The Treasury Department unveiled a new 100-dollar bill, in the first remake of the bill since 1996. Odd timing considering with the recession most people don’t have $100 in their wallet, let alone a few Hundred-Dollar Bills.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing calls the 100-dollar note the highest value denomination of U.S. currency in general circulation, and one that circulates broadly around the world. There are larger denominations for bank to bank transfers but not for use by the general public.
Anti-counterfeiting measures are the main reason the U.S. has been making changes in currency. Those changes started in 1996 with the 100-dollar bill, followed by a new 20-dollar bill in 2003. Since then most bills have also been upgraded, to what many call “Monopoly Money” as bills have lost their standard Green Back look and often now feature bright colors. The $100 bill is mostly unchanged color wise, but does feature some gradient on Benjamin Franklin, and an Orange Quill and Ink Well On the front.
New features added to the bills include watermarks and an embedded security thread. These features prevent what is called “washing” where the ink is stripped from a $1 bill, or a $5 bill and replaced with the printing that appears on a $100 bill. There is also a color changing 100 on the front and back of the new note.
The new 100-dollar bill made its debut during a 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time ceremony at the Department of the Treasury.