Security features on the new $100 bill include a 3-D security ribbon and color-shifting Liberty Bell in the copper inkwell.(Photo: U.S. Treasury)
Janet Loehrke, USA TODAY
The new $100 bill goes into circulation Tuesday, adding a splash of color and stylish flourishes to the currency featuring Benjamin Franklin's ever-familiar face. While Ben's "You lookin' at me?" portrait stays the same, there are several notable changes.
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1. The very feel of the bill. For the first time, the engraving process includes the effect of "raised printing." This effect "can be felt throughout the $100 note, and gives genuine U.S. currency its distinctive texture," a government website on the design changes says.
2. The dashed blue strip to Ben's left? Not a printing goof. It's actually part of a security feature designed to help tell real $100s from fake ones. Tilt the bill, and designs along the strip change from bells -- as in, Liberty Bells -- to the number "100," in moving patterns. In fact, the blue ribbon has nothing to do with printing -- it's actually woven onto to the paper.
3. Further to Ben's left (your right) is a new icon rendered in another non-green hue, a copper-colored inkwell. Within the inkwell is another security feature, a color-shifting bell.
4. Around the inkwell (not in it) is a quill. It represents the pen used by the Founding Fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence, according to newmoney.gov, a website affiliated with the Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Secret Service and the Treasury Department.
5. By the inkwell is a "100" label, in the bill's lower right corner. Its color alternates between copper and green when you tilt the bill -- another new security feature.
6. The ghostly watermark of Franklin's face, visible on the right side of the bill when you hold it up to a light, is still there. But the portrait is simplified for the new bill.