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SALT LAKE CITY -- The nation's new $20 bill, designed with color and other new features to foil counterfeiters, made its debut today at a Salt Lake City convenience store, one of dozens of locations nationwide where the new currency will be tucked into cash registers for the first time.
After its unveiling at the Maverik Country Store, the new bills is set to begin making its way to banks and other financial institutions throughout Utah, said Paul Morley, Federal Reserve spokesman. "The new bills are designed so that the average person can more easily tell if they are real," Morley said.
The new design for the $20, the most commonly counterfeited bill in the United States, will be followed in the coming years by new $50s and $100s. Redesigns of the $5 and $10 bills may follow, but the $1 bill probably will remain the same because it is much less likely to be duplicated by thieves, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
Although the new bills will start to circulate Thursday, it may take four or more years for the majority of the $20s in circulation to be the new bills, he said. The old bills will remain in circulation until they wear out.
The new bills have light green, peach and blue hues. The portrait of Andrew Jackson has been modified slightly to include a light blue eagle in the background to the left of the portrait and a metallic green eagle and shield to the right of the portrait. Two security features used by people to ensure a bill is genuine are unchanged from existing bills. They include the watermark -- a faint image of Jackson -- and the security thread -- the vertical strip of plastic embedded in the bill that reads "USA Twenty." The features are visible from both sides of the bill when it is held up to the light.
The third main security feature, color-shifting ink, also is a feature on both bills. But the numeral "20" in the lower-right corner on the front of the new bill changes from copper to green, the old bills changed from green to black when the note is tilted. The color shift on the new bills also is more pronounced and easier to see, Morley said.
Jim Olsen, executive vice president of the Utah Retail Merchants Association, said retailers welcome the enhanced security features. In recent years, he said, as computer and printing technology has become more sophisticated, losses from counterfeiting have grown at the retail level.