Change for Cash

Several years ago the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was sued by the American Council of the Blind in order to force the BEP to create paper currency that is discernible to the blind population. An Order Injunction for Case 1:02-cv-00864-JR was put in place by Judge James Robertson, forcing the BEP to follow an outlined procedure for developing a solution for the blind and visually impaired. A final element of the procedure is to provide a "Public Notice" ( ... Public Submissions, is no longer active) of what the BEP plans are for paper money design changes.


Upon reading the document, TREAS DO 2010 0003 0001.pdf, prepared by the BEP for the proposed changes, it is apparent that a better solution that I developed and submitted to the BEP several years ago which involves creating a windowed shape around a durable material similar to the denomination band in paper money currently is not being considered.

For a detailed explanation of Money Charms, please read the report Money Charms 2008.pdf which provides sample images of the reverse side and also reasons why using Braille or other more involved shapes is not recommended.

Unfortunately the BEP never offered Money Charms as an option for focus groups to consider. At the very least, the BEP should research and consider Money Charms for the simple reason that every viable alternative should be considered. The following is from a letter I sent to United States District Judge JAMES ROBERTSON as to where the recommendations proposed by the BEP fail when compared to Money Charms.



Honorable James Robertson
United States District Court
for the District of Columbia
333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Re: Case 1:02-cv-00864-JR

Dear Honorable James Robertson,

Your leadership in the matter of Case 1:02-cv-00864-JR places you in a position of appreciating what solution will unfold for paper currency being made discernible by the blind population, and that an effective solution could be rendered on a world wide scale.

Upon reviewing the online documents at I am concerned that the BEP doesn't appear to be considering a viable solution that I first presented to the BEP in 2007 February.

According to Appendix A Focus Group Questions.pdf the option of having an indented or windowed tactile element is not proposed to the focus group. The only tactile elements proposed are; i. Raised, ii. Smooth, iii. Braille, iv. Lines, v. Symbols and vi. Vary location or vary texture/pattern. I believe that an indented-window tactile element works with current technology and will be able to be implemented more efficiently, smoothly and effectively into the public monetary system. In a follow up report titled "Money Charms US", which included several scale mock ups, I detail indented-window design elements that will make denominations more discernible to the blind population and simultaneously create a more robust anti-counterfeit paper currency.

Expressed in the online document, Appendix K Prototype Size and Feature Illustrations.pdf, the BEP is considering three main options; 1) notches cut out along the edge, 2) a different size for each denomination, and 3) raised bars added along the edge. Please allow me to present how each of these options fails in producing an effective solution to Case 1:02-cv-00864-JR.

1) Notches cut out along the edge can be reproduced by anyone with reasonable eye to hand coordination. Also any edge element can be reduced through wear and tear and may be ill suited for automated money reading equipment-jamming and such.

2) A different size for each denomination is only effective when a reference gauge is used such as a known bill or a template. This solution could also be considered somewhat discriminatory due to creating a situation where the blind population would have to have a trustworthy reference item always present. Different sizes may also create unnecessary retooling of every machine that currently reads paper currency.

3) Raised bars along the edge are subject to the same problems cut notches face. They could be faked by simply embossing one side then filling the indent or just using a fabric paint or the like to add raised bars. Edges can be torn away and damaged more easily than any design element added to the interior of the layout of each denomination.

Such an important redesign of our US Paper Currency affords the opportunity of adding a design element that not only provides an effective solution to Case 1:02-cv-00864-JR, but also renders our US Paper Currency safer for everyone to use and trust.

A problem that faces current money design is that most people don't pay attention to the current anti-counterfeit safeguards. It's not because people don't care, it's just that most safeguards are not easily discernible by the general public.

A) Many people don't know that a security tape is sandwiched at a different spot within the paper for each denomination.

B) Many people have difficulty reading the small print on the tape through the paper.

C) Many of the other included safeguards are also rather ineffective for the general public; i.e. Numerous tiny yellow 20s, microscopic writing, and special inks.

Along with this letter is a copy of the original report of 2008 May detailing
Money Charms that I sent to the BEP, The American Council of the Blind, NBC Headquarters and the US Copyright Office. In 2009 February I was able to give a copy of the report to Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.

The $10 scale mock up is the only one I have from the original sets created for the various reports, and I have included it so that you may be able to truly grasp the effectiveness of Money Charms. If you would like more comparison, please contact the BEP and Secretary Timothy Geithner for each were given a report that together included a complete set of scale mock ups for each denomination featuring Money Charms.

Money Charms are an elegantly effective, non-discriminatory way to render paper currency more discernible to blind people while simultaneously creating safer money transactions for US All.


David Biagini



Ultimately if Money Charms design elements are utilized I should receive a fair and negotiated compensation for my innovations.

Thank you.

David Biagini