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U.S. Unveils New $100 Bill to Foil Counterfeiters

April 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke introduced the latest remake of the $100 bill, featuring advanced security designs and a larger portrait of founding father Benjamin Franklin.

The bills, viewable at http://www.newmoney.gov/, will go into circulation in February 2011.

The new look, aimed at thwarting counterfeiters, has several new security features, including a “3-D Security Ribbon” and an image of a bell on the front of the note that, when tilted, changes in color from copper to green. The reverse side of the bill includes a new vignette of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

“As with previous U.S. currency redesigns, this note incorporates the best technology available to ensure we’re staying ahead of counterfeiters,” said Geithner, whose signature appears on the bills.

The bills also retain from the previous version a portrait watermark of Franklin, who signed the Declaration of Independence, as well as a security thread and a “color-shifting” numeral 100, officials announced at the unveiling ceremony at the Treasury in Washington.

“When the new design $100 note is issued on Feb. 10, 2011, the approximately 6.5 billion older design $100s already in circulation will remain legal tender,” Bernanke said. “U.S. currency users should know they will not have to trade in their older design $100 notes when the new ones begin circulating.”

The $100 bill is the largest denomination note printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a division of the Treasury. Larger denominations of $500, $1,000 and more are no longer issued but remain in circulation, especially among collectors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vincent Del Giudice in Washington vdelgiudice@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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