The new $100 dollar bill was introduced to the world recently and Benjamin Franklin, the iconic figure who has traditionally graced the C note for decades, would, as a garish and innovative guy himself, completely approve.
The Federal Reserve added many clever designs to thwart counterfeiters. First of all, there’s lot more color. The older designs that were all variations of green, black and gray have been glammed up with oranges, copper and blues, all with the purpose of adding extra security.
A blue ribbon that runs vertically through the bill is actually hundreds of thousands of little liberty bells that change shape as the bill is turned different angles. So if you’re in the habit of giving crisp Benjamins to family members, you might want to show them how the bells change into “100s” right before their eyes. Cool, huh?
Is that a feather? No, it’s a quill. Not just any quill, it is put there, in a lovely shade of copper, to represent the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Phrases from that document are on the bill too, in tiny letters, so readers can get a micro-lesson in American history (and counterfeiters groan in frustration!)
If that weren’t enough, and it isn’t if you’re trying to one-up the bad guys, a colored ink well has another liberty bell in it. This bell changes from green to copper as the perspective on it changes, just like the 100 that’s next to it.
New textures along Franklin’s shoulder are also more than just a delight for the senses, they could also challenge any counterfeiter. Raised textures are all over the bill and makes holding a C note more fun than ever. With over three billion of these Benjamins in circulation, the government has no choice but to take every measure to protect its currency.
Franklin also makes an appearance in a watermark. If you hold it up to the light, you can see him again. What would he think of all these changes?
If you turn the bill over, besides seeing a bold 100 in bright gold/orange numbers, you’ll also see Independence Hall in Philadelphia, from the back. The back? Why would the Federal Reserve want a photo of this historic landmark where they keep the lawn mower and recycling bins? (Thankfully, they’re not in the picture.) Again, this is for the counterfeiters’ benefit. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of counterfeiting, now you’ll have to get Colonial architecture accurate. (Counterfeiting is a felony and can earn you some serious jail time. It’s not worth it, kids!)
The new $100 bill is a work of art, a technological achievement and a tribute to our great nation, and more specifically, a prominent figure in our history. Benjamin Franklin, inventor, printer, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Philadelphia’s most famous kite flyer, would probably be thrilled with the technological upgrades, the bling and all those Liberty Bells on the new $100 bill.