The new $100 bill, with an array of high-tech features designed to thwart counterfeiters, will get its coming-out party today, partial government shutdown or not.
The Federal Reserve, which has not been affected by the shutdown, will have armored trucks rolling from its regional banks around the country and heading to banks, savings and loans and other financial institutions with the new C-notes.
The bills took more than a decade to develop. The introduction was plagued by production problems that set back the rollout by 2 1/ 2 years. But officials say the problems have been fixed.
"We have 3.5 billion of these notes, which we think will be more than ample to meet domestic and international demands," said Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. currency education at the Fed.
The bill redesign, the first for the $100 bill since March 1996, still will have Benjamin Franklin on the front and Philadelphia's Independence Hall on the back.
New features include a disappearing Liberty Bell in an ink well and a bright blue three-dimensional security ribbon with images that move in the opposite direction from the way the bill is being tilted.
"The 3-D security ribbon is magic. It is made up of hundreds of thousands of micro-lenses in each note," said Larry Felix, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's director. "This is the most complex note the United States has ever produced."
The $100 bill is the last bill to get a makeover in a process that began in 2003 with the $20 bill.
Officials stressed that the $900 billion worth of $100 bills in circulation will remain good and will be gradually phased out as worn-out bills are returned to Fed facilities. The $100 bill is the largest U.S. denomination in circulation and has the longest life at 15 years. The $1 bill lasts 5.9 years.
The new $100 bills will have one old feature. The signature on the bills will be that of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The signature of current Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will start appearing once the supply of new bills has been put into circulation.
(c) 2013 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.
Original headline: Redesigned and more secure $100 bill makes its debut today
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