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Statement from Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Len Olijar

“The Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, which includes membership from the BEP, the US Secret Service and the Federal Reserve System, was chartered to make design and security recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury.  At this time, the ACD Committee and BEP remain focused on developing security features for the upcoming redesign. 


“As technology has evolved, banknote production has vastly changed over the last three decades.  The next family of notes require new, overt and covert security features for the public, the banknote equipment manufacturers, and the central bank, to keep our currency safe and secure.  Security features also need to work in mass production.  A design can change during testing.  The overwhelming success of the redesigned $100 in thwarting counterfeiting, is greatly due to the effectiveness of the blue security thread which is a public feature (and which a design was integrated around afterwards).  That development alone of that security feature took approximately 10 years to finalize.


“Moreover, BEP was never going to unveil a note design in 2020.  To keep our currency safe and secure, it is unwise to give counterfeiters a look at a potential future note far in advance of a note going into circulation.  Additionally, if the concept of a note that was made public by the government were to change during that lengthy amount of time, it would create confusion in the global marketplace, further aiding counterfeiters.


“No Bureau or Department official has ‘scrapped’ anything; it is too early to develop an integrated concept or design until security features are finalized.  The aesthetics or look of the note has always come after and been driven by the security features.  Everything remains on the table.


“The illustration published by the New York Times was a copy of an old Series note with the signatures of former officials, with a different image super-imposed on it.  It is not a new $20 note, as incorrectly stated by the New York Times, in any way, shape or form.  The facsimile contained no security features or offset printing included on currency notes.  There is nothing about that illustration that even begins to meet technical requirements for the next family of notes.”


BEP Director Len Olijar

June 14, 2019

BEP's Western Currency Facility Receives City of Fort Worth Awards
Water droplets causing a ripple in a body of water.
"In God We Trust" is a familiar sight on US currency.  But, the motto did not appear until September 1957—50 years ago.  In fact, it was part of a year of firsts at the BEP.  The first notes bearing the words were new $1 Silver Certificates printed on the BEP's first rotary presses.  
The story begins back in 1953 when Matt H. Rothert attended church and took notice of the coins and notes in the church collection plate.  While the coins bore the motto, "In God We Trust," the notes did not.  This started him on a mission of getting the words on US currency.  He found support at the Arkansas Numismatic Society, of which he was president.  Soon, a letter-writing campaign was underway, targeting the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, and various US Senators and Representatives.  Then, on January 5, 1955, Congressman Charles Bennett introduced a bill providing that all US currency should bear the words, "In God We Trust."  
In response to queries from the Treasury on the practicability of this change, BEP Director Henry Holtzclaw answered that the inscription could be incorporated into the design of currency note plates being prepared to run on the new rotary presses in a 32-subject format.
As currency design changes can only occur upon the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary George M. Humphrey, with the approval of President Dwight Eisenhower, directed the BEP to go ahead and to insert the inscription on the series of currency to be run on the rotary presses.  At the same time, the Treasury asked that Bennett's bill be amended to reflect this development.  The language was changed with the addition of a final clause that stated, "and thereafter this inscription shall appear on all United States currency and coins."  The final bill was passed on July 11, 1955.
The first notes to run on the rotary presses in 32-subject format and bear the inscription were $1 Silver Certificates.  Production began in July 1957 and the first delivery of notes was on September 9, 1957.  
However, these presses could not produce all of the $1 notes needed at the time.  Therefore, some $1 notes were printed using older 18-subject presses and plates.  The simultaneous production from the two varieties of plates accounted for the fact that some new $1 notes without "In God We Trust" were placed into circulation.  The situation gave rise to misconceptions on the part of the public and many complaints.  However, beginning on September 15, 1961, all $1 notes produced bore the inscription.  And, as other denominations were shifted to production on the 32-subject plate rotary presses, they too would include the inscription. 
Since then, those four words have appeared on every new currency design.

For the eighth consecutive year, BEP’s Western Currency Facility was recognized by the City of Fort Worth Water Department and was honored with two prestigious awards.   


At the City’s 19th Annual Pretreatment Awards on December 6, BEP accepted the Pretreatment Partnership Award for 100 percent compliance with local, state, and federal pretreatment regulations.


Additionally, BEP was one of four recipients of the Pollution Prevention Award for its significant efforts in the use of materials, processes, and practices to reduce and eliminate waste to protect natural resources and the environment.


BEP received the Pollution Prevention Award for two initiatives:

  1. An 84 percent reduction in ink solids and ink debris waste in the Currency Overprinting Processing Equipment (COPE) production section.
  2. An upgraded compressed air system resulting in a 16 percent reduction in energy use.  The return on investment is six years with a $55,000 a year energy cost savings.


BEP is proud of these awards and remains committed to the environment and to creating efficiencies wherever it can.