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New 100 dollar bill unveiled

By Ed O'Keefe

Over at the Treasury Department today, it's all about the Benjamins.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke unveiled the new design for the $100 bills that feature Benjamin Franklin's mug. The new bills include additional security features designed to weed out counterfeit notes.

The new design includes a 3-D security ribbon that contains images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as handlers tilt the note. A new image of the Liberty Bell in the inkwell changes color from copper to green when the bill is tilted.

It also features phrases from the Declaration of Independence and the quill used by the Founding Fathers to sign the document on the right hand side of the front of the bill. On the back, there's a new image of the back of Independence Hall. Both that image and Franklin's portrait have been enlarged, and designers dropped the oval around both images.

The new design follows more than a decade of research and development by folks at the Treasury Department, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Secret Service. Less than a hundredth of 1 percent of all U.S. currency is counterfeit, but the $100 note is the most widely circulated and most frequently counterfeited outside the U.S., the Treasury said.

The Federal Reserve Board will start issuing the bills Feb. 10, 2011. The older bills will still work and will eventually be cycled out of the market, Bernanke said. The new bills will also feature the signature of U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, who was recently profiled by the Federal Eye.

Do you like it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 21, 2010; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  | Tags:  New $100 bill, new 100 dollar bill  
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Comments

Every couple of years they repeat the same stup1d mistakes. LOL Gov. is a waste of time and space. Who ever thought putting these nitw1ts in charge was a good idea is a fool. Gov. works off of taxes (budget) and never is on the for front of technology. The reason they continue to step on their d#$ks is, the bad guys are smarter and two steps ahead of them. Remember the reason you sit in traffic 2 hours a day is because the Gov. cannot manager the traffic systems. But feel free to put them in charge of healthcare so in a few years you have something else to complain about.

Posted by: askgees | April 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It's more than a great idea and design, it's technological wonder that we can carry in our wallets. Many people don't think of the printing industry as high tech--especially with the apparent decline of print-on-paper media--but this new $100 bill design should change that. The question is, what will counterfeiters do to imitate it and create passable fake currency?

Posted by: ausura | April 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic idea! But how will I know what a counterfeit looks like? The Treasury should send me a new $100 bill so I can be on the look out for fakes.

Posted by: NickNaigm | April 21, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Fantastic idea! But how will I know what a counterfeit looks like? The Treasury should send me a new $100 bill so I can be on the look out for fakes."
"Posted by: NickNaigm"

And it would be a scientific tragedy if NickNaigm's work wasn't peer-reviewed. I'll need one of the new Benjamins as well to fact-check Nick's efforts.

Posted by: BurgundyAndGold | April 21, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I presume it's just a picture of a quill, rather than the quill itself on the back of the bill.

No link to an image?

Posted by: cptspaulding | April 21, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I don't think even Groucho Marx would have written such a stupid line for his character...

Posted by: fischy | April 21, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I would like to hear how this new bill is going to solve the problem of the "supernotes," those mysterious, possibly North Korean, possibly CIA, possibly Iranian bills found in Russia and the far east, in diplomatic pouches and in the hands of suspicious money changers. What features of the new bill will be beyond the expected ability of the counterfeiters to duplicate?

I have another idea for solving the counterfeiting problem. Eliminate the $100 bill. Make $50 the highest denomination. How many Americans pay for an item costing $1000 or more with cash? Even if one has an occasion top make a $2000 purchase, that is only 40 $50 bills--not an insurmountable counting problem. The $10,000, $5,000, $1000, and $500 bills have been recalled and are now only collectors items. Why not do that with the $100 bill?

This step would be a big problem, I suspect, for counterfeiters. It costs money to produce counterfeit money. If not enough can be conveniently moved, counterfeiting is an unprofitable business. The elimination of the $100 bill addresses this issue.

Posted by: rlathbury | April 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Fantastic idea! But how will I know what a counterfeit looks like? The Treasury should send me a new $100 bill so I can be on the look out for fakes."
"Posted by: NickNaigm"
And it would be a scientific tragedy if NickNaigm's work wasn't peer-reviewed. I'll need one of the new Benjamins as well to fact-check Nick's efforts.
Posted by: BurgundyAndGold
It's all about redundancy. I'll need one to to confirm results.

Posted by: danielsrice | April 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It is a beautiful note, except for that 3-D ribbon.

They haven't yet found a smart way to meet artistic and security needs without one set diminishing the other.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | April 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

@ rlathbury: The 'supernote' story is itself a fraud and a hoax.

Add in Hollywood exaggeration, and you can see why this easily and constantly debunked modern myth has such durability among otherwise reasonable people.

The real story -- American money is the currency of the world. Suckers are born every minute. In every country of the world there are suckers who will buy forged U.S. 'bearer bonds' because of mythology around them.

Bearer bonds do not work the way that Bruce Willis' character said they do in "Die Hard."

Crooks, outside the United States, can print "United States legal tender" on Manila envelopes, claims that this is some sort of new, secret 'super currency' and cheat suckers in every resort town between Trieste and Vladivostok.

Everytime some foreign bunko artist pulls off the ol' phony 'bearer bond' con and makes the international news, there is an eruption among some easily conned Americans in the belief that the fake bonds must be real and whoever is running Treasury must be doing something nefarious.

As always, good ol' common sense still rules, and the all-American notions that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof provided by the spreader of the accusation, usually dispels the situation quite nicely.

Until the next time the con gets pulled, etc.

Posted by: 1EgoNemo | April 21, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

the thing i don't understand about changing the design is, why can't counterfitters just still make the old design bills? the few times (and not very often) that i have a hundred dollar bill, even the ones over 20 years old, they look new, so who would even know if it's real or not??

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | April 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable!!!

Paper bills are just a small fraction of the amount of money in the U.S. A much bigger fraction is the ELECTRONIC money stored in banks's computers, which we move around using plastic cards and the internet.

But the biggest chunk is largely unknown to most people: those DERIVATIVES held in secret by "financial institutions" such as Goldman, which the FED refuses to report. Trillions and trillions of ethereal, non-existent money, change hands every day.

And nobody moves a finger to prevent counterfeiting at these levels.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | April 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Fantastic idea! But how will I know what a counterfeit looks like? The Treasury should send me a new $100 bill so I can be on the look out for fakes."
"Posted by: NickNaigm"
"And it would be a scientific tragedy if NickNaigm's work wasn't peer-reviewed. I'll need one of the new Benjamins as well to fact-check Nick's efforts."
Posted by: BurgundyAndGold
"It's all about redundancy. I'll need one to to confirm results."
Posted by: danielsrice
How about a panel discussion? They could send us a box full of $100's and we divulge topic? 5 pounds worth? Walk away with the material in discussion after review?

Posted by: cbmuzik | April 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Folks need to think outside their little BestBuy-driven worlds. The goal is to stay in the fight against large-scale counterfeiting. All bills go through a registration stage at the Fed. Periodically, bills circulate back through the Banks and the banks circulate them back through the Fed. If a bill shows up at the Fed and it's not a real bill, they know. Investigators can see trends, styles, etc. Each counterfeiter has "signatures" and it makes it easier to track them. Keep in mind - it's not "money" when it leaves BEP. It has to come from the Fed. So you people who think you're so smart - you're only seeing the surface. BEP and the Federal Reserve Board are doing a hell of a lot more to these bills than you know. ;-)

Posted by: mwcob | April 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

dumb dumb dumb

This makes as much sense as the penny costing $0.016 to make.

Posted by: damnit79 | April 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Let us also not forget that the courts have ruled that paper money is unfair to the blind. New paper money has to allow people who are blind to distinguish between a $1 bill and a $100 bill.

Posted by: daviduhl | April 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I totally like this. It's needed and I'm happy with the direction they're going in with physical currency.

Posted by: Nymous | April 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Fancy new paper...too bad the trade deficit with China renders it less valuable.

Posted by: wetbook71 | April 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This step would be a big problem, I suspect, for counterfeiters. It costs money to produce counterfeit money. If not enough can be conveniently moved, counterfeiting is an unprofitable business. The elimination of the $100 bill addresses this issue.

Posted by: rlathbury

-----------
I like the Treasury to use a feature that is common on Australian currency and from what I have seen, it would be hard to duplicate and the better way to change the color of for each denominations.

Posted by: beeker25 | April 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think it is an excellent idea. When I was in Kenya recently, one money changer rejected several of my $100 bills from the 1996 Series because he said that they were easily counterfeited. I was able to change them at another money changer, but only at a deep discount. It would be good if the government would recall all of the 1996 Series bills, so that banks are not paying them out to people any more.

Posted by: vonfleck | April 21, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

When I was a kid, Confederate currency flew around like Monopoly money. You played with it, but it was worthless because even though Jeff Davis's face was a novelty, you couldn't buy even a penny candy with it.

That's what is in store for this pretty, high tech new currency featured here today. Counterfitting will be the last worry one has about the dollar. Chances are the counterfit bills, once the bad guys tech catches up, will spend as well as authentic green backs, given they will have the same intrinsic value of zero.

Member the 1920's Deutsche Mark stories? You can paint up and shine an old car, but if there's no power under its hood, it ain't good for nuthin.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | April 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

As more and more anti-counterfeit measures are added to our paper currency, the bills become uglier and uglier. This is totally understandable, but sad nevertheless.

Posted by: dgloo | April 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of time and money. European money has been counterfeit proof for years. All this does is tart up a defective product. They should have started over. Make each denomination a different color. Put in plastic windows with microlines going through them. The North Koreans probably already have the plates in the works.

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | April 21, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Does the new $100 bill allow the blind or visually impaired to identify it by touch.

Posted by: qwetry1 | April 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I do not understand why the present system cannot be changed. For every denomination a different colour! And furthermore I would insert - like in the CHF, Euro, etc - also
the Braille signs enabling people wh do not see well to recognise the bill.
Or is this proposal, Mr. Bernancke, Un-American?

Posted by: roby3926 | April 21, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

This took a decade. Now the fun starts. See how fast she can spend them. I guess the press is still faster and you never run out of places for them to disappear. They'll make more and I gotta go.

Posted by: tossnokia | April 21, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Franklin had a shot of botox during the remake.

How many Benjamins did we spend making that youtube video?

Posted by: SmithInTheBasement | April 21, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I am told that the item of US currency that has the most value (e.g. how much is out there in pennies? In $20 bills?) is ... $100 bills. Mostly held by crooks, world wide. The US gains on this as inflation creeps up. But we must protect their value, and we SHOULD require "turn in your bills for the new ones." That would flush out the crooks. Of course it would also damage the innocent. I'm glad we've got a great President to decide these matters!

Posted by: henry6 | April 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that thinks it's rather tone deaf to have Geithner doing this presentation 2 days after his ex-employer is charged with fraud that caused the loss of SO MANY $100 bills that people's retirement relied upon, not to mention put so many people out of work, wishing they had a $100 bill, new or otherwise?

Rosie Rios should have presented this new bill and told Bernanke and Geithner to go get her a Starbucks so their mugs wouldn't be in the same press picture as the new bills.

Posted by: lquarton | April 22, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I think this is great. I had read earlier though that the new Ben was going to be released April 21 (yesterday). I was disappointed to read today it was changed to next year. I am glad to see the new, innovating changes to the bill and hope they will deter some of the counterfeiting efforts. I can't wait to see the new one when it is released to the public. This looks like something entirely different than other changes and it may take the forgers a long time to catch up with the new technology on the new Ben. Congrats Treasury Dept. Great job!! Ben would be proud of his new look.

Posted by: nicholjo1 | April 22, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I love the straw-man distraction this thread provides. All fiat currency, particularly in paper form is counterfeit. The old FRNs and the new C-notes will be no exception. None of this paper is backed by hard assets found in gold and silver. Looming hyperinflation will destroy the value of bonafide BEP printed pieces of artwork and those drafted by other sources.

The real value of this new note may rest with its physical properties. Will it burn sufficient to keep people warm during harsh winters. How effective a toilet-paper substitute will it be should the economy collapse making daily life dire as some imagine.

Posted by: bohicarico | April 22, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

To learn more about security features, anti-counterfeiting measures and banknotes, visit www.globalpapersecurity.com

Posted by: tmurphy1 | April 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Plastic notes, a la Australia (which has notes with transparent windows with holograms) are the real way to go. However, the paper firm Crane & Co is too well connected to go there.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | April 25, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

This bill has the exact same security features the $200 Mexican pesos has had for the last two years. I'm glad the $100 dollar bill finally has good security to avoid falsification.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrbPEwZ-w5I

Posted by: Excursioner | April 25, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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