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Eye-popping, colorful new $100 bill coming in October

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In a bid to foil counterfeiters here and abroad, U.S. currency has grown more colorful and garish. Bold, simple graphics is making the new U.S. money look more and more like "play money." Following this trend, the new $100 bill set to make its debut October 8, is chock-full of bright and European-style features.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The $100 bill has been redesigned with high-tech security features this fall in order to discourage forgeries.

The first $100 United States bill was issued in 1862, and was first revamped in 1929, when all U.S. currency was changed to its current size.

The Federal Reserve then announced in 1969 that it was taking large denominations of U.S. currency out of circulation, the $100 bill the largest denomination still standing after the $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills were all retired.

Often referred to as "Benjamins," all U.S. $100 bills use Benjamin Franklin's portrait, one of just two denominations which are printed today which does not feature a U.S. President, the other being the $10 bill.

The new $100 bill includes a blue, 3-D security ribbon and a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell that switches color from copper to green when tilted. A large "100" also shifts colors when the viewing angle is tilted.

Other unique features for the new bill include the bell in the inkwell changes from green to copper when titled; 3-D blue security ribbon woven into paper, not printed; portrait watermark visible from either side; large gold 100 that helps the visually impaired and a new vignette back of Independence Hall.

The new note is bound to provoke debate because of its changing colors. The revamped bill had been expected to go into circulation in February of 2011, but officials said they needed more time to fix production issues that left unwanted creases in many of the notes.

"We made numerous process changes to address the creasing issue and we are back in full production," Dawn Haley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing said.

Other changes include modifying the paper feeder on printing presses to accommodate variations in the paper associated with the 3-D security ribbon. The blue security ribbon is composed of thousands of tiny lenses.

Those lenses magnify the objects underneath them to make them appear to be moving in the opposite direction from the way the bill is being moved.

One thing remains certain: Benjamin Franklin's portrait will remain on the $100 bill. Another security strip, visible to the left of Franklin's head when the note is held up to light, is embedded into the fabric.

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