Redesigned $100 Bill Delayed


The Federal Reserve on Friday, October 1, said the new $100 bill which features a fresh design and a range of enhanced security features will not rollout next February as planned. A production issue has surfaced.

New $100 Bill (Front)

The notes were scheduled to launch into circulation on February 10, 2011. The $100 is the highest denominated U.S. banknote, with an average of 184,000 printed each month since March 2010. That volume, in part, and the need to build an inventory prior to release are factors in delaying the redesigned $100.

"The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) manufactures Federal Reserve notes and has identified a problem with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing of the new $100 note, which was not apparent during extensive pre-production testing," the Federal Reserve Board said Friday. "As a consequence, the Federal Reserve will not have sufficient inventories to begin distributing the new $100 notes as planned."

The $100 bill is targeted the most by counterfeiters, and it is the last American banknote to receive a facelift. There are a number of security additions in its redesign, including two new features: the 3-D Security Ribbon and the Bell in the Inkwell. These security features are easy for consumers and merchants to use to authenticate their currency.

New $100 Bill (Back)

The blue 3-D Security Ribbon on the front of the new $100 contains images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as the note is tilted. The Bell in the Inkwell on the front of the bill is another new security feature. It changes color from copper to green when the note is tilted, an effect that makes the bell seem to appear and disappear within the copper inkwell.

The board said the BEP is working to resolve the problem, and a new issue date would be announced "as soon as possible."

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Oh well. I was hoping they were delaying the release so the bill could be re-redesigned to look a bit less like a middle-school art project. IMO our premier currency should reflect its status with a unified design. To me it looks like the BEP decided on a list of anti-counterfeiting features and just jumbled them together.

And Webmaster, could someone please fix “rollout”? That’s a noun; the verb is two words, not one.

Sarah Kay

The new 100’s may be counterfit proof, but were still going to have the same old 100’s and 50’s and 20’s and 10’s and 5’s and 1’s. The only way to make any currency fully counterfit proof, is to introduce the new one and recall every single old bill. Otherwise counterfitters will still use the old currency and still get away with it. The whole point of the new currency isn’t to be counterfit proof, its so the money looks newer. Thats it! There really is no reason for the new money. The old money works just the same and… Read more »


Sarah, I’ve had the same concerns for a long time. Many countries eventually recall older notes but in the US just about any ancient bill can still be used. My wife worked for a record store and got a couple of counterfeit(*) 1950s-style fives that had been created on someone’s home printer. They wouldn’t pass muster against modern ones but compared to older bills without watermarks, security strips, etc. they were pretty decent fakes. I’m particularly puzzled that the BEP didn’t revise the $100 bill earlier, because so many of them are in use outside of the US and are… Read more »