What does the new hundred-dollar bill look like? The $100 bill is one of the most ubiquitous banknotes in the United States and worldwide. With a new design rolled out in 2013, you may be wondering – what does the new $100 bill look like?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The new $100 bill has additional security features like a blue 3D security ribbon and a bell inside the inkwell that changes color when tilted. The visible features include subtle background colors, a portrait watermark of Benjamin Franklin, a quill and inkwell, and phrases from the Declaration of Independence.

Key Features of the New $100 Bill Design

Portrait Watermark

One of the most noticeable security upgrades on the redesigned $100 bill is the addition of a blue 3D security ribbon containing images of a bell and the number 100 that shift and move as you tilt the bill.

This ribbon is woven into the paper itself, making it very difficult for potential counterfeiters to reproduce.

Additionally, a new color-shifting bell image has been added inside the inkwell on the front of the bill. When you tilt the note back and forth, the bell changes color from copper to green. This is an advanced anti-counterfeiting feature that uses color-shifting ink to protect the currency.

3D Security Ribbon

The new $100 bill incorporates several significant security enhancements. One of the most interesting is a blue 3D security ribbon that depicts images of bells and the number “100” that shift and move as you tilt the bill.

This ribbon is embedded into the paper, not printed on the surface, making it incredibly difficult for potential counterfeiters to reproduce.

The ribbon is visible from both sides of the note, merging the traditional front and back design into a single image. Tilting the bill back and forth creates the illusion of the bells and numbers moving side to side and up and down. This effect protects the currency against duplication attempts.

Color-Shifting Bell in Inkwell

At first glance, the inkwell on the front of the $100 bill looks normal. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the addition of a tiny copper-colored bell floating inside the inkwell. When you tilt the note to a 45-degree angle, the bell changes to a green color, thanks to advanced color-shifting ink.

This micro-optic security feature makes even the slightest attempt at counterfeiting incredibly difficult. The color shift occurs smoothly as you move the bill, depicting the illusion of a solid object with changing colors.

This authentication feature joins several other advanced security upgrades incorporated into the design.

Subtle Background Colors

While all of the enhanced security features stand out, careful inspection of the $100 bill reveals another new design change: Subtle background colors of orange, yellow, and purple have been added behind Benjamin Franklin’s portrait and several other places.

These faint pastel colors are visible on both sides of the bill.

Adding these delicate background hues provides another hurdle for potential counterfeiters. The new $100 bill now contains thousands of sophisticated microlenses embedded across the entire note’s surface, magnifying these colors and making even the slightest inconsistency painfully obvious.

Their inclusion signals a continued commitment to currency security.

Who and What is Featured on the New $100 Bill?

Portrait of Benjamin Franklin

The distinguished face gazing to the right on the front of the new $100 bill is one of the most iconic visages in American history – founding father Benjamin Franklin. His subtly smiling portrait is one of the most instantly recognizable features retained from previous versions of the $100 bill.

Benjamin Franklin’s status as one of the principal Founding Fathers of America and his many contributions as a statesman, scientist, author, and inventor make his portrait a natural choice to grace the front of the $100 bill.

Independence Hall on the Back

The back of the new $100 bill depicts a picture of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This building holds special significance in America’s journey to independence, as it is the location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were discussed and adopted.

The denomination is printed in orange ink, to stand out from the rest. The bell tower of the building is the focus of the image. So in addition to Benjamin Franklin on the front, the back of the bill honors where the Founding Fathers gathered to form the framework for the nation Franklin helped establish.

Phrases from the Declaration of Independence

The new 100-dollar bill contains multiple references connecting it back to the Declaration of Independence. They serve as reminders of the core principles that underpin American democracy. To the right of Independence Hall, phrases from the historic document are visible when held up to the light.

These include the famous quotation “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” There are also facsimile signatures of several Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration, including Benjamin Franklin.

While subtle, these textual references and signatures encapsulate major events and personalities that were pivotal in forging the democracy that the Benjamin Franklin portrait represents.

When Did the New $100 Bill Enter Circulation?

The redesigned $100 bill entered circulation on October 8, 2013. This new $100 bill features additional security features and subtle background colors that make it easier to authenticate, yet harder to counterfeit.

The development process for the new $100 bill began back in 2003, so it underwent a decade of design iterations and enhancements before being approved for circulation.

Key Dates

  • 2003: Development and design process begins for new $100 bill.
  • 2010: New $100 bill design is finalized and production begins.
  • October 8, 2013: Official circulation date for the new $100 bill.

This 10-year development timeline allowed for extensive consultations with multiple government agencies and robust anti-counterfeiting features to be incorporated and the long lead time also enabled a smooth transition, giving financial institutions and retailers ample warning to prepare their equipment and train staff to recognize the updated currency.

Phase-Out of Old $100 Bills

Once released in 2013, the new $100 bills were slowly distributed into circulation through financial institutions. Both the old and new versions remained legal tender, but the Federal Reserve encouraged businesses to start using the more secure notes as soon as possible.

As of April 2022, there were still around $146 billion worth of old-style $100 bills in circulation globally. While these can still be used, the Federal Reserve has announced they will be completely phased out by 2034.

