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‘Benjamins’ get a makeover

By Claes Bell ·
Friday, April 26, 2013
Posted: 11 am ET

Be on the lookout for a bold new Benjamin at your bank this fall.

The Federal Reserve Board announced this week it will begin circulating colorful new $100 notes, starting Oct. 8, 2013. The new design was actually unveiled in 2010, but it took longer than expected to produce enough of it to begin circulation, according to a press release.

The new $100 bill, expected out in October 2013.

The new $100 bill, expected out in October 2013.

The new note has a number of fancy new anti-counterfeit features, including a "3-D security ribbon" with images that change from bells to 100s as you move the bill, as well as a color-shifting image of a bell inside an inkwell and a faint watermark of Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Father and former governor of Pennsylvania himself.

Because the average person doesn't see too many $100 bills on a day-to-day basis, they might assume there are relatively few made. But $100s are actually the second most common bill out there, with 8.6 billion in circulation (the most common is $1 bills, naturally).

They're also popular overseas. In 2007, the Federal Reserve Board estimated that 50 percent of dollars were in circulation outside U.S. shores, which may be why the website announcing the new $100 bill can be translated into 23 different languages.

(h/t to Matt Phillips at Quartz for the Fed data.)

Are you aching to get your hands on the new $100 bill? What do you think of the new look?

Follow me on Twitter: @claesbell.

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Richard D.
June 07, 2013 at 7:21 pm

$1 bill is naturally. I hope $1 is still alive. Just for suggestion, see on Asia and Africa, and see what happened to them.

Mike Sadlier
June 07, 2013 at 3:18 pm

God we have ugly banknotes, I have seen absolutely gorgeous banknotes from third world countries that had so little value you could use them to blow your nose with. I realize it is necessary to have American banknotes that are instantly recognized as such, but we could do better than this.

June 07, 2013 at 1:40 pm

The $1 bill looks old and tired compared to the newer currency formats. It would be nice to see a makeover on this bill. Or just get rid of it entirely, as a dollar doesn't buy much these days. Maybe a paperless money society is the best solution with people just spending credits instead of paper money?

Meagan Bell
April 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm