United States one hundred-dollar bill

United States one hundred-dollar bill