To many Americans, currency is a statement about who we are as a nation. That’s why there has been a lot of discussion about the approved changes to the U.S. currency. A few of the most commonly used bills are being redesigned, and the possible elimination of a certain lucky coin is under consideration.

Recently, Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, announced his proposal to remove the photo of Andrew Jackson on the front of the bill, a former slave owner, from the $20 bill, and replace it with a photo of Harriet Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist. Women and civil rights leaders will also be added to the back of both the $5 and $10 bills. This intent of this proposal was to bring awareness about the history of African-Americans, women, and civil rights leaders.

A picture of the Treasury building located on the $10 bill will also be replaced with a picture of a 1913 march held in support of women’s right to vote, along with pictures of five suffragette leaders: Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony.

For more information on the redesigned bills being considered, visit the U.S Department of the Treasury website

These drastic changes to paper money are not the only the big news from the United States Treasury. There has been further discussion about controversial the elimination of the penny. Millions believe the penny costs more to keep in circulation than it provides in value.

Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny, a nonpartisan organization, has gained support from economists from both Harvard and Wake Forest University to remove the penny from circulation. Representative Jim Kolbe introduced bills twice in Congress to have the penny eliminated, and President Barack Obama also argued pennies were obsolete, and that the government actually wastes money to create the currency.

Although there are those who want to eliminate the penny, there are some who support its continuing circulation. Americans for Common Cents is a group that represents Jarden Zinc, which is a company that makes the zinc and copper blanks from which pennies are produced. It recently conducted polls that showed more than two-thirds of Americans favor keeping the penny as a currency.

Likewise, there has been a long-term movement by The Dollar Coin Alliance, that has called for the elimination of the $1 bill and replacing it with the $1 coins. The cost of keeping the “paper” $1 bills in circulation has increased to the point of almost making the bill too expensive to maintain. The Dollar Coin Alliance argues that their plan for the $1 coin will save the country over $150 million dollars each year because the coins can stay in circulation much, much longer than the bills. The argument against is that the cost of the making a $1 coin is about $0.33 each and the cost of the paper $1 bill is about $0.05 each. Therefore, the $1 coin costs 700% more to make, but the $1 bill typically stays in circulation about 18 months. A $1 coin can stay in circulation an indefinite amount of time. Based on the information above, a $1 coin in circulation for 10.5 years is saving us money for any additional amount of the time it stays in circulation.

When the Treasury makes such changes to bills, it affects the industries Standard Change-Makers serves because it requires change machine owners to update the firmware in their bill acceptors to validate these bills – as well as the other bills that are currently in circulation. The bill acceptors “read” the bills – looking for distinguishing characteristics, ink density, material thickness, magnetic properties and landmarks to meet certain algorithms. If the bills meets a percentage of those properties – it is deemed authentic currency and the appropriate value signals are sent by the acceptor to the change machine controller to dispense the appropriate pay-out.

Standard Change-Makers started out as a small business and has grown into a leading pioneer of technology for bill validation, electronic dispense and modular “plug and play” components. We have over 60 years of experience within the currency industry, and have an experienced and highly knowledgeable service and support team who is kept aware of the most recent currency changes within the U.S. We are eager to serve and educate individuals on the impact of currency throughout the community. To learn more about our services and/or state-of-the-art machinery, visit standardchange.com.