The new $100 bill, which has been in development for years, is finally ready to hit the banks after some major changes were made to make the bill harder to counterfeit.

Like the old C-notes, the new ones feature watermarks. The new ones, however, are slightly different where it concerns the portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The new bill has a simplified version of the politician’s face with a similarly simplified watermark that appears when held up to a light source.

As for microprinting, the new $100s boast significantly more of it. Visible with a magnifying glass is “The United States of America” printed on Franklin’s collar, “USA 100” on the watermark of Franklin’s portrait, “One Hundred USA” on the new quill graphic and more.


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Color-changing ink was also used in the creation of the currency. In multiple areas of the bill, a graphic will look gold until tilted, revealing a greenish hue. The bell hidden in the inkwell and the golden quill are just two of the parts of the bill that have been drawn in color-changing ink.

Perhaps the most striking difference in the new bill is the ribbon that runs down its center, which almost looks like a printing error at first glance. The security strip is woven into the bill and features three-dimensional images of the Liberty Bell and “100.”

Engraving has also been used on U.S. Currency for the first time, giving the feeling of a raised surface on the $100 bill.

The last time a newly redesinged $100 bill entered circulation was in 1996. Since 2003, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have been working on the new editions. After a series of delays stalled the release in 2010 and 2011, they're finally on their way to banks across the country.

– Chelsea Regan

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