BEP confirms 2026 date for $10 note with tactile features
- Published: Feb 27, 2023, 8 AM
Designs are nowhere near close to final, but the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has officially confirmed that the BEP and the Department of Treasury continue to expect the first denomination in a series of redesigned Federal Reserve notes, the $10 note, will be ready for production no later than 2026.
All denominations in the new series will differ in at least one important way from all their predecessors in that they will have raised tactile features (RTF) applied in each new design by an intaglio printing process. This will enable the visually disabled to more easily identify their bank notes, according to BEP officials.
The new series is called Catalyst.
Information in a series of semi-annual reports submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (in compliance with a court order requiring it to file such reports) describes steps being taken to implement the court’s order and judgment requiring meaningful access to United States paper currency. It results from a suit brought decades ago by the American Council of the Blind and others. The BEP directed Coin World to the court filings in response to a request for information about an accusation by Women on 20s, published in Coin World’s October 2022 issue, that BEP was recalcitrant in implementing meaningful access.
BEP has been working on the feature for years. By 2019 the RTF application method was narrowed down to a choice of intaglio or coated embossing, and testing commenced with the printing of 400,000 sheets of test notes to evaluate the two methods in a realistic production environment. It was described as a complicated process requiring various machines, including offset, plate printing, multifarious press (coated and embossed only), and Large Examining & Printing Equipment (LEPE) machinery. After the test notes were printed, they were processed on two additional machines, the Currency Inspection System (CIS), and Single Note Inspection (SNI).
An important test for each method was height measurement of the RTF, but installation of a new instrument for collecting this data was delayed due to COVID-19. The instrument was accepted on June 30, 2020, and training conducted the following day.
On Dec. 29, 2020, BEP Director Olijar, acting Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee chair, recommended that the secretary of the Treasury Department approve the selection of intaglio printing as the proposed application method for the $10 note design and for all following designs in the Catalyst family, which would be every denomination except the $1 and $2 notes.
On Jan. 4, 2021, the Treasury secretary approved the proposed application method, and according to the March 2021 filing, BEP “continued to pursue the creation of a durable, usable, and manufacturable tactile feature that can function in commercial and governmental counting and inspection machines, as well as in ATMs and vending machines.”
BEP advised in March 2021 that it continued to work on the test method and test coupons to be used for quality control purposes throughout RTF development. It also completed a project management plan update and an analysis of design failure modes and effects.
A feasibility trial for the Catalyst $10 note, which includes the RTF, began in February 2022. BEP described this a providing an opportunity to optimize the RTF engravings. Samples produced will be evaluated using established BEP quality methods and will be used to refine the standard operating procedure to collect height measurements.
In addition to moving forward on the RTF, BEP continued distributing electronic currency readers for blind and other visually impaired U.S. citizens and legal residents, and continued the bureau’s program of adding large, high-contrast numerals and different colors to each denomination that it may lawfully redesign.
The new $50 note is scheduled to be released in 2028, the $20 note in 2030, the $5 note sometime from 2032 to 2035, and the $100 note sometime from 2034 to 2038.Connect with Coin World:
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