This fall, leaves aren’t the only things changing colors. The
new, colored $20 bill was unveiled and released into circulation
last Wednesday.

The most visible change in appearance of the currency is the ink
colors, with the new green and peach backgrounds on each side of
the note. Blue ink was also added to the “TWENTY USA” text and
eagle picture, each visible on the sides of Andrew Jackson’s

In addition to the colors, several other designs were added,
including two American eagle symbols and small 20s printed in
yellow on the back of the note. Jackson’s portrait was also
altered, removing the oval border and lines surrounding it, and
extending into the bottom border.

Upon the release of the new currency, the Department of the
Treasury launched an advertising campaign to increase awareness of
the new bills and help prevent confusion among both merchants and

In total, the government plans to spend $53 million over the
course of five years to educate the public about all of the new
notes, including the new $50 and $100 bills.

“The combined efforts of public education, law enforcement, the
changes made to the currency in the late 1990s and increased public
awareness have all kept currency counterfeiting at low levels,”
said Dawn Haley, head of the Office of External Affairs in the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the Treasury Department, in a
written statement.

The Treasury Department’s website offers free CDs, posters, and
training materials to cash-handling businesses. These materials are
also included in the total cost of the campaign. They hope to train
employees about what to look for when handling the new bills.

The ads stress that “all bills are good, for good.” Business
School Prof. Christina Brown also suggested that the advertisements
will eventually act as a cost-reducing strategy for the United
States Mint if people are less wary of using the new money.

“The Mint doesn’t want people not using bills. It is expensive
for the Mint to make currency that people don’t use because they
think it is odd,” Brown said.

After almost a week in circulation, merchants and consumers are
beginning to see the bill pass through local stores.

The bill “has been pretty well-publicized. Anyone who is
confused is probably so ignorant that they shouldn’t be handling it
anyway,” said Starbucks employee Dylan Strzynski, who has accepted
the new bill from customers.

But, because the bill has only been released for more than a
week, and there are a limited number in circulation, many stores
have yet to accept the bills from customers. “I haven’t even seen
any. I’m curious and excited to see them,” Amer’s Delicatessen
employee Ian Rowlette said.

Some students like LSA senior Erin Nolan have also seen the new

“I thought it was Canadian when I first saw it. I don’t
understand the point of advertising money. It’s not like people go
to a store and pick out the bill they’ll use,” sai Nolan, a
waitress at Max and Erma’s.

“Given the advances in digital printers and copiers, we expect
to update the currency with new designs every seven to 10 years in
order to stay ahead of these technologies and stay ahead of
would-be counterfeiters that are using these technologies,” Haley

Updated $50 and $100 dollar bills are scheduled to be released
in 2004 and 2005, and all bills will feature different colors.






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