How does U.S. currency get into circulation?
Michael Lambert, associate director for the U.S. Currency Program at the Federal Reserve Board, discusses how U.S. currency gets into circulation.
FAQs about the Redesigned $100 note
How can I determine if the redesigned $100 note is genuine?
Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. Currency Education at the Federal Reserve Board, discusses how to use security features to authenticate the redesigned $100 note.
When will I start to see the new $100 note in circulation?
The new $100 note will begin circulating on October 8, 2013. Once it is issued, any commercial bank, savings and loan, or credit union that orders $100 notes from the Federal Reserve will have its order filled with the new design. Distance, demand, and the policies of individual financial institutions will be the deciding factors in how quickly redesigned $100 notes reach the public, both in the U.S. and in international markets.
Do I have to trade in my older design notes when a new one begins circulating?
No. It is not necessary to trade in your older design $100 notes when the new ones begin circulating. All U.S. currency remains legal tender, regardless of when it was issued.
Will both older and redesigned $100 notes circulate at the same time?
It’s important that consumers and businesses know that it will not be necessary to trade in their old design $100 notes for new ones. Older designs of Federal Reserve notes remain legal tender, and will not be recalled, demonetized or devalued.
However, beginning on October 8, 2013, Federal Reserve Banks will only be paying new design $100 notes out to financial institutions. As older designs make their way through the banking system, they will eventually get returned to the Federal Reserve, where they will be destroyed.
When was the last time the $100 note was redesigned?
The last redesign of the $100 note began circulating in March 1996.
Why does the United States government periodically redesign its currency?
The United States government primarily redesigns U.S. currency to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats and keep counterfeiting levels low.
The Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, its Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the United States Secret Service continuously monitor the counterfeiting threats for each denomination of U.S. currency and make redesign decisions based on these threats. An inter-agency committee makes recommendations on design changes to the Secretary of the Treasury, who has final authority for U.S. currency designs.
FAQs about Counterfeit Currency
What should I do if I suspect that I've received a counterfeit note?
Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. Currency Education at the Federal Reserve Board, talks about what you should do if you think you have received a counterfeit note.
How do I determine if a banknote is genuine?
The best way to determine whether a note is genuine is to use the security features, such as the watermark and security thread. To learn about these and other security features in genuine Federal Reserve notes, visit the U.S. Currency section of the website.
Why is it important to check security features on a banknote?
It is important to know what the security features are in genuine currency, because if you end up with a counterfeit note, you will lose that money. A counterfeit note cannot be exchanged for a genuine one, and it is illegal to knowingly pass counterfeit currency.
What should you do if you think you have received a counterfeit note?
If you live in the United States, notify the local police or the U.S. Secret Service immediately; if you live outside the U.S., notify the police. Try to note the physical characteristics of the person who passed the fake notes and any companions. If possible write down their license plate number and description of any vehicle they drove. If you have accepted the counterfeit note already, store it apart from genuine currency so that you don’t confuse it with the genuine currency, and release it as soon as possible to law enforcement authorities. The Law Enforcement section of this website offers contact information for U.S Secret Service field offices around the world.
For additional information, including the counterfeit note report form, visit the U.S. Secret Service's website at: U.S. Secret Service.
Should you use counterfeit detection pens to check U.S. currency?
If you are suspicious that a note is not genuine, we encourage you to use the security features. To learn about these and other security features in Federal Reserve notes, visit newmoney.gov
Note that counterfeit pens will not detect all counterfeit notes. Most counterfeit detection pens contain an iodine-based solution that reacts to the presence of starch in wood-based papers, leaving a black mark on the note. When used on genuine U.S. currency, which is printed on paper made of cotton and linen, the pen leaves a faint yellow or clear mark. You should know, however, that such pens will not detect all counterfeits. Some counterfeiters use paper that is not wood-based or chemicals that mask the wood-based properties and thus may not be revealed as fake by a counterfeit detection pen.
FAQs about Currency and Coin
How does the Federal Reserve Board determine how much money to order each year?
Michael Lambert, associate director for the U.S. Currency Program at the Federal Reserve Board, discusses how the annual order for new currency is determined.
Which denominations of currency does the Federal Reserve issue?
The Federal Reserve Board currently issues $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes. The largest denomination Federal Reserve note ever issued for public circulation was the $10,000 note.
How can I obtain specific notes or coin?
To obtain a specific note or coin, we recommend that you contact the institution you bank with to see if it will honor your request. Federal Reserve Banks provide currency only to depository institutions that have accounts with the Federal Reserve, which then distribute it to members of the public. All other depository institutions receive cash services through correspondent banks.
What should I do with damaged (mutilated) currency?
Mutilated currency can be redeemed either by mail or in person at the Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing. For information on how to submit a claim please visit the Damaged Currency section on our website.
Where can I purchase uncut sheets of currency?
Information on purchasing uncut sheets of currency can be found at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's online store.
On July 14, 1969, the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury announced that banknotes in denominations of $500, $1000, $5000, and $10000 would be discontinued because of lack of use. Although they were issued until 1969, they were last printed in 1945.
What is the significance of the series year on Federal Reserve notes?
Generally, the series year on Federal Reserve notes indicates the year in which the new design for a note was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, or the year in which the signature of a new Secretary was incorporated into the design.
Capital letters following the series year appear when the signature of a new Treasurer is incorporated into the note’s design, or if there is a small, technical change to the note’s design.
There are some exceptions to these general guidelines. A full list of the relationships between series year, signatures, and security features can be found in this table.
FAQs about Educational Materials
Where can I find training materials to help educate cash handlers about the new $100 note’s security features?
The U.S. Currency Education Program has developed training materials to help businesses and organizations become familiar with the changes to the $100 note. These materials are currently available for order or download.
Where can teachers find materials to use in their classrooms?
Teachers can order or download educational materials for their students free of charge.
For additional classroom resources visit the Youth Education page and the Federal Reserve System’s education website.
Where can teachers find information on tours of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing?
Tours are offered at Bureau of Engraving and Printing facilities in Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas. The tours feature various stages of currency production, beginning with large, blank sheets of paper, and ending with wallet-ready notes.
Get more information about tours at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing facilities.