New $100 Bills Start Circulating Today

Nearly 100 years after first going into circulation, the one-hundred-dollar bill is debuting a high-tech makeover.

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The bill still features Benjamin Franklin’s face on the front and Philadelphia's Independence Hall on the back, but it now has a disappearing Liberty Bell in an ink well and a blue three-dimensional security ribbon with images that move opposite of the way the bill is being handled.

The new bill, which took more than a decade to create, start circulating today and includes enhanced security features that the Federal Reserve says  will make it easier for consumers to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.

"The advanced security features we've included in the new $100 note will hinder potential counterfeiters from producing high-quality fakes that can deceive consumers and merchants," director of the Treasury's bureau of engraving and printing, Larry Felix, said in a press release. "Protect yourself -- it only takes a few seconds to check the new $100 note and know it's real."

The C-Note's redesign, the first for the $100 bill since March 1996, is made of a paper blend that is difficult to reproduce and the number "100" will change from copper to green. The $100 bill is the last of the denominations to get upgraded, and it has a high rate of being counterfeited outside of the United States.

The new bill was set to enter the monetary system in February 2011, but printing problems that created undesirable creases postponed the launch.  According to the Federal Reserve, more than one-half of $100 bills are circulating abroad, making them a prime counterfeit target.

Armored vehicles are dropping off the new notes Tuesday to banks across the country, but consumers should keep in mind that the old bills will still retain their value. The Federal Reserve said location, demand, and banks’ policies will determine how quickly the redesigned money will reach the public.

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