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The New Look of Benjamin Franklin

If you happen to have a $100 bill in your possession anytime soon, take a closer look. The Federal Reserve has given Benjamin Franklin a colorful face-lift to foil counterfeiters.

Delayed since February 2011 by multiple glitches in the printing process, including creased paper and smeared ink, the bill was finally released last October.


In 2003, the Federal Reserve initiated its New Color of Money program, beginning with the $20 and $50 notes. The new $100 note is the last to be introduced and displays new security features that include:

  • Color: New colors are apparent on each new note. Different tonal colors are present on each denomination to ease identification and increase complexity of each design.
  • Micro printing: The small lettering is difficult to counterfeit. On the $100 note, the words United States of America are printed on the coat collar of Mr. Franklin. Among other micro printing, the words 100 USA are also printed along the gold quill on the note.
  • Inkwell and bell: On the new $100, the bell inside the inkwell changes color as the paper note is shifted. The bell changes from bronze to green, making the inkwell seem to appear and disappear.
  • 3-D Security band: When the paper note is shifted, small bells along the blue security strip in the center of the bill change to the number 100 and back again.

In high circulation outside the United States, the $100 bill is also the most counterfeited denomination of U.S. money. These new changes mean less hassle for merchants and fewer counterfeit bills in circulation.

If you are facing charges related to money laundering, counterfeiting or other crimes in Hawaii, speak with a reputable criminal defense attorney.

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