New Five Dollar Bill Facts and Pictures

by Ryan Guina

Yesterday, March 13, 2008, the US Department of the Treasury released the new $5 bills into circulation. The new $5 bills were included among currency shipments from Federal Reserve to banks, which will distribute the money to customers and businesses. People will start seeing these new bills as soon as this weekend.

Changes to the new $5 bill

Changes to the front: There are several striking visual changes to the new $5 bill. There is a splash of light purple next to Lincoln’s portrait that fades to gray as it spreads toward the bill’s edges. To the right of Lincoln’s portrait (as you view the bill), there is an imprinting of The Great Seal of the United States. Surrounding Lincoln’s portrait and The Great Seal of the United States is a band of purple stars.

Changes to the back: The most obvious changes to the back side of the $5 bill include a large purple “5” in the bottom right corner of the bill, small yellow “5” numerals on the back, and a multitude of changes to the micro-printing and other security features.


Security features of the new $5 bill

The descriptions of the security features are taken from the US Government press release for the new $5 bill.

Watermark: There are now two watermarks on the redesigned $5 bill. A large number “5” watermark is located to the right of the portrait, replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on older design $5 bills. Its location is highlighted by a blank window incorporated into the background design. A second watermark — a column of three smaller “5”s — has been added to the new $5 bill design and is positioned to the left of the portrait.

5 Bill Watermark

Security thread: The embedded security thread, which is located to the left of the portrait on older-design $5 bills, has moved to the right of the portrait on the redesigned $5 bill. The letters “USA” followed by the number “5” in an alternating pattern are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. The embedded security thread glows blue when held under ultraviolet light.


Rules for reproducing US currency

Don’t go printing these out! Here is what you need to know if you want to reproduce images of US currency:

Regulations for Reproducing U.S. Currency
Authority: 18 U.S.C. 504; Treasury Directive Number 15-56, 58 FR 48539
(September 16, 1993)
411.1 Color illustrations authorized
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 25 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, authority is hereby given for the printing, publishing or importation, or the making or importation of the necessary plates or items for such printing or publishing, of color illustrations of U.S. currency provided that:
(1) The illustration be of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of any matter
so illustrated;
(2) The illustration be one-sided; and
(3) All negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices, and any other thing used in the making of that illustration that contain an image of the
illustration or any part thereof shall be destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use in accordance with this section.
(b) [Reserved].

For more fun, explore the interactive feature for the new $5 bill. Click on the link under the small picture of the $5 bill – “Explore the Interactive $5 Bill.” This launches a separate window, but is pretty cool!

Photo credit: $5 bill front and back – The Associated Press (link no longer available). All other photos:

Published or updated May 15, 2009.
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1 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Good grief, do we need all these security features on a five dollar bill?

Are they that big of a target for counterfeiters? On 100’s, 50’s and 20’s I could see it, but a 5?

Wonder how much it cost to redesign, reprint, and manufacture these….
[ shaking head ]

2 bob

all that energy put into security features and the crooks will still find a way!! 😉

3 No Debt Plan

I can’t remember the last time I used a $5 bill, or any bill for that matter. Love my paid-off-every-month-credit-card.

4 chris davis

could someone tell me why my 5 dollar bills say series 2006 if there new bills thanks

5 Ryan

Chris, I have no idea…

6 Sara

I have a five dollar bill, an older one where Lincoln’s face is different. He has a curl in the front of his hair. Is this bill real or fake?

7 lYNN

The 2006 on the NEW $5 and $10 bills are the correct dates. They are called “Series Dates”. Meaning this is when the design was created. Though printed in 2007/2008 for circulation, they contain the series dates (of design) of 2006. CORRECT DATES!

8 Ryan

Thanks for the information. I thought it was something like that, but I didn’t have the correct info at hand.

Thanks for stopping by!

9 Karen

Rumor spread thru our small town that there was an error with the date “2006” on the new five. The rumor stated that the design for the bill was supposed to be a later date and that the new fives would be taken off circulation. I dont value this rumor, but thought that I would inquire about it, as if it is true, I would want to hang onto the ones I have…if it isnt true, then I dont need to harbor a box full of fives that could use a good spending.

10 Ryan


It’s a rumor. They are correctly labeled with they year 2006, which is the “Series Date.” This is they year the design was created. So don’t worry about saving $5 bills for no reason. Spend them as you normally would. 🙂

11 Bucky

I would like to know why the five dollar bill has the date of 2006 on it instead of 2008 when it came out, or is it a miss print. And why do some fifty dollar bills have a star on them in the bottom coner, out of onehundred bills i got only one has a star on it. Thanks

12 Ryan


The year 2006 is the “Series Date” which is they year the design was created. It is not a misprint and you can spend them as you normally would. The star on the $50 is a security measure that was introduced in the latest version of the $50 bill, which was released in 2004.

13 Cole

because that design with the different colors and new watermarks was realeased in 2006.

14 kayla

Do ya know why Lincolns on the 5 dollar bill in the first place? Because he had a 5 dollar bill in his pocket the day he was assasinated (:
i cant find that online =/ but my social studies teacher told us today
like wow. i want my face on a money type figure (: oh yaaaa 😀

15 Ryan


I hadn’t heard that about Lincoln before, but if it is true, that is an interesting footnote in American history. Thanks for stopping by.


i seen on the news that it was a misprint and that certain banks would take them back for more than face value so i called a bank and she sad it is infact a misprint and they do want them back but at this time they r only worth five dolers what is that about?????

17 Ryan

Hi Amanda,

The year 2006 is the “Series Date” which is they year the design was created. It is not a misprint and there is no additional value to the $5 bill. You should spend them as you normally would.

18 tez

I was just wondering about the new five dollar bills. my new five dollar bill the stars are all yellow does that mean any thing

19 Ryan

Tez, That’s just part of the new design. There is nothing wrong with the yellow stars.

20 Jason

I have a $5.00 bill that has the seal and number in red ink. It is also dated for 1963. As this was the last year the $5 bill was printed in red ink, can you tell me if there is any signifance of value related to this bill?

21 Brian A.

Ok…I have a $5 bill…2006 series, in color/watermark/stars/blah blah AND I have a $5 bill 2006 series NO COLOR/WATER/STAR BUT has large portrait and $5 bottom right going gold/black….it’s like a half finished new five but BOTH BILLS ARE 2006 series….how and why would the US make 2 different $5 bills in the SAME year….I cant find ANY reports dealing with this…please clear up so I can get rid of them w/o wondering if I spent a rare print.

22 Ryan

Brian: I believe 2006 is the series date, which is the year the bill was designed. But I don’t know why there would be two designs. I don’t have anymore information about the $5 bill, and I would recommend taking the bill to a coin dealer or scanning the bill and sending e-mails to coin dealers asking for more information.

23 Paul Jones

the smaller bills are targets because no one pays attention to them

24 Miranda

did you know the $5 bill has the numbers ‘172’ in the bushes under the lincoln memorial

25 Tonya

I have a 1963 five dollar bill that has footprints on the left side. It is not counterfeit. Do you know anything about this type of bill? About 7 years ago I tried looking this up to find information on it. I found a page that had not been updated but it did say someone had one and it was auctioned off. Can anyone please help me with this one.


26 Ryan

Tonya: I don’t know anything about it. I recommend going to a coin dealer for more information.

27 Ryan

Comments are now closed.

Thanks for your interest in this article. I enjoy the trivia and conversation, but I cannot help anyone regarding errors, misprints, rare editions, or other bills that may or may not be worth more than face value. I recommend contacting a coin dealer or other dealer in paper bills or collectibles.

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