Bill Version Status
Old $100 Bill Being phased out – No longer produced but still legal tender until 2034
New $100 Bill In full circulation – Produced since 2013 and primary $100 bill now

So while you may still occasionally receive one of the old $100 bills, the redesigned version has completely replaced it in newly printed money over the past decade since it entered circulation.

You can view images and details on the security features of the new $100 bill on the U.S. Currency Education Program website.

Why Was the $100 Bill Redesigned?

To Add Advanced Security Features

The $100 bill underwent a major redesign in 2013 to stay ahead of advancing counterfeiting capabilities and to restore confidence in U.S. currency. According to the U.S. Treasury, the redesigned $100 incorporates sophisticated security features to deter counterfeiters and protect consumers.

These state-of-the-art elements include:

  • A blue 3-D security ribbon containing images that shift into bells and 100s as the bill is tilted.
  • A bell inside the inkwell that changes color from copper to green as the bill is tilted.
  • Color-shifting ink for the number 100 on the back right of the bill.
  • An engraved image of a microscope and watermarks for Benjamin Franklin’s coat.

The extensive public education campaign by the government and the meaningful security upgrades have enhanced people’s trust and acceptance of the new $100 bill design.

To Stay Ahead of Counterfeiting Threats

The latest redesign equips the $100 bill with robust, next-generation counterfeit deterrence not presently found in any other currency. Since the 1990s, advancing digital printing provided more sophisticated tools for counterfeiters.

From fiscal years 1995 to 2000, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit U.S. currency was successfully passed into worldwide circulation, a monumental increase over prior levels. The newest series of $100 bills aims to curb counterfeiting through state-of-the-art security measures.

Counterfeit U.S. Currency Passed Into Circulation $70 million 
Time Period Fiscal Years 1995-2000

The redesign means it costs more for criminals to produce fake bills of comparable quality and increases the likelihood they will be caught. Law enforcement agencies have ramped up monitoring and tracking of counterfeiters as currency fraud poses serious risks to the economy if unchecked.

The Secret Service reported that approximately 60% of counterfeit U.S. currency they’ve recently seized has been in $100 denominations, demonstrating the priority to revamp the $100 bill.

Staying ahead of advancing counterfeiting tools globally protects the integrity of U.S. banknotes and prevents significant losses from currency fraud.

How to Tell an Older $100 Bill from a New One

Examine the Features Up Close

The most noticeable difference between old and new $100 bills is in the details of the imagery and security features. According to the U.S. Treasury, upgraded security features on the new $100 bills include a blue 3D security ribbon, a bell in the inkwell, red and blue fibers embedded in the paper, a front-facing portrait watermark, 100 printed in orange ink, and other enhanced imagery.

Older $100 bills lack many of these overt and covert security updates.

When examining a $100 bill up close, first check that the portrait watermark matches the printed portrait and says “USA 100”. Next, tilt the bill to see the bell change color from copper to green as it moves.

Run your fingers along the raised printing, feeling for differences in textures between real intaglio printing and imitation. Use a magnifying glass if needed to inspect the microprinting and other details.

Use a Counterfeit Detection Pen on the Paper

Counterfeit detection pens contain a yellow iodine solution that turns dark when applied to the starch in real paper currency. According to the U.S. Secret Service’s Know Your Money campaign, using a pen detector is one of the easiest ways for the public to screen suspicious bills.

When testing a $100 bill of unknown authenticity with a counterfeit pen, mark an inconspicuous spot on the bill, not just the edge. Many counterfeits now use real currency paper trimmed to size. If the ink does not leave a dark stain, chances are good the bill is fake.

However, some real bills that are very old or contaminated may fail the pen test. Use other verification methods as well.

Check the Watermarks When Held Up to Light

The new $100 design added a second watermark portrait visible from both sides when held up to the light. Tilt the bill back and forth to see the watermarks alternately appear and vanish. The watermark portrait on the right should match the printed portrait on that side and say “100 USA” in tiny letters.

Feature Older $100 Bills New $100 Bills
3D Security Ribbon No Yes
Bell in Inkwell No Yes
Color-Shifting Bell No Yes
Raised Printing Yes Enhanced
Second Watermark No Yes

As the table shows, multiple changes to the $100 distinguish the old versus new versions. Updating the design over time is an important way US currency stays ahead of counterfeiters. Knowing the genuine article empowers citizens to identify fakes and protect their hard-earned money.

What Does The New Hundred-Dollar Bill Look Like – Conclusion

With subtle background colors, enhanced security features, and iconic American imagery, the new $100 bill design cements this banknote as an important part of the U.S. currency system. Understanding what’s new can help you spot fakes and appreciate the advanced technology used to stay ahead of counterfeiters.

So next time you get your hands on a crisp, new hundred-dollar banknote, take a closer look at Benjamin Franklin’s face and the quill and inkwell imagery. See if you can glimpse the 3D security ribbon and liberty bell that changes color.

Knowing the details of what the new $100 bill entails is the best way to recognize America’s most widely circulated banknote denomination.

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