U.S. Government Unveils Redesigned $100 Bill

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The new design for the $100 note, revealed today by officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, and the U.S. Secret Service.

back_10.jpgWe detect a certain bewilderment in the crinkly, enlarged visage of Benjamin Franklin that peers out from behind a thicket of security features on the front of the new $100 bill. Unveiled this morning during a ceremony at the Department of the Treasury’s Cash Room (and via a splashy YouTube video), the redesigned c-note includes two new “advanced counterfeit-deterrent security features”: first, a blue 3-D security ribbon that whizzes by Franklin with images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as you tilt the note. And that pot of gold hovering over his left shoulder? Don’t look for leprechauns. It’s “the bell in the inkwell.” The bell changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted, an effect that makes it seem to appear and disappear within the inkwell.

The new design for the $100 bill, the most widely circulated and most often counterfeited denomination outside the U.S., also keeps the security features of the previous design: the portrait watermark, security thread, and color-shifting 100. And now, just for fun, Franklin is joined by newly added phrases from the Declaration of Independence and a giant quill. Meanwhile, au verso, you’ll find a new and enlarged vignette of Independence Hall featuring the rear, rather than the front, of the building. Prefer the old version? All 6.5 billion now in circulation will remain legal tender when the new bills are issued. Noted Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben Bernanke, “U.S. currency users should know they will not have to trade in their old design notes when the new notes begin circulating.” Phew.