$5

5 dollar bill front
5 dollar bill back
5 dollar bill front
A
Watermark
left side 5 watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of three numeral 5s to the left of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

A
B
Security Thread
blue five dollar security thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the right of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 5 in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

B
C
Watermark
right side 5 watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of a large numeral 5 in the blank space to the right of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

C
A
Watermark
left side 5 watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of three numeral 5s to the left of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

A
B
Security Thread
blue five dollar security thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the right of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 5 in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

B
C
Watermark
right side 5 watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of a large numeral 5 in the blank space to the right of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

C
5 dollar bill front
5 dollar bill back
5 dollar bill front
A
Security Thread
blue 5 security thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the portrait.  The thread is imprinted with the text USA FIVE and a small flag in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note.  The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

A
B
Watermark
Lincoln watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of President Lincoln in the blank space to the right of the portrait.  The image is visible from both sides of the note.

B
A
Security Thread
blue 5 security thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the portrait.  The thread is imprinted with the text USA FIVE and a small flag in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note.  The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

A
B
Watermark
Lincoln watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of President Lincoln in the blank space to the right of the portrait.  The image is visible from both sides of the note.

B
1993 - 2000 - Front
1993 - 2000 - Back
1993 - 2000 - Front
A
Security Thread
Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the Federal Reserve Bank seal. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the word FIVE in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

A
B
Microprinting
Microprinting

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed words THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the outer edge of the portrait’s oval frame.

B
A
Security Thread
Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the Federal Reserve Bank seal. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the word FIVE in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

A
B
Microprinting
Microprinting

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed words THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the outer edge of the portrait’s oval frame.

B
1914 - 1993 -front
1914 - 1993 -back
1914 - 1993 -front
A
Federal Reserve Bank Seal
Federal Reserve Bank Seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait bears the name of the distributing Federal Reserve Bank. 

A
B
Raised Printing
Raised Printing

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

B
C
Paper
Paper

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

C
D
Portrait and Vignette
Portrait and Vignette

The $5 note features a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln on the front of the note.  The vignette on the back of the note changed in 1929 to feature the Lincoln Memorial.

D
E
Treasury Seal
Treasury Seal

A seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury  The design of the seal was changed to incorporate an English inscription and appears on all Federal Reserve notes of the 1969 series year or later.

E
F
Serial Numbers
Serial Numbers

A combination of numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note.

F
A
Federal Reserve Bank Seal
Federal Reserve Bank Seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait bears the name of the distributing Federal Reserve Bank. 

A
B
Raised Printing
Raised Printing

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

B
C
Paper
Paper

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

C
D
Portrait and Vignette
Portrait and Vignette

The $5 note features a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln on the front of the note.  The vignette on the back of the note changed in 1929 to feature the Lincoln Memorial.

D
E
Treasury Seal
Treasury Seal

A seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury  The design of the seal was changed to incorporate an English inscription and appears on all Federal Reserve notes of the 1969 series year or later.

E
F
Serial Numbers
Serial Numbers

A combination of numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note.

F
A
Watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of three numeral 5s to the left of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

left side 5 watermark
B
Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the right of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 5 in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

blue five dollar security thread
C
Watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of a large numeral 5 in the blank space to the right of the portrait. The image is visible from both sides of the note.

right side 5 watermark
A
Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the portrait.  The thread is imprinted with the text USA FIVE and a small flag in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note.  The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

blue 5 security thread
B
Watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of President Lincoln in the blank space to the right of the portrait.  The image is visible from both sides of the note.

Lincoln watermark
A
Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the Federal Reserve Bank seal. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the word FIVE in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

Security Thread
B
Microprinting

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed words THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the outer edge of the portrait’s oval frame.

Microprinting
A
Federal Reserve Bank Seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait bears the name of the distributing Federal Reserve Bank. 

Federal Reserve Bank Seal
B
Raised Printing

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

Raised Printing
C
Paper

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

Paper
D
Portrait and Vignette

The $5 note features a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln on the front of the note.  The vignette on the back of the note changed in 1929 to feature the Lincoln Memorial.

