New $100 bills will begin circulation today, and the updated C-Note, though long overdue, carries a fresh design and smarter security features. The last time the Federal Reserve updated our largest currency denomination was in 1996, and today’s intro of the bill will be more than two years after it was originally scheduled for release, reports CNN on Oct. 7.
Mr. Ben Franklin is still the centerpiece of the bill, but the new advanced security features and addition of color make this bill a standout – as well as easier for retailers to confirm as real.
“It only takes a few seconds for people — if they know what they’re looking for — to know what they’re looking at is genuine,” said Michael J. Lambert, associate director of the Federal Reserve.
The $100 bill is the most common U.S. currency denomination taken and used outside of the states; its export popularity also makes it the most counterfeited, Lambert says.
The new bill has been a long time coming, taking more than a decade to get from conceptualization to the printing rolls. It was originally scheduled for release in February 2011, but a printing problem creased the bills and made them unfit for circulation. Once fixed, a second printing error caused the ink to smear. An estimated $30 million had to be destroyed.
Yahoo! Finance describes the new bill:
“Two key security features of the new bill include a 3-D security ribbon with images of bells and 100s and a color-shifting bell inside a copper inkwell on the front of the note. If you tilt the bill back and forth, you’ll see the bells change to 100s as they move, shifting in color from copper to green in an effect that makes the bell seem to appear and disappear in the inkwell. The new note also features raised printing – if you move your finger along Franklin’s shoulder on the left side of the note, it feels rough,” says The Exchange via Yahoo! Finance.
Here are five things you may not know about our new $100 bill:
- The new $100 bill is the second-most common bill in circulation. The most common? The $1 bill.
- Once we get a $100 bill, we tend to hold onto it. The average life span of a $100 bill is 15 years, compared with only 6 years for a $1 bill and close to 8 years for a $20 bill, according to the Federal Reserve.
- How much funny money is floating around? Less than 1/100th of 1 percent of U.S. currency per year is reported as counterfeit.
- The $100 is the largest denomination in circulation today. The largest was a $100,000 bill, printed only in 1934 and 1935.
- It costs 7.8 cents to produce one $100 bill. The $5, $20 and $50 bills cost around a dime each to produce.