The new $100 bill has a not-so-secret weapon

A blue ribbon woven into the note's fabric is supposed to block overseas counterfeiters who have become very good at producing fakes.

By Kim Peterson Apr 24, 2013 2:34PM
Credit: Courtesy of the US Treasury
Caption: Newly redesigned $100 noteA redesigned $100 bill with an interesting new feature will go into circulation on Oct. 8, more than two years behind schedule, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

Benjamin Franklin is still on the front of the bill, but he'll be joined by a blue security ribbon that's supposed to stymie counterfeiters. Officials have been trying for years to combat the high-quality fake $100 bills that are being produced in North Korea, Reuters reports. Those counterfeit bills, called supernotes, are extremely tough to detect.

The blue ribbon, woven into the fabric of the new bill, is supposed to change that. The Treasury Department has loaded the bill with other security features, including an image of a bell and a large "100" that will change color from copper to green when tilted, Reuters reports. The bill also has another security strip near Franklin's head that you can see when you hold it up to the light.

It's been a long road to this bill for the Treasury Department. The note was originally supposed to debut in early 2011, but the ribbon was causing problems in the printing press. The Treasury Department had to put the project on hold to fix the issue.

Why all the fuss? Because the $100 bill is the most frequently counterfeited of all U.S. currency. Older $100 bills can still be used, but they'll be destroyed as they come through the Federal Reserve system, Reuters reports.

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225Comments
Apr 24, 2013 3:04PM
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Old versions of $100 bills will continue to be legal tender. so what is to stop the current high tech counterfeiters from continuing to produce counterfeits of old version bills?
Apr 24, 2013 3:12PM
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What a bunch of whiners. I read these comments every day, and no one ever has anything positive to say. Why don't you all do something instead of complaining about it? Wah, wah, wah. No one can ever see the good, only the bad. Don't you all get tired of being so miserable? Be proactive! Get off your behinds and physically evoke change.
Apr 24, 2013 3:11PM
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Govt...  more than 2 years behind schedule.    (says it all right there)

 

Apr 24, 2013 3:01PM
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The problem is, On October 1, It will only be worth $50.00

Thank you Mr. Pres. for printing our money until it is worthless.

Apr 24, 2013 2:59PM
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Just another  bill that the Government will take back from us!
Apr 24, 2013 3:08PM
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Meet the new bill....worthless as the old bill.
Apr 24, 2013 3:10PM
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Probably cost more than $ 100 to make per bill. Counting research, making, dealys, red tape. Wonder why our goverment is broke..

Apr 24, 2013 3:29PM
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If the old bills work just fine, how does this do anything to stop North Korea from counterfeiting our money. They will keep printing the old bills, and their counterfeit bills will continue to work just fine. Did I miss something????
Apr 24, 2013 3:27PM
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So when the government outsources the printing to China do they just have them print extra as payment?
Apr 24, 2013 3:41PM
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Will it still say "In God We Trust"?   I hope so.
Apr 24, 2013 3:30PM
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Okay, it's good to have a secure bill. But does seem a bit insane to tell everybody where all the security features are and explain to counterfeiters what to look for. Duh...
Apr 24, 2013 3:06PM
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If you read the article in its entirety,  you will see that these measures are indeed necessary .  The  security ribbon design is being introduced a lot sooner than originally expected as it is intended to thwart counterfeit bills that are being printed in and distributed from Korea.

Apr 24, 2013 3:18PM
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What is really sad is that US currency continues to be one of the few currencies in the world not acceptable for blind or other disabled personnel to identify by touch alone!!
Apr 24, 2013 3:22PM
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it seams to me the only businesses that accept ONLY CASH are State lotteries, and DRUG dealers.  And both pay NO income TAX on the money.

Apr 24, 2013 3:15PM
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But who would want genuine North Korean currency anyway? Counterfeiting their currency would not hurt them.
Apr 24, 2013 3:15PM
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It is a way for the goverment to bring back all the money abroad (cash). All the drug money in storage will have to be converted and that gives them a way to trak and count and see were is the money moving to and from. First ting people star cashing the old 100s for the new ones. keep your eyes open for fake bills. 
Apr 24, 2013 3:13PM
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looks like the currency in Europe... the Euro.... when is this guy and his cronies going to stay out of Europe and their devastating inventions..... charging for rain water in Maryland! That is a copy from the German tax system. They implemented taxing rain run off about two years ago.....really.... we are Americans in America... we don't want/need Europes influence to suck more of our paycheck
Apr 24, 2013 3:07PM
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The Government should use a combination of letters, numbers, characters, colors, QR codes to product new bills. When a bill is submitted it must be scanned by a phone app or computer program and sent to a data base which will issue an authentication code back to the sender. Once the bill passes the scan it can be tracked the next time it is used in a purchase. If the money trail is followed most the counterfeiters can be caught.
Apr 24, 2013 3:50PM
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If the old bills still work couldn't N. Korea (and everyone else) just continue to counterfeit the old bills?
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