Portrait and Vignette
E
Treasury Seal

A seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury  The design of the seal was changed to incorporate an English inscription and appears on all Federal Reserve notes of the 1969 series year or later.

Treasury Seal
F
Serial Numbers

A combination of numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note.

Serial Numbers
Federal Reserve System Seal
black Federal Reserve System seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the distributing Federal Reserve Bank.

Microprinting
small text saying five dollars

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed text FIVE DOLLARS repeated inside the left and right borders of the note, E PLURIBUS UNUM at the top of the shield within the Great Seal, and USA repeated in between the columns of the shield. On the back of the note the text USA FIVE appears along one edge of the large purple numeral 5.

Raised Printing
printing on Lincoln's forehead

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

paper
paper fibers with printed stars

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

Color
purple banknote images

The center of the note is light purple, blending to gray near the edges.

Portrait and Vignette
Lincoln portrait closeup

The $5 note features a portrait of President Lincoln on the front of the note and a vignette of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the note.

Symbol of Freedom
purple Bald Eagle

The Great Seal of the United States, featuring an eagle and shield, is printed in purple to the right of the portrait of President Lincoln. An arc of purple stars surrounds the portrait and The Great Seal.

Purple 5
large purple 5

A large purple numeral 5 on the back of the note helps those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.

Treasury Seal
Treasury Seal on the five

A green seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Serial Numbers
serial number below green seal

A unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note.

Series Year
series 2006 on five dollar

The design includes series years 2006, 2009, and 2013.

Federal Reserve System Seal
black Federal Reserve seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System.  A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the distributing Federal Reserve Bank.

Microprinting
five dollar microprinting

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed words FIVE DOLLARS inside the left and right borders of the note and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the lower edge of the portrait’s oval frame. 

Raised Printing
tactile print

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

Paper
currency paper fibers

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

Green 5
numeral five in green

A large green numeral 5 on the back of the note helps those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.

Treasury Seal
Treasury Seal

A green seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Serial Numbers
Serial Numbers

A unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note. 

Federal Reserve Bank Seal
Federal Reserve Bank Seal

A black seal to the left of the portrait bears the name and corresponding letter of the distributing Federal Reserve Bank.

Treasury Seal
Treasury Seal

A seal to the right of the portrait which is printed in the same green ink color as the serial numbers.

Raised Printing
Raised Printing

Move your finger along the note's surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

Paper
Paper

Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.

Portrait and Vignette
Portrait and Vignette

The $5 note features a portrait of President Lincoln on the front of the note and a vignette of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the note.

Serial Numbers
Serial Numbers

A unique combination of numbers and letters that appears twice on the front of the note. 

The $5 note features subtle background colors of light purple and gray, and includes an embedded security thread that glows blue when illuminated by UV light. Two watermarks are featured in the $5 note, and they are visible from both sides of the note when held to light. Look for a vertical pattern of three numeral 5s to the left of the portrait and a large numeral 5 located in the blank space to the right of the portrait.

Five dollars
Intro

Scroll to Begin

$5 Note

Click play to view features

Watermark

Watermark

Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of a large numeral 5 in the blank space to the right of the portrait and a faint image of three numeral 5s to the left of the portrait. The images are visible from both sides of the note.

Security Thread

Security Thread

Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread running vertically to the right of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 5 in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows blue when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

Raised Printing

Raised Printing

Move your finger along the note’s surface to feel the raised printing, which gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.

Microprinting

Microprinting

Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed text FIVE DOLLARS repeated inside the left and right borders of the note, E PLURIBUS UNUM at the top of the shield within the Great Seal, and USA repeated in between the columns of the shield. On the back of the note the text USA FIVE appears along one edge of the large purple numeral 5.

Downloads

dollar detail

Refer to this comprehensive guide for in-depth technical information on U.S. currency.

Play Money Coloring Sheets

These printable coloring sheets of denominations $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and $100 are intended for children, parents, and teachers.

quick reference guide

The Quick Reference Guide is a comprehensive resource on the security and design features of U.S. currency. This item unfolds and can be displayed next to a point of sale as an easy-to-use reference.

