Given the partial government shutdown, you wouldn't be out of line to think that the new $100 wouldn't be making its debut this week. You would, however, be wrong. The redesign will finally make its way to banks near you tomorrow following a delay of nearly three years. Banks had expected the change since 2011 but the Federal Reserve announced that a problem with the bills security measures caused it to crease during the printing process, leaving blank spaces on the bills.
Ben Franklin's new look
The new "Benjamin" features several design changes that make the note easier to authenticate while making it far more difficult to counterfeit. Firstly, the bill will feature a blue 3-D security ribbon as well as color-shifting ink that causes the bill to change from copper to green when it is tilted. The color shifting ink is used on a big "100" on the back of the bill, and on the front of the bill it is also used on another "100" as well as on an ink well that has been added to the front of the note.
Ben Franklin won't change much, but like all the newer currencies, he will not be surrounded by an oval as he has in past bills. With the exception of the $1 and $2 bills, each nomination of U.S. currency has been reworked in the last ten years to fight counterfeiting efforts. Somewhat surprisingly, only the $1 bill has a wider circulation than the $100 bill, with the $20 being the third most circulated.
Statistics for currency in circulation
The most recent statistics from the Fed show that as of Dec. 31, there were 10.3 billion $1 bills in circulation, 8.6 billion $100 bills and 7.4 billion $20 bills, followed by $5's, $10's, $50's and $2's. A little more than 75 percent of the more than $1 trillion of currency in circulation is in $100 bills. Most hundred dollar bills are held outside of the United States.
Banks will not be switching out the current design, which has been in circulation since 1996.
The current design for the $100, in circulation since 1996, as well as all previous designs, will still be legal tender. However, banks requesting money from the Federal Reserve will only see the new design delivered to them beginning tomorrow.