The Federal Reserve revealed that it will soon begin circulating a newly redesigned $100 bill later this year in an attempt to thwart counterfeiters.
The Fed said the new notes should be out by October, which would be more than two years after it was originally slated to debut. The redesigned note incorporates added security features, such as a blue, three-dimensional security ribbon and a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell. The features are designed to make copying the bills almost impossible.
The revamped bill had been expected to go into circulation in February 2011. But in December 2010, officials announced an indefinite delay, explaining that more time to address production issues that left creases in a majority of the printed bills.
"We made numerous process changes to address the creasing issue and we are back in full production," said Dawn Haley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Haley said those changes included modifying the paper feeder on the printing presses to accommodate variations in the paper associated with the security ribbon. The blue security is unique in that is contains thousands of tiny lenses. The lenses enlarge the objects underneath so as to make them look as if they are moving in the opposite direction from the way the bill is being moved.
Benjamin Franklin's portrait will remain on the note, which is the highest valued denomination currently in general circulation. It's high value is also why it is the most frequent target of counterfeiters.
The $100 bill is the last note to undergo an extensive redesign aimed at preventing counterfeit notes from entering circulation.
The redesigns began in 2003 when the government added splashes of color to the $20 bill. That redesign was followed by changes to the $50, $10 and $5 bills.