The new $100 bill makes its debut today (Tuesday), albeit a few years later than originally planned.
The bill was originally set to come out in 2011, but three years ago, the Federal Reserve announced that a problem with the currency’s new security measures was causing the bills to crease during printing, according to CNN Money.
The new $100 bill has several features designed to make it easier for the public to authenticate and harder for counterfeiters to fake.
Those measures include a blue, 3-D security ribbon, as well as color-shifting ink that changes from copper to green when the note is tilted. That special is located on a large “100” on the back of the new bill, on one of the “100’s” on the front, and on a new image of an ink well that’s also on the front of the bill.
The image of Benjamin Franklin will be the same as it is currently, but it will no longer be surrounded by an dark oval. Except for the $1 and $2 bill, all U.S. paper currency has been revamped over the last decade to combat counterfeiting.
The $100 bill is actually the second most common bill in circulation today, behind only the $1 bill.
Here’s an in-depth look at the new security feature, courtesy of NewMoney.gov:
3-D Security Ribbon:
Look for a blue ribbon on the front of the note. Tilt the note back and forth while focusing on the blue ribbon. You will see the bells change to 100s as they move. When you tilt the note back and forth, the bells and 100s move side to side. If you tilt it side to side, they move up and down. The ribbon is woven into the paper, not printed on it.
Bell in the Inkwell:
Look for an image of a color-shifting bell, inside a copper-colored inkwell, on the front of the new $100 note. Tilt it to see the bell change from copper to green, an effect which makes the bell seem to appear and disappear within the inkwell.
Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of Benjamin Franklin in the blank space to the right of the portrait. The image is visible from either side of the note.
Hold the note to light to see an embedded thread that runs vertically to the left of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 100 in an alternating pattern and is visible along the thread from both sides of the note. The thread glows pink when illuminated by ultraviolet light.
Tilt the note to see the numeral 100 in the lower right corner of the note shift from copper to green.
Move your finger up and down Benjamin Franklin’s shoulder on the left side of the note. It should feel rough to the touch, a result of the enhanced intaglio printing process used to create the image. Traditional raised printing can be felt throughout the $100 note, and gives genuine U.S. currency its distinctive texture.
Look for a large gold numeral 100 on the back of the note. It helps those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.
Look carefully for small printed words which appear on Benjamin Franklin’s jacket collar, around the blank space where the portrait watermark appears, along the golden quill, and in the note borders.
Portrait and Vignette:
A portrait of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, remains on the front of the new $100 note. On the back, there is a new vignette of Independence Hall featuring the back, rather than the front, of the building. The ovals around the portrait and the vignette have been removed and the images have been enlarged.
Symbols of Freedom:
The new $100 note’s American symbols of freedom—phrases from the Declaration of Independence and the quill the Founding Fathers used to sign the historic document—are found to the right of the portrait.
The background color of the new $100 note is pale blue. Color adds a layer of complexity to the design of the $100 note and differs with each denomination to help distinguish them. Because color can be duplicated by potential counterfeiters, it should not be used to verify the authenticity of the note.
The redesigned $100 notes are printed in two locations: Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas. New $100 notes printed in Fort Worth, will have a small F.W. in the top left corner on the front of the note to the right of the numeral 100. If the note does not have an F.W. indicator, it was printed in Washington, D.C.
Federal Reserve Indicator:
A universal seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank. There are 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches located in major cities throughout the United States.
The unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the bill. Because they are unique identifiers, serial numbers help law enforcement identify counterfeit notes, and they also help the Bureau of Engraving and Printing track quality standards for the notes they produce.
More in the graphics and video below (graphics courtesy of USA Today).
- Check Out The Sophisticated Features Of The New $100 Bill (businessinsider.com)
- New $100 bill starts circulating Tuesday (upi.com)
- New $100 Bill Debuting Tomorrow After 2-Year Delay (consumerist.com)
- New $100 bill to debut Tuesday (money.cnn.com)