Austin | Dallas | Houston
Money, Money, Money

Changing the face of money: The new $100 bill includes 3D security tricks — and hidden secrets galore

Enlarge
Slideshow
New $100 bill wider
The new $100 bill brings 3D tricks to American money. Courtesy of CS Money
new $100 bill with George Washington closeup
A closer look at the new good old Ben. NewMoney.gov
New $100 bill wider
new $100 bill with George Washington closeup

Have you seen the long-anticipated new $100 bill yet? The new money makeover is so busy and yet so cool that it could make you want to save a few. 

It was nearly three years ago when the Federal Reserve board announced redesign plans for the Ben Franklin-faced bill. However, the release date's been continuously pushed back with the problems attributed to production issues. Now, currency collectors and financial institutions are expecting the note to finally begin circulating Oct. 8.

For starters, the new note has a sweet 3D ribbon on its face, making various designs (on the ribbon) look in motion. This and a number of other security features are designed to make the new $100 bill easy for consumers and merchants to authenticate and difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. 

Here are some key features that are all so National Treasure (nerdy, I know) : 

The 3-D Security Ribbon is cool enough for a movie. When you tilt the note back and forth while focusing on the blue, you will see the bells change to 100s as they move from right to left.  If you tilt the bill side to side, they move up and down.  

A Security Thread can be seen if held up to the light. The thread runs vertically to the left of Ben's face. Ever so patriotically, the thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 100. This is repeated along the thread. Also, under ultraviolet light the thread glows pink. 

There is a Bell in the Inkwell. The inkwell color shifts from copper to green if you tilt the note. This effect gives off the illusion that a bell appears and disappears inside the inkwell.

The Watermark didn't change. When you hold the bill up to the light you see a faint and rather sad picture of Ben in the (one) blank space to the right of the portrait. The watermark is visible from both sides of the note. 

Color-Shifting Ink turns the numeral 100 in the lower (front) right corner of the note from copper to green. 

And those are just the main security features. There are still more Where's Waldo? type things to keep you interested. Microprinting on Ben's jacket collar that can only be seen with a magnifying glass, for instance. 

It took nearly a decade for officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system and the United States Secret Service to design, create and unveil the new bill.

So, let the countdown begin and here's to hoping we all get paid!

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address