Portraits on U.S. Currency Keep Getting Younger

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The iconic images of presidents–the ones printed on our money–are timeless. Or are they? Rather than staying the same, the members of America’s honorable legion look like a fine wine: better with age. They appear cleaner, sharper, and, well, nipped and tucked. The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the federal agency that designs and prints new bills, claims that redesigns are undertaken solely to thwart counterfeiters. "If there are [cosmetic changes], it was completely unconscious," says BEP Director Larry Felix. But in a society entranced by aesthetics, the brush-ups are unmistakable. For an expert look, NEWSWEEK consulted New York plastic surgeon Dr. David Hidalgo to illuminate just how much time each deacon of his denomination spent under the artistic knife....

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