The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury have unveiled the new 100 dollar bill which will go into circulation starting on February 10th, 2011. Officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve System and the United States Secret Service held a press conference in Washington D.C. today to show off the new security features which they hope will reduce the threat of counterfeiting. The 100 dollar bill is the highest denomination of all Federal Reserve notes currently being produced, and circulation of the 100 dollar Federal Reserve note in the past 25 years has grown from $180 billion to approximately $650 billion, so maintaining the integrity of the note is absolutely critical.
The two most prominent new security features are the “3-D Security Ribbon” and the “Bell in the Inkwell”. The blue 3-D Security Ribbon on the front of the new 100 dollar bill contains images of bells and 100s that shift and change from one to the other as you tilt the bill. The Bell in the Inkwell on the front of the new 100 dollar bill actually changes color from copper to green when the bill is tilted. This makes it appear as if the bell appears and disappears within the copper inkwell as you move the bill back and forth.
It is believed that these two new security features will make it much harder for major counterfeiters (such as the government of North Korea) to counterfeit 100 dollar bills according to Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios….
“The new security features announced today come after more than a decade of research and development to protect our currency from counterfeiting. To ensure a seamless introduction of the new $100 note into the financial system, we will conduct a global public education program to ensure that users of U.S. currency are aware of the new security features.”
Another interesting change on the new bill is that Independence Hall has been turned around so that you now see the rear, rather than the front, of the building. So does this change have any significance? Nobody seems to know at this point.
One piece of good news is that people currently holding 100 dollar bills will not be forced to exchange them for the new version. All of the old versions will continue to be accepted as legal tender as explained by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in the press release announcing the new version of the 100 dollar bill….
“When the new design $100 note is issued on February 10, 2011, the approximately 6.5 billion older design $100s already in circulation will remain legal tender,” said Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Ben S. Bernanke. “U.S. currency users should know they will not have to trade in their older design $100 notes when the new ones begin circulating.”
A short video examining some of the new security features of the new 100 dollar bill is posted below….
So what does all of this mean?
It just means that U.S. financial authorities are trying to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters.
But to be honest each time they come out with a “new version” of U.S. currency the new bills tend to look more and more like “funny money” each time.
As the U.S. dollar continues to rapidly lose purchasing power, and as the U.S. economy continues to go down the toilet, will we someday have to cart in wheelbarrows full of funny looking bills to the bank just to pay our mortgage like they did in the Weimar Republic?….
Hopefully days such as those are not coming soon, but the reality is that the U.S. government has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and the only way to keep financing that debt and the gigantic U.S. government budget is to keep printing even more money.
That is a recipe for hyperinflation as the citizens of the Weimar Republic found out the hard way.
So will these fancy new $100 dollar bills one day be regarded as worthless funny money that aren’t even worth the paper they are printed on?
Let’s just hope that day does not arrive any time soon.