The new $100 bill is being made available to the public for the first time today. The note, which features enhanced security features and some elements of a redesign, will begin to circulate today, though it might be difficult to get a hold of one. The new redesign is the first major change to the $100 bill since 1996.
The advent of cheap printing and international supply networks powered by the internet have made it more easy to counterfeit American currency, while the ease of information dissemination has also made it more easy to find out how to counterfeit paper money. The new bill contains a couple of key features that make counterfeiting much more difficult.
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Counterfeiting the new $100 bill
There are two key security additions to the new $100 bill. A blue ribbon that runs down the center of the bill appears to show images of bells and the number 100 when the bill is moved, and parts of the bill change color when tilted relative to the eye. The new features will help to make the bill much more difficult to counterfeit, an especially important factor given the international stature of the $100 bill.
The Benjamin Franklin bearing note of U.S. currency is the most widely circulated bill outside of the United States. That means there are more opportunities for foreign parties with a less than positive view of the United States to attempt to counterfeit the note. Between one half and two thirds of $100 bills are used outside of the United States according to The Wall Street Journal.
New $100 bill picture
The $100 will still retain Benjamin Franklin as its face, but it will change some of the other details about the note. Franklin appears to be a little bigger on the new note, and he is no longer surrounded by an oval. The bill will now feature the back of Independence Hall, rather than the front of the building that appears on current $100 bills.
The old $100 bills are still usable as currency and there is no date at which they have to be destroyed. As wear and tear sets in, the notes will be sent back to the Federal Reserve for destruction. The entirety of the paper currency of the United States is due for replacement in the coming months. The new $5 bill was released last month, while the rest of the currency is still awaiting refresh.