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Ready For The New 100 Dollar Bill?

Sean Trundy

No Update From the Treasury Since June 2011

The U.S. Treasury has yet to announce a release date for the new $100 bill.  Last June they reported that the bill was indefinitely delayed due to production problems and they have not since provided an estimated release date.  The problem is due to some of the notes creasing during the printing process. 

New $100 Bill

About 1.1 billion of the new notes were printed prior to discovering the problem and not all of them were damaged.  Several solutions have been implemented, including hand sorting the clean notes from the damaged ones. However,  the U.S. Treasury must be certain that the problem is not repeated, and that the solution is "sustainable and repeatable" before releasing the new $100 bill into circulation.

Security Features of the New $100 Bill

The redesign of the new $100 bill incorporates a number of security features including 2 new advanced security features to stymie sophisticated counterfeiting efforts.

Advanced Security Features

  1. New Woven 3D Security Ribbon - located to the right of Benjamin Franklin on the front of the note, this blue ribbon is literally woven, not printed, into the paper.  The ribbon depicts several liberty bells that, when the note is shifted side to side, turn into the number 100.  If the note is tilted up and down the bells/100s shift side to side and if tilted side to side the icons shift up and down.
  2. Disappearing Bell in an Inkwell - To the right of the Security Ribbon is a copper colored inkwell.  If the bill is tilted side to side a green liberty bell appears in the inkwell.  The bell shifts from green to copper making it appear as if the liberty bell disappears.

Additional Security Features

  1. Watermark - located in the blank space next to the portrait is a watermark image of Franklin that is visible from both sides.describe the image
  2. Security Thread - Present in the old bill  this security thread, depicting the letters USA and the numerals 100, glows pink under ultra violet light.
  3. Color-Shifting 100 - Found in the lower right corner of the face of the new $100 bill the numerals 100 change from copper to green as the note is tilted back and forth.
  4. Advanced Intaglio (Raised) Printing - Rubbing your finger on the shoulder of Benjamin Franklin reveals a distinctive rough feeling that is more pronounced than the raised printing in the rest of the note.
  5. Large 100 - Designed more for the visually impaired rather than a security feature the large type 100 on the back is easily visible.
  6. Micro-printing -  Small printed words appears in 4 places: on Benjamin Franklin’s jacket collar, where the portrait watermark appears and along the golden quill and note borders.
  7. Portrait and Vignette - A Benjamin is still a Benjamin and his portrait will grace the new $100 bill.  The back has been redesigned with a vignette of Independence Hall.
  8. Blue Background - The New $100 bill is blue in color.  Color is easily replicated so it should not be used to determine a genuine note.
  9. Fort Worth Mint indicator  - The new $100 bill is printed in Fort Worth and Washington D.C.  Only those notes printed in Fort wroth will have the letters F.W. printed next to the numeral 100 in the upper left  front side of the bill.
  10. Federal Reserve Indicator and Serial Numbers - These features are familiar from previous notes.

Whenever The Treasury announces the date, they will provide at least six months lead time between the announcement and the day of issue.  This long lead time is to give business that handle cash sufficient time to become familiar with the new security features and to have technology and procedures in place to identify counterfeiting attempts. 

Counterfeit Currency Detection Whitepaper

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