How many security features does it take to make a “hundred”?

The new $100 bill

The new $100 bill has several new security features. Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

As the most counterfeited bill overseas, the $100 bill was certain to have all new, top of the line security features when it was released today — and it didn’t disappoint. The beefed up security costs more (12.6¢, up from 7.8¢)  but ensures that it will be more difficult to counterfeit.

The full list of security features:

  • Security Thread — hold the note up to the list to see an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 100 in an alternating pattern and is visible from both sides of the note. The thread glows pink when illuminated by ultraviolet light.
  • 3–D Security Ribbon — 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, they move up and down. The ribbon is woven into the paper, not printed on it.
  • Bell in the Inkwell — Tilt the note to see the color–shifting bell in the copper inkwell change from copper to green, and effect which makes the bell seem to appear and disappear within the inkwell.
  • Watermark — 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 both sides of the note.
  • Color–Shifting Ink — tilt the note to see the numeral 100 in the lower right corner of the front of the note shift from copper to green.
  • Federal Reserve System Seal — a black seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number identifies the distributing Federal Reserve Bank.
  • Microprinting — Look carefully (magnification may be necessary) to see the small printed text THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on Benjamin Franklin’s jacket collar, USA 100 around the blank space containing the portrait watermark, ONE HUNDRED USA along the golden quill, and small 100s in the note borders.
  • Raised Printing — move your finger up and down Benjamin Franklin’s shoulder on the left side of the note. It should feel rough to the touch, a result of the enhanced intaglio printing process used to create the image. Traditional raised printing can be felt throughout the $100 note, and gives genuine Federal Reserve notes their distinctive texture.
  • Paper — Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three–fourths cotton, and contains red and blue security fibers.
  • Portrait and Vignette — the $100 note features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the front of the note and a vignette of the back of Independence Hall on the back of the note.
  • Symbols of Freedom — phrases from the Declaration of Independence and the quill the founding fathers used to sign the historic document are found to the right of the portrait.
  • Gold 100 — a large numeral 100 on the back of the note helps those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination.
  • Treasury Seal — a green seal to the right of the portrait represents the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Serial Numbers — a unique combination of eleven numbers and letters appears twice on the front of the note.
  • Series Year – the design includes series years 2009 and 2009A.

Money isn’t the only paper targeted by counterfeiters. Document security measures often include watermarks, raised images, special foils, and minute printing.  At BurdgeCooper we’ve worked with foreign governments and major corporations over the years to produce products that are hard to counterfeit.

For more information about how to protect your paper products from counterfeiters contact us at BurdgeCooper…just don’t ask us to print a new hundred for you!

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