Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace

The nest is full

Oct 11, 2019
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable

$20 bill turns 10, trailblazer in fight against counterfeiters

Molly Wood May 13, 2013
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Ten years ago Monday, the U.S. government unveiled a new $20 bill, loaded with high-tech features to make it harder to counterfeit. A new $100 bill is on the way later this year, promising still more technological advances. When it came out, the $20 bill was something of a game changer in the constant battle with forgers.

“They were a very big deal,” says Dennis Forgue, who heads the currency department at the numismatic firm Harlan J. Berk in Chicago.

A key step for the 20 was its unique pigment. Look past the green and you’ll see subtle peach and blue colors, different from other bills.

“Color has had a large impact on the counterfeiters,” says currency expert Brendan Burge.

That means counterfeiters can’t just bleach ink off singles and reprint them as 20s. To keep up with printing technology thieves can get, the government is designing more complicated bills more often.

“They keep just throwing more stuff onto the bill to make it that much harder to replicate,” says Jason Kersten, author of “The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter.” “Bills are getting pretty crowded now. There’s a lot of signage on the bills.”

Asked for the hottest new trend in secure money, Burge’s answer mirrored the one Dustin Hoffman got in “The Graduate.”

“It’s plastic,” Burge says. “Pure and simple, it’s plastic.”

The industry phrase is polymer substrate. Canada and Australia already make their paper money out of plastic.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Check Your Balance ™️
Check Your Balance ™️
Personal finance from Marketplace. Where the economy, your personal life and money meet.

Thank you to all the donors who made our fall drive a success!

It’s Investors like you that keep Marketplace going strong!