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New $50 Bill Hits the Streets

WASHINGTON -- A new $50 bill with touches of red, blue and yellow hit the streets Tuesday and a new $10 bill is in the works. It would be the third greenback to get colorized to cut back on counterfeiting, reported the Associated Press.

Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first treasury secretary, is expected to stay on the front of the new $10 with the Treasury Department on the back, Thomas Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said in an interview.

Various efforts have emerged to put former President Ronald Reagan on the nation's currency, on the $10 bill or the $20 bill, or possibly the dime.

The new $10 bill is expected to be unveiled this spring and put into circulation in fall 2005. That last time the note got a new look was in 2000, when Hamilton's portrait became oversized and moved slightly off center.

"As with the $50 and the $20, there will be subtle background tones and tints. They will be different from those used on the other two so each of the notes will start to be even more distinctive and easier for people to differentiate quickly," Ferguson said. He wouldn't say what the colors on the new $10 would be.

Colors for the redesigned notes vary by denomination.
After the $10 makeover comes the $100 bill, the most counterfeited note outside the United States, Ferguson said. The $5 bill won't get a new look, and neither will the $1 and $2 notes, he said.

The colorizing project is part of a broader effort to make the bills harder to knock off, especially against the backdrop of readily available digital technology. The new $50s went into circulation on Tuesday and soon will be showing up at banks, cash registers and in wallets.
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