You can help decide who this person will be. The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it is redesigning the $10 bill. The new note will feature the photo of a woman.
Why a woman this time? Members of the public have been asking the Treasury Department to add a woman on paper currency for some time. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also adds that the redesigned $10 bill will premier in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of the Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The new bills, however, are not expected to be in circulation until after 2020.
Members of the public are strongly encouraged to provide input to help identify who this unknown female will be. According to Secretary Lew, the department is launching a website for members of the public to submit their ideas and suggestions using #TheNew10. The idea of the next generation currency is to exhibit a theme of American democracy.
Why does the federal government redesign currency? According to the Treasury Department, there are two main components of currency redesign – technical and aesthetic:
- The primary technical goals in the redesign of U.S. currency are to:
- Ensure that U.S. currency employs unique and technologically advanced features to deter counterfeiting
- Facilitate the public’s use and authentication
- Provide accessibility and usability
- Maintain public confidence
- The aesthetic goals in the redesign of U.S. currency are to:
- Institutionalize our American history by depicting people, monuments, symbols and concepts that reflect the past and reinforce a theme for that particular era of currency design.
To my surprise, I discovered that this is not the first time a woman has been featured on a greenback. According to CNN Money [Ref 1], the last woman on U.S. paper currency was Martha Washington, who was on the $1 Silver Certificate between 1891 and 1896.
Another first for the new $10 bill and American greenbacks is the inclusion of a “tactile feature” to allow blind and visually impaired persons to distinguish it from other denominations.
What will happen to the photo of Alexander Hamilton? For now, nothing. Hamilton’s photo will continue to appear on the note between now and the unveiling of the new $10 bill in 2020. We will also learn the plans for the image of the former president at some point in the redesign process.
Don’t forget, send your ideas and thoughts about the redesign to #TheNew10.
- Finally! Woman to be on new $10 bill, by Jackie Wattles, in CNN Money, http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/17/news/economy/woman-on-ten-dollar-bill/ (site last visited on 06.18.2015)