The Federal Reserve announced this week that the US government on October 8 will begin releasing new $100 bills that contain several new high-tech security features designed to thwart counterfeiting.
The new bills were originally scheduled to hit the streets on February 11, 2011, but a major glitch caused creases and blank areas in many bills, making them unusable.
The total cost of printing the bills is estimated at $120 million — not including the re-sorting costs. The damaged money will have to be destroyed. No wonder Ben Franklin isn't smiling.
Here's a look at the new $100 bills and the security features embedded in them.
The first security feature that we'll look at is the blue security strip to the right of Benjamin Franklin. The woven (not printed) strip contains alternating lines of "100" and Liberty Bells. When you move the bill up and down or side to side, the columns will move.
The gold inkwell to the right of the security strip contains another feature. When you tilt the bill, the color of the Liberty Bell inside changes from green to copper. Since the rest of the inkwell is already copper, the Liberty Bell appears to disappear.
Here's how the bill looks under ultraviolet light.
Under a backlight, the $100 bill shows many security features including 100 on the left and a faint image of Franklin on the right.
When you tilt the bill, the 100 in the lower-right corner turns from copper to green.
Read the small print. The bill has the phrase "ONE HUNDRED USA" along the quill, and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" appears on Franklin's collar as marked.
When you touch Franklin's left shoulder, you can feel it's rough to the touch.
Here's the back of a bill through a backlight. Notice the faint images of Franklin.
On the back, there's a large golden 100 to help those who are visually impaired.
On top is the current $100 bill, and below is the $100 bill used from 1990-96.
The money-printing process.