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The New $100 Note. Know Its Features. Know It's Real.

Glossary

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3-D Security Ribbon: The new $100 note design features a blue ribbon on the front of the note with images of bells and 100s that appear to move when the note is tilted.


Bell in the Inkwell: The new $100 note features a color-shifting bell, inside a copper inkwell, on the front of the note that changes from copper to green when the note is tilted.


Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP): The BEP prints billions of paper money notes each year at facilities in Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas.


Color-shifting Ink: On the redesigned $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes, this ink changes from copper to green when the note is tilted.


Engraver: A skilled artist who inscribes designs or writing onto a surface by carving or etching. While the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s engravers take advantage of the latest printing, production and examining technologies, they also continue to use the same traditional tools that have been used for United States currency for more than 125 years.


Federal Reserve Indicators: A universal seal to the left of the portrait represents the entire Federal Reserve System. A letter and number beneath the left serial number on paper money identifies the issuing Federal Reserve Bank.


Federal Reserve: The Federal Reserve, also known as the Fed, is the central bank of the United States. It was created by the Congress with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. The Federal Reserve is composed of a central, governmental agency—the Board of Governors—in Washington, D.C., and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation.


FW Indicator: All denominations of U.S. currency printed in Fort Worth, Texas, will have a small FW located on the front of the note. The location of the FW is different for each denomination. If a note does not have an FW indicator, it means that it was printed in Washington, D.C.


Intaglio Printing: The BEP prints U.S. currency on high-speed, sheet-fed rotary presses which are capable of printing 10,000 sheets per hour. Printing plates are covered with ink and then the surface of each plate is wiped clean which allows the ink to remain in the design and letter grooves of the plates. Each sheet is then forced, under extremely heavy pressure (estimated at 20 tons), into the finely recessed lines of the printing plate to pick up the ink. The printing impression is three dimensional in effect and requires the combined handiwork of highly skilled artists, steel engravers and plate printers. The surface of the note feels slightly raised, while the reverse side feels slightly indented. This process is called intaglio printing.


Legal Tender: Section 102 of the Coinage Act of 1965 (Title 31 United States Code, Section 392) provides in part: "All coins and currencies of the United States, regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties and dues." This statute means that you have made a valid and legal offer of payment of your debt when you tender United States currency to your creditor. However, there is no Federal statute which mandates that private businesses must accept cash as a form of payment. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.


Low-Vision Feature: The redesigned $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes have large numerals on the lower right corner on the back of the note to help individuals with visual impairments distinguish the denominations. This numeral was increased in size significantly for the $5 and $100.


Microprinting: Microprinting is very small text that is hard to replicate due to its size. Each denomination of redesigned U.S. currency includes microprinting located in different areas of the note.


Paper: United States currency is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton and contains red and blue fibers.


Portrait: United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is on the new $100 note. Portraits on other redesigned denominations include: President Abraham Lincoln ($5 note), Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton ($10 note), President Andrew Jackson ($20 note), and President Ulysses S. Grant ($50 note).


Security Thread: A vertical thread that is embedded in the paper, and spells out the denomination in tiny print. The note must be held to light in order to see the thread. Each denomination’s security thread glows a different color when illuminated by ultraviolet light.

Serial Numbers: The unique combination of eleven numbers and letters that appears twice on the front of each note.


Series Year: A new series year designation will result from a change in the Secretary of the Treasury; the Treasurer of the United States; and/or a significant change to the note's appearance, such as a new currency design.


Vignette: The engraved picture on back of the note is called the vignette.


Watermark: A watermark is a faint image that is part of the paper itself and is visible from both sides when the note is held to light. A watermark is included on each denomination of redesigned U.S. currency.


$100 Note Crop - Image