New $100 Bill: Will Release in October, Features New Anti-Counterfeit Measures

The hundred dollar bill is getting a makeover.

According to the Federal Reserve, the new note will begin circulating on October 8. It is the largest denomination of U.S. currency to be redesigned and over a decade of research and development went into its new security features, according to NewMoney.gov.

The new design was apparently unveiled back in 2010, but its grand debut was postponed due to a production delay. To ensure a smooth transition to the note when it comes out in October, the U.S Currency Education Program is reaching out to businesses and consumers around the globe to raise awareness about the new design and inform them of how to use its new security features.


According to NewMoney.gov, the advanced security features — which include a 3D Security Ribbon and the “Bell in the Inkwell” — offer simple ways of verifying that the $100 is real. Yes, this also means that counterfeiting the new bill will be incredibly difficult.

To use the 3D security ribbon, locate the blue ribbon on the front of the bill and tilt it back while focusing on the blue ribbon. If the bill is real, the bells change to 100’s as they move. The “Bell in the Inkwell” works similarly. There is a color-changing bell inside a copper-colored inkwell on the front of the note. If the bill is authentic, tilting it will cause the bell inside the inkwell to change from copper-colored to green.

Yet another security feature on the bill is the portrait watermark. Holding the note to the light will cause a faint image of Benjamin Franklin to appear in the blank space to the right of his portrait on the bill, if it is in fact real. The image is visible from either side of the note.

Despite the beefed-up security features on the new bill, the crime of counterfeiting is nearly as old as money itself. It’s only a matter of time before sophisticated criminals find new ways around these security features. However, there’s no doubt that counterfeiting 100 dollar bills just became a lot harder.  

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