The $100 bill is one of the most widely circulated and recognizable banknotes in the United States and around the world. With Benjamin Franklin’s distinguished face gracing the front and the Great Seal of the United States on the back, the $100 bill has an intriguing design that reveals a bit about America’s history and values.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The front of the $100 bill features a portrait of founding father Benjamin Franklin, artistic elements like a quill pen and inkwell representing the Declaration of Independence, and the words “United States of America.”
The back has an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed along with the Great Seal of the United States showing an unfinished pyramid with an eye on top.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the intricate details and symbolism on both sides of the $100 bill. We’ll look at the portraits, images, colors, serial numbers, security features and more that make up the design of this high-value banknote.
Front of the $100 Bill
Portrait of Benjamin Franklin
The front of the $100 bill features a portrait of one of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a polymath who made significant contributions to fields such as science, writing, and diplomacy.
His portrait on the $100 bill serves as a reminder of his important role in shaping America’s history.
Additional Imagery and Text
In addition to Benjamin Franklin’s portrait, the front of the $100 bill also includes various additional imagery and text. One notable feature is the watermark of Franklin’s face, which can be seen when holding the bill up to the light.
This adds an extra layer of security to the currency and makes it difficult to counterfeit.
Furthermore, the front of the bill contains a security thread embedded within the paper. This thread glows pink when exposed to ultraviolet light, providing another security measure to help distinguish genuine bills from counterfeit ones.
The front of the $100 bill also includes an enhanced security feature called the 3D Security Ribbon. This ribbon is woven into the paper and features images of bells and 100s that shift and change as you tilt the bill. This feature makes it even more challenging for counterfeiters to replicate.
The front of the $100 bill utilizes a color scheme that consists mainly of green, black, and gold hues. These colors are not only visually appealing but also serve as an additional security measure. The intricate designs and color patterns make it more difficult to reproduce the bill accurately, aiding in its authenticity.
For more information on the design and security features of the $100 bill, you can visit the official website of the United States Department of the Treasury: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Currency/Pages/denominations.aspx.
Back of the $100 Bill
The back of the $100 bill is just as fascinating as its front. Let’s take a closer look at the design elements that make the back of this iconic bill so unique and special.
One of the prominent features on the back of the $100 bill is a striking image of Independence Hall. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall holds immense historical significance as the birthplace of the United States.
It was here that both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. The inclusion of Independence Hall on the $100 bill serves as a reminder of the country’s rich history and the principles upon which it was founded.
The Great Seal of the United States
Another captivating element on the back of the $100 bill is the depiction of the Great Seal of the United States. This seal consists of a bald eagle with its wings spread wide, clutching an olive branch in one talon and a bundle of arrows in the other.
The eagle represents the strength and resilience of the nation, while the olive branch symbolizes peace and the arrows symbolize the country’s ability to defend itself. The Great Seal is a powerful symbol of American unity and patriotism, making it a fitting addition to the $100 bill.
On the back of the $100 bill, you will find several text inscriptions that further enhance its significance. The words “United States of America” are prominently displayed at the top, reaffirming the bill’s national identity.
Additionally, the phrase “One Hundred Dollars” is featured in large print, making it clear that this bill holds substantial value. These inscriptions serve as a constant reminder of the importance and impact of the $100 bill in the American economy.
The back of the $100 bill incorporates subtle coloring techniques that add depth and visual interest to the design. The use of shades of green and gold hues give the bill a sophisticated and timeless appearance.
These colors are carefully chosen to ensure that the bill is both aesthetically pleasing and difficult to counterfeit. The intricate details and subtle coloring make the $100 bill a work of art in its own right.
Understanding the design elements on the back of the $100 bill not only provides insight into the history and symbolism of the United States but also allows us to appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that goes into creating these iconic pieces of currency.
When it comes to the $100 bill, security features are of utmost importance to prevent counterfeiting and ensure its authenticity. The United States Treasury has implemented several advanced security measures that make the bill incredibly difficult to replicate.
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the security features that protect the front and back of the $100 bill.
Advanced Printing Techniques
The $100 bill is printed using advanced techniques that make it nearly impossible to reproduce accurately. The printing process involves a combination of intaglio, offset, and letterpress printing, creating intricate details that are difficult to replicate.
This intricate printing process is one of the reasons why counterfeiters find it challenging to produce convincing fake $100 bills.
One of the most recognizable security features of the $100 bill is the color-shifting ink used on the numeral 100 in the lower right corner of the front of the bill. When you tilt the bill, the color of the numeral shifts from copper to green.
This unique feature is difficult to reproduce and serves as a quick and simple way to verify the authenticity of the bill.
The $100 bill incorporates watermarks into its design as an additional security measure. When you hold the bill up to the light, you can see a faint image of Benjamin Franklin on the right side. This watermark is embedded into the paper itself, making it extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.
The $100 bill features a thin, embedded security thread running vertically down the bill. The thread glows pink when exposed to ultraviolet light, further confirming its authenticity. Additionally, the thread is woven into the paper, making it difficult to remove or replicate without damaging the bill.
Microprinting is another security feature found on the $100 bill. Tiny text, so small that it appears as a solid line to the naked eye, is scattered throughout the bill. These lines contain phrases such as “USA 100” and “The United States of America.”
Counterfeiters struggle to reproduce this level of detail, making microprinting an effective security measure.
Each $100 bill has a unique serial number printed in two locations – one on the front and one on the back. These serial numbers help track the bill’s circulation and make it easier to identify counterfeit bills.
By comparing the serial numbers against a database maintained by the Treasury, banks and businesses can quickly detect fake bills.
History of the $100 Bill Design
Origin of the $100 Bill
The $100 bill, also known as the Benjamin, has a rich history that dates back to the early days of American currency. It was first introduced in 1862 during the Civil War as a way to fund the war effort.
Since then, the design of the $100 bill has undergone several changes to enhance security features and prevent counterfeiting.
Benjamin Franklin Portrait
One of the most iconic features of the $100 bill is the portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States and is known for his contributions as a statesman, inventor, and writer.
His image on the $100 bill is a tribute to his legacy and his role in shaping the nation.
Independence Hall Imagery
Another prominent feature of the $100 bill is the image of Independence Hall on the back. Independence Hall is located in Philadelphia and is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.
The inclusion of this iconic landmark symbolizes the importance of freedom and democracy in the United States.
The Great Seal Over Time
The Great Seal of the United States is a key element of the $100 bill, appearing on both the front and the back. The front of the bill features a small version of the Great Seal, while the back showcases an enlarged version.
The Great Seal consists of an eagle, a shield, and various symbols representing the values and ideals of the United States.
Changes in the 20th Century
In the 20th century, the design of the $100 bill underwent significant changes to incorporate modern security features. In 1996, a large golden 100 was added to the front of the bill, making it more difficult to counterfeit.
In 2013, a blue security ribbon was introduced, which contains images that change from bells to 100s when tilted.
The evolution of the $100 bill design reflects the ongoing efforts of the U.S. government to stay ahead of counterfeiters and ensure the integrity of the currency. To learn more about the history of the $100 bill, you can visit the U.S. Currency Education Program website.
With its distinguished Benjamin Franklin portrait, Independence Hall imagery, and Great Seal iconography, the $100 bill imparts a sense of history and significance. The intricate details showcase American symbols and values. Advanced security features also make the $100 bill difficult to counterfeit.
Tracing the origins and evolutions of the $100 bill’s design reveals stories from America’s past. The $100 banknote will likely continue to be an iconic and meaningful piece of currency for generations to come.