Multinote Booklet

This 12-page booklet contains detailed information about the security and design features in the redesigned $100 note and those in the current-design $5, $10, $20, and $50 notes.

Multinote Poster

This poster features the security features in the redesigned $100 note and those in the current-design $5, $10, $20, and $50 notes.

Know Your Money

This comprehensive guide includes technical information on the security and design features of the current-design $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes.

$5 Note (2008-Present)

Explore security and design features of the $5 note, issued 2008-present.

$5 Note (2000-2008)

Explore security and design features of the $5 note, issued 2000-2008.

$5 Note (1993-2000)

Explore security and design features of the $5 note, issued 1993-2000.

$5 Note (1914-1993)

Explore security and design features of the $5 note, issued 1914-1993.

History

1861

Demand Notes

In order to finance the Civil War, Congress authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue non-interest-bearing Demand Notes. These notes earn the nickname “greenbacks” because of their color. All U.S. currency issued since 1861 remains valid and redeemable at full face value.

1862

The Foundation of Modern Design

By 1862, the Demand Notes incorporate fine-line engraving, intricate geometric lathe work patterns, a U.S. Department of the Treasury seal, and engraved signatures to aid in counterfeit deterrence. To this day, U.S. currency continues to add features to deter counterfeiting.

1862

United States Notes

Congress authorizes a new class of currency, known as “United States notes,” or “Legal Tender notes.” These notes are characterized by a red seal and serial number. They continue to circulate until 1971.
 

1863

A National Banking System

Congress establishes a national banking system and authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to oversee the issuance of National Banknotes. This system sets Federal guidelines for chartering and regulating "national" banks and authorizes those banks to issue national currency secured by the purchase of United States bonds.

1869

Centralized Printing of United States Notes

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing begins engraving and printing the faces and seals of U.S. banknotes. Before this, U.S. banknotes were produced by private banknote companies and then sent to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for sealing, trimming, and cutting.

1889

Names Added to Portraits

Legislation mandates that all banknotes and other securities containing portraits include the name of the individual below the portrait. This is why you see names below the portraits on banknotes to this day.

1913

Federal Reserve Act

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 establishes the Federal Reserve as the nation’s central bank and provides for a national banking system that is more responsive to the fluctuating financial needs of the country. The Federal Reserve Board issues new currency called Federal Reserve notes.

1929

Standardization of Design

The appearance of U.S. banknotes changes greatly in 1929. In an effort to lower manufacturing costs, all Federal Reserve notes are made about 30 percent smaller—measuring 6.14 x 2.61 inches, rather than 7.375 x 3.125 inches. In addition, standardized designs are instituted for each denomination, decreasing the number of designs in circulation and making it easier for the public to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit notes.

1971

United States Notes Discontinued

Because United States notes no longer served any function not already adequately met by Federal Reserve notes, their issuance was discontinued and, beginning in 1971, no new United States notes were placed into circulation.

1990

Security Thread and Microprinting

A security thread and microprinting are introduced in Federal Reserve notes to deter counterfeiting by copiers and printers. The features first appear in Series 1990 $100 notes. By Series 1993, the features appeared on all denominations except $1 and $2 notes.

1996

Currency Redesign

In the first significant design change since the 1920s, U.S. currency is redesigned to incorporate a series of new counterfeit deterrents. Issuance of the new banknotes begins with the $100 note in 1996, followed by the $50 note in 1997, the $20 note in 1998, and the $10 and $5 notes in 2000.

2008

The Redesigned $5 Note

The new-design $5 note features subtle background colors of light purple and gray. The $5 note includes an embedded security thread that glows blue when illuminated by UV light. Two watermarks are featured in the $5 note, which are visible from both sides of the note when held to light. A vertical pattern of three numeral 5s is situated to the left of the portrait and a large numeral 5 is located in the blank space to the right of the portrait.

$5 Note Life Cycle

Before a Federal Reserve note enters circulation, it must pass through four critical steps: design, order, production, and issuance.

825.6
Million Notes
2018 FY Print Order
$14.8
Billion
2017 Value in Circulation
5.5
Years
Estimated Lifespan