The U.S. $100 bill — the most commonly counterfeited banknote in the world — has undergone a face lift will start circulating this week. The redesigned bill features colorful anti-counterfeiting components that experts say will make the C-note harder, if not impossible, to rip off.
The two new elements include a 3-D blue strip with images that seem to move when the bill is tilted, plus a holographic bell within an image of a copper inkwell that changes color when tilted.
“That’s something that’s not going to be able to be reproduced on a photocopy machine, that’s for sure, or even on the computer,” Dennis Forgue, a currency expert in Chicago, told the New York Times.
Taking more than 10 years to develop, the bill is the last U.S. currency to complete the “New Color of Money” transition, which started in 2003 and integrated faint shades and other security measures to paper currency in effort to better thwart counterfeiters.
Of all the $100 bills in circulation, the Federal Reserve estimates that one-half to two-thirds of the notes are overseas, making them a hot target for international counterfeiters. But Michael Lambert, associate director of the Federal Reserve, says the new design will make it easier for people to be vigilant.
“It only takes a few seconds for people — if they know what they’re looking for — to know what they’re looking at is genuine,” he said.
While the new designs certainly brightens up the drab greens and grays of old, it’s still no match for the rainbow that is Venezuela’s Bolivar Fuerte, or Canada’s new controversial polymer-based currency that not only features space robots, but allegedly smells like maple syrup.
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