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The Need for High-Tech $100 Redesign and Its Security Features

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The U.S. has been working on the redesign of the $100 bill since 2003 and the government is finally set to unveil it in October of this year. While considerable anticipation has been shown for the new bills, many people wonder why this currency needs to be revamped. After all, most Americans walk around with small notes of currency in their wallets. Although the counterfeit problem associated with the $100 bill is not a huge issue in this country, it is a problem in international markets. Moreover, the government hopes that the redesign, though more costly, will save them money on the bills’ production in the long run.

The International Problem

North Korea is one of the leading producers of Super Notes—counterfeit copies of U.S. $100 bills. Yet North Korea isn’t the only party responsible for counterfeit currency; many other nations, too, have counterfeit problems. A multitude of international markets contain counterfeit $100s. Since $100 bill often arrive back in this country with international travelers, the waters of currency can get pretty muddy. The U.S. is hoping to put a major dent in counterfeit operations like those based in North Korea. The new technological features of the bill render it virtually impossible to fake.

The New $100

While the new $100 bill is designed so that counterfeiters cannot fake it, everyday people will have an easier time authenticating the bill. This is because many new features have gone into the design of this currency. Among the major changes to the bill, a new three-dimensional ribbon will be woven into the bill—not printed. The new $100 bills will incorporate microprinting on Ben Franklin’s collar. Additionally, the bills will feature distinctive texture due to raised marks or ‘intaglio’ that will be placed throughout the design.

More Security Enhancements

The bills will incorporate some other unique features that will throw a monkey wrench in the plans of would-be counterfeiters. The design will feature the image of an inkwell with a liberty bell that changes color—copper to green—when it is tilted. The number 100 and the image of a bell will also alternate throughout the design and change when tilted. In addition, each bill will feature an image of Ben Franklin’s face that can be viewed on both sides of the new $100 bill. Finally, there will be an even larger denomination (100) placed vertically on the bill.

Rolling Out the Benjamins

There is great anticipation regarding the rollout of the new $100 bills. Although people can certainly still use their old currency, the government will be destroying the older bills as they are returned upon circulation. Naturally, destruction of old bills will take time because billions of $100 notes are in circulation. Even so, expect to see these new bills in the fall when you visit your cash station to withdraw sums of $100. Many people are apt to be surprised by all the high-tech features. Sure to be striking, these new bills may even encourage you to save your pennies so you can cash in quickly to keep a few of these Benjamins on hand.

Sources:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0421/New-100-bill-Why-the-high-tech-redesign

http://www.businessinsider.com/9-security-features-in-new-100-bill-2013-4

http://www.troygroup.com/contact/downloads/TROY_Microprint_Whitepaper_011609.pdf

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