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All About the Benjamins: The New, Colorful $100 Bills Are Almost Here

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer
September 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm



New money doesn’t just reside in West Egg (via @bazjokes?).

Down at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, stacks on stacks of brand new $100 bills are rolling off the press in advance of the October 8 circulation date.

A stack of uncut sheets of $100 bills are inspected before being moved during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A stack of uncut sheets of $100 bills are inspected before being moved during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A sheet of uncut $100 bills is inspected during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A sheet of uncut $100 bills is inspected during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Having remastered the $5, $10, $20 and $50 notes, the Federal Reserve is about to unveil the new $100, which the central bank claims is the product of more than a decade worth of research and development.

Some new security features:

• “Look for a blue ribbon on the front of the note. Tilt the note back and forth while focusing on the blue ribbon. You will see the bells change to 100s as they move. When you tilt the note back and forth, the bells and 100s move side to side. If you tilt it side to side, they move up and down. The ribbon is woven into the paper, not printed on it.”

• “Look for an image of a color-shifting bell, inside a copper-colored inkwell, on the front of the new $100 note. Tilt it to see the bell change from copper to green, an effect which makes the bell seem to appear and disappear within the inkwell.”

• “Hold the note to light and look for a faint image of Benjamin Franklin in the blank space to the right of the portrait. The image is visible from either side of the note.”

Sheets of uncut $100 run through a printing press at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Sheets of uncut $100 run through a printing press at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Boston Globe ran a terrific piece on why some of these new $100 bills will be worth way more than $100 — some notes will fetch thousands:

THE US GOVERNMENT began numbering its bank notes in 1928, and it has always used eight digits. The serial numbers get stamped onto the bills in order, starting as low as 00000001, and go up one at a time to a maximum of 99999999 (although they don’t always reach that high). One or two capital letters precede the number to designate which Federal Reserve bank is issuing it, and to mark which numerical series, usually starting with A, the note belongs to. Another capital letter follows it.
 
The simplest fancy numbers are the early ones: The redesigned $100 note with serial number 00000001 is likely to fetch $10,000 to $15,000, according to Dustin Johnston, director of currency for Heritage Auctions in Dallas. A $20 bill that was first off the press in a 2009 run sold in April for $5,581. A $2 bill numbered 0000001 with a star—the star means it replaced a misprinted note with the same number—sold in May 2009 for $29,900.

PSA: Remember to check your serial numbers before using those bennies to light your cigar or sticking them in an exotic dancer’s G-string.

A sheet of uncut $100 bills is inspected during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A sheet of uncut $100 bills is inspected during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A stack of uncut sheets of $100 bills are moved from the press during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A stack of uncut sheets of $100 bills are moved from the press during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The new design was unveiled in 2010, but because this is the U.S. government we’re talking about, a mishap caused $3 billion worth of new bills to be scrapped. “A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing says less than 1 percent of the $100 bills they shipped were affected,” CBS MIami reported in September.

“Ironically it appears to be not those advanced features. It’s the way the paper they are using for this generation of printing is responding to the weight of the printing press,” Mazzotta said.
 
The error could cost taxpayers about $4 million because the current bill costs 7.8 cents to produce, compared to 12.6 for the new one.
 
A blue ribbon is woven into the middle of the bill with alternating 100′s and Liberty Bells that move when the paper is tilted.
 
A copper inkwell contains a Liberty Bell inside it that turns green when moved.

Just cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Just cut stacks of $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Just cut $100 bills make their way through the  printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Just cut $100 bills make their way through the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Uncut $100 bills run through cutting machine at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Uncut $100 bills run through cutting machine at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A just cut stack of $100 bills rolls down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.  The federal printing facility is making the new-look colorful bills that include new security features in advance of the Oct. 8 circulation date.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A just cut stack of $100 bills rolls down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Here’s some more info from Newsy:

The race to begin counterfeiting the new bills begins on October 8.

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