WASHINGTON (AP) _ The world will get its first look at a more colorful Abraham Lincoln next month and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is planning for it to be a high-tech event.
Bureau Director Larry Felix said for the first time the bureau was staging a digital unveiling for one of its redesigned currency notes. The new $5 bill, which features the 16th president, will be shown to the world by way of an Internet broadcast on Sept. 20 which the government has dubbed a ``Wi-5'' event.
``We wanted to make the most of the digital environment so that U.S. currency users will have worldwide access to all of the information we can give them,'' Felix said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The event will be hosted at the bureau's web site, which will offer a variety of materials on the new $5 bill including the new design starting on Sept. 20. In addition, there will be an online question and answer session for reporters with officials from the bureau and other government agencies participating.
While the design of the new $5 bill will be unveiled on Sept. 20, the new currency will not go into circulation until early next year, giving time for vending machine companies to retool their machines to accept the new bill. Felix said that was especially important for the $5 bill because it is heavily used in vending machine transactions.
Originally, the government was going to exempt the $5 bill from the design makeovers introduced in recent years for the $50, $20 and $10 bills.
But officials changed their minds after counterfeiters began bleaching the ink off the current $5 bills and printing fake $100 bills on the bleached paper because certain security features including the watermark were in basically the same place on both notes.
The new $5 bill will have similar design changes as have been added to the other notes in an effort to thwart counterfeiters armed with more sophisticated computers and printers.
These include the introduction of pale colors into the background of the bills and adding other colors such as the blue American eagle which is on the $20 and the red torch symbolizing the Statute of Liberty on the $10.
Lincoln's portrait will remain on the $5 bill as will the Lincoln Memorial on the other side but the presentations of both images are expected to be updated.
While the $5 note is getting a makeover, there will be no changes to the $1 bill and the bureau is still working on changes for the $100 bill.