Keeping up with the Benjamins

 I’m fascinated by alternative currencies, but all eyes are focused on one of our old-school US greenbacks: the Benjamin or $100 bill.

Today, the newly-redesigned $100 bills were distributed to banks. According to Federal Reserve Board Governor Jerome Powell, the new bills are “easier to authenticate, but harder to replicate.”

US currency, anti-counterfeiting, currency design, US $100 bills,

While the $20 bill is the most frequently counterfeited note, the $100 note is most frequently counterfeited outside the US. In response, advanced security features were added to the bill. They include:

> a blue three-dimensional security ribbon with alternating images of bells/100s when tilted
> a color-changing bell in an inkwell
> an image of the quill used to sign the Declaration of Independence
> mouse type sprinkled throughout the bill
> intaglio or “raised printing” creating a texture around Franklin’s shoulder on the left side of the note
> a new vignette of Independence Hall showing the back of the building
> large “100” shown in gold type for those with visual impairments to help distinguish the denomination
> notes printed in Fort Worth, TX house an F.W. in the upper left corner, while notes printed in Washington, DC have no indicator

US currency, anti-counterfeiting, currency design, US $100 bills,

If you’re curious like me about the new Benjamin, educational PDFs are available for download here.

US currency, anti-counterfeiting, currency design, US $100 bills, educational materials

Are we liking the new $100 bill?

Prototype shows the front and back of the newly-designed $100 / distributed by the Federal reserve on April 24, 2013. All historic banknotes are in the public domain.

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