10 joins the $20, the first bill to get a color makeover in 2003, and the $50, which was colorized in 2004.

To mark the event, officials from the Treasury, Federal Reserve and Secret Service put the first new $10 bill into circulation at a brief ceremony at the National Archives.

Michael Lambert, assistant director of the Fed’s payment system, purchased a $10 copy of the Constitution in the Archives gift shop with one of the new bills.

He predicted people would see the new $10 bills in circulation very soon, possibly as early as Thursday. The country’s larger banks typically place orders for currency daily with the Fed. U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral, whose signature appears on the currency, said the government plans to redesign the currency every seven to 10 years because “staying ahead of would-be counterfeiters is a top priority.”

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 Statue of Liberty’s torch and “We the People” in red along with small yellow 10s and a subtle orange background.

The colorized $10 bill also continues three security features from an earlier makeover – a plastic security thread to the right of Hamilton’s portrait imprinted with the words “USA TEN,” a watermark that shows an image of Hamilton when held to the light and color-shifting ink that makes the “10” in the right corner switch from copper to green when the bill is tilted.

The $100 bill is the next denomination scheduled to receive a dash of color, but that may not occur until 2007 or later. The government is asking for proposals from private businesses on what security features in addition to colors need to be added to this bill, which is the most frequently counterfeited outside of the United States.

The new security feature “must work with the eyes and light so it stands out,” said Larry Felix, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

There are no plans to colorize the $1 bill, which accounts for 45 percent of the bills printed, or the $5 bill.



On the Net:

Bureau of Engraving and Printing: http://www.moneyfactory.gov



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