Lincoln never looked so good: A colorful $5 bill coming out Thursday

By Jeannine Aversa

WASHINGTON – Abraham Lincoln is getting a little color in his cheeks.

New $5 bills bearing the gaunt visage of the nation’s 16th president – but with some touches of color added – are making their way to banks and cash registers near you.

The bill goes into circulation Thursday. That’s when the Federal Reserve, the supplier of the nation’s cash, starts shipping the bills to banks, which send them to businesses and eventually into the hands of people in this country and beyond.

Fittingly, the new bill will be spent for the first time on Thursday at the gift shop of President Lincoln’s Cottage located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in northwest Washington.

It’s the latest in a series of redesigned notes aimed at foiling phony-money makers, who over the years have grown increasingly sophisticated.

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Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, is still on the front and the Lincoln Memorial remains on the back.

To the naked eye, the most notable difference is color – splashes of light purple at the center of the bill that blend into gray near the edges.

Small yellow “05” numerals are printed to the left of Lincoln on the front and to the right of the memorial on the back. The Great Seal of the United States, which features an eagle and shield, will appear in purple to the right of the president’s portrait. Arcs of purple stars border Lincoln and the seal.

The note also will feature an enlarged “5” printed in high-contrast purple ink in the lower right corner of the back of the bill. It also will have two separate watermarks and a number of other high-tech changes to make it harder for counterfeiters to knock off.

The old $5 bills will continue to be accepted and recirculated until they wear out.

The makeover of the $5 bill is similar to changes to $10, $20 and $50 bills.

Next up for a new look: the $100 bill.