The new $100 bills have gotten a makeover and are set to enter circulation Tuesday. The C-note has been redesigned in an effort to stay ahead of counterfeiters through the use of improved printers, new watermarks, and other changes that will help people check for fakes without going to a bank or using a black light.
“We try and find security features that can be used at a number of different levels, from more experienced cash handlers … down to the person on the street who really needs to know the security features so they can protect themselves,” Michael Lambert, a deputy associate director at the Federal Reserve told The Associated Press
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Benjamin Franklin’s image will continue to grace the front of the legal tender. But it also adds a part of the Declaration of Independence (which Franklin helped edit) on the front. A quill and an ink well are behind the text, and the ink in the well changes from copper to green when the bill is turned. A watermark of the founding father and the country’s first ambassador to France appears on the right side of the note when it’s held up to light.
The most obvious change is a conspicuous blue ribbon that resembles a thick rubber band placed just to Franklin’s left down the middle of the bill.
The new design was unveiled in 2010, but its introduction was postponed “following an unexpected production delay. To ensure a smooth transition to the redesigned note when it begins circulating in October, the U.S. Currency Education Program is reaching out to businesses and consumers around the world to raise awareness about the new design and inform them about how to use its security features,” the government site newmoney.gov
While the bills will be worth no more than $100 if you take them to the bank, some folks may be willing to pay more. A Boston Globe story detailed how currency collectors will pay $1,000
or more for what they call “fancy” serial numbers on the bills – or numbers they consider unusual or special.
“In everyday life, nearly everyone treats these digits as meaningless and forgettable,” the Globe reports. “But to a collector, they transform the bills into coveted specimens, as rare and beautiful as a moon rock or an exotic Amazonian butterfly.”
A new $100 bill with the serial number 00000001 is likely to fetch $10,000 to $15,000, according to Dustin Johnston, director of currency for Heritage Auctions in Dallas, the Globe reported.
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