New $100 Bills Coming In October


The $100 bill is being redesigned once again:

The U.S. will put into circulation a newly designed $100 bill in October that aims to thwart counterfeiters with advanced security features, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

The new greenbacks still bear the portrait of Benjamin Franklin, the 18th century luminary who helped found the new American republic.

The changes in design are mostly in anti-counterfeiting features such as a blue three-dimensional security ribbon and alternating images of bells and the number 100 that move and change as the viewing angle is tilted.

The new notes, which cost slightly more to produce, also feature a bell image inside a picture of an inkwell that changes from copper to green when tilted, as well as a large “100” that does the same.

Under prior plans, the bill was supposed to enter circulation in February 2011, but “its introduction was postponed following an unexpected production delay,” the Fed said in a statement.

The $100 note is the most frequently counterfeited denomination of U.S. currency outside the U.S., due to its broad circulation overseas.

The last time there was a major redesign to the $100 bill, it eventually filtered down to lesser denominations after a few years. There’s no word in today’s announcement whether the same thing will happen this time.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. john personna says:

    You should totally have ‘shopped Obama onto that thing 😉

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Bold choice in having a giant pot of honey with a bell inside on the lower right hand side.

  3. Scott says:

    I wonder how people would react if they required everyone to swap the old for the new within a specified time. I imagine there would be panic around the world.

  4. John Burgess says:

    @Scott: The Brits (among others) do that. Holders of a current set of currency have so much time to exchange them. After that, there’s a briefer period in which they can get them exchanged at the Treasury. After that… scrap paper or perhaps of interest to the currency collector.

    Were the US to do it, there’d be chaos within the drug cartels. They’d have to find ways to front the exchange for hundreds of millions of $100 bills. While amusing to ponder, I expect it would be less humorous in practice.

  5. ratufa says:

    @John Burgess:

    Were the US to do it, there’d be chaos within the drug cartels…

    It wouldn’t be just the cartels. There are billions of dollars worth of $100 bills in places like Russia, where there was a minor panic the last time we changed the design.

    To get an idea of the amount of chaos that would happen:

  6. Justinian says:

    Dave Barry, many years ago, and back when the U.S. currency still retained essentially the same design from the 1910s, had a quip:

    American money is respected all over the world because it is the only currency that doesn’t look like it was designed by school-aged children.

    I’m all in favor of the hundred dollar bill being made more secure, but does it have to look so ridiculous?

  7. MarkedMan says:

    When te 100 bill was changed in the nineties, I assumed the old bills would be pulled. When they weren’t I assumed the purpose had been defeated. After all, couldn’t the counterfeiters just counterfeit the old bills. But now we are doing it again. Does anyone understand te benefit of doing this without pulling the old bills out?

  8. aFloridian says:

    Does anyone understand te benefit of doing this without pulling the old bills out?

    As a former bank employee, I know that at that level the tellers know to watch out for older bills as they are more likely to be counterfeit. And of course that is where the old bills are most likely to get pulled out of the currency and sent back to the Fed.

  9. NickTamere says:

    That is hideously fugly, it looks like we’re letting the guy who designed the Florida Marlins homerun sculpture retool our passport and hundred dollar bill.

  10. john personna says:


    Twitter was full of people critiquing the art of it. I really didn’t think of that at all. It’s just a token for value.

    But sure, we used to do better: 1896 Five Dollar Silver Certificate

    (That might be a boob!)