Fraud Prevention Blog

Nov 13, 2013 - Will the New $100 Need to be Recalled?

Posted by Sean Trundy on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 01:58 PM

Reports Already Coming-In about the New $100 note "falling apart'

Peeling 3D Ribbon on New $100

It seems impossible to believe, but in retrospect - given the extreme issues experienced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in production of the new $100 bill - it should come as no surprise that the technologically advanced new $100 banknote may have issues holding-up to the wear and tear of everyday use. 

A Problem-Plagued Product Launch

The production of the new $100 was plagued with issues and problems.  Originally unveiled to the pubic in 2010, and slated for a 2011 release-date, the notes experienced severe complications during the printing process - mostly centered on the new 3D security ribbon.  In 2011, press releases announcing the delay in the release of the note pointed to issues of "creasing" in the paper, where the paper would fold over the security ribbon, resulting in portions of the bill not getting printed properly.

Now, have a look at that picture at the top of the article.  What we see here is the ribbon actually peeling-off the surface of the banknote.  

This image is captured from a news story broken by KVAL TV News, in Eugene, Oregon. In the story, an interview with a local Secret Service office reveals that if anyone comes in contact with a new $100 bill missing the security ribbon, they should immediately take it to their bank.  

However, a local CitiBank manager said that, if someone came into the branch trying to exchange a new $100 without the security ribbon, the bank may not be able to accept the note, since their currency verification devices would not authenticate a note that is missing the ribbon. 

The bottom line?  If the ribbon comes off your $100 bill, you may be stuck with a fairly worthless piece of paper!

Recall the Defective Notes.....?

It's too early to tell just how widespread this issue may be.  We tested the new $100 notes here in our FraudFighter offices, and it does seem that the ribbon can be worked-off the surface, if one is willing to make an effort.  

Does this mean that "normal" wear and tear will produce the same result?  Only time will tell.  If the answer turns out to be "yes", then it is likely that some steps will need to be taken to address the issue.  

Will this mean a widespread recall of the note?  The very act of doing this would cost tens of millions - even hundreds of millions of dollars.   

However, the expense may be justified, in the long run. 

Conspiracy Theory

Why did the BEP not choose to go "polymer" with the new $100.  Are americans so stuck in our way that we would be unable to adjust to a genuinely advanced banknote made of materials designed to last for much longer than the current paper notes, and which can have hi-tech security embedded into the materials much more easily?

New $100 UV Feature

For more than a decade, we at FraudFighter have - with tongue in cheek - vouchsafed the opinion that the Federal Government has never truly intended to make a secure banknote.  Particularly not the $100 banknote.   We need only look at  the last 17 years - since the introduction of the first "big head" note in 1996 - to see that at every turn where a redesign of a US banknote has been conducted, a continued refusal to include genuinely secure features has been seen. 

What do you think?  Is it all part of some conspiracy theory to keep the US Dollar unsecure, easy to replicate, and used around the globe as the de-facto international currency? 

Topics: counterfeit money, counterfeit money detectors, currency news

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