Americans will have to wait a little longer to find out which woman will appear on the new $10 bill.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will delay his announcement of the $10 bill redesign until 2016, a spokeswoman said in a statement Friday, extending a selection process that Lew initially said would be over by the end of this year.
Lew revealed in June that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing would replace the portrait of Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill in favour of one featuring both Hamilton and a woman to be named later.
However, the department decided to extend its review after receiving “many more ideas than [it] had originally anticipated” from the public, the spokeswoman said.
“The public’s input on redesigning our currency has been a valuable part of Secretary Lew’s decision-making process,” she told CBS News. “We are taking additional time to carefully review and consider a range of options to honour the theme of democracy as well as the notable contributions women have made to our country.”
Hamilton supporters have criticised Lew for choosing the $10 bill for redesign over the $20 bill, which features Andrew Jackson.
The Woman on 20s campaign petitioned the government to remove Jackson — whose legacy as president includes the forced relocation of Native Americans — with the winner of its online vote, Harriet Tubman.
Other women considered in the vote included Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Even Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, argued in a blog post that Hamilton’s portrait should stay, citing Hamilton’s role in establishing the US economy.
“Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history,” he wrote.
However, according to an FAQ on the Treasury Department’s website, the $10 bill’s redesign was necessary “to stay ahead of counterfeiting.”
The new $10 bill could enter circulation as early as 2020, which would coincide with the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage.
The updated $10 note will be the first paper currency to feature a woman since Martha Washington first appeared on the $1 silver certificate in 1886.
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