National Edition

Ben Franklin's money makeover: fun facts about new US $100 bill

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 7:45 p.m. MDT

This is the new $100 bill issued on Tuesday.

newmoney.gov

It’s several years behind schedule, but as of Tuesday the new U.S. $100 bill has finally made its way into general circulation — and the redesigned currency carries with it a bevy of interesting factoids and brand-new features. To wit:

“The bill was originally due to reach banks 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, which left blank spaces on the bills.” (Chris Isidore, via CNN Money)

“The Fed has stockpiled 3.5 billion new $100 bills at its 28 reserve bank cash offices. They will circulate them among the 9,000 banks they do business with directly starting Tuesday. … About half to two-thirds of Benjamins are held internationally. The Federal Reserve is overseeing the introduction of the new bill and targeting much of its messaging to foreign countries. Judging from the list of languages its marketing materials are translated into, major holders of hundreds include Azerbaijan, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea.” (Ylan Q. Mui, via Washington Post)

“The (new) $100 note is more expensive to print than the last version — 12.6 cents per bill vs. 7.8 cents for the older style — but it’s designed to be harder to counterfeit and easier to authenticate. The hundred note still features Ben Franklin on the front and Independence Hall on the back, along with more colorful illustrations and hidden text and pictograms that reveal themselves only under certain conditions.” (Mark Glassman, via Bloomberg Businessweek)

“The note, which debuts (Tuesday), includes two new features to thwart counterfeiters: (1) a ‘3-D’ blue ribbon woven into the paper that, when tilted, shows 100s moving side-to-side or up-and-down; and (2) a camouflaged bell, seen within the copper inkwell, that turns green when the bill is tilted.” (Derek Thompson, via The Atlantic)

“For the first time, the engraving process includes the effect of ‘raised printing.’ This effect ‘can be felt throughout the $100 note, and gives genuine U.S. currency its distinctive texture,’ a government website on the design changes says.” (USA Today)

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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