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WASHINGTON -- The $20 bill got a facelift Tuesday, complete with new colors, a new number arrangement and a new background, in the government's latest effort to thwart counterfeiters.
The Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing introduced the new design, featuring Andrew Jackson on the front -- without the old circle -- and a cluster of small 20s on the lower right-hand corner on the back. The front also depicts a faded bald eagle as a background with subtle pink and light blue hues.
The front of the new $20 bill unveiled by the Treasury Department Tuesday. The Treasury plans to redesign bills every seven to 10 years to keep up with technological advances in counterfeiting.
"The soundness of a nation's currency is essential to the soundness of its economy. And to uphold our currency's soundness, it must be recognized and honored as legal tender and counterfeiting must be effectively thwarted,'' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a ceremony at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
The last redesign of American currency was in 1996, when a new $100 bill was introduced with anti-counterfeiting features such as ink that appeared black from one angle and green from another; a watermark visible only when holding the bill up to the light; and a security strip running vertically through the bill -- features that will remain in the newest currency. Other currencies with similar features followed -- a new $50 bill in 1997, a new $20 bill in 1998 and new $5 and $10 notes in 2000.
The bill will go into circulation in the fall, and others will be redesigned in the next few years. One- and two-dollar bills will not be redesigned.
In the meantime, the Treasury Department is working with companies in the vending, gaming and public transportation industries to help them adjust their currency-reading devices to accept the new bills, CNN reported. Treasury has given these companies material they can use to update bill-acceptance devices, but nothing they can spend or use to make counterfeit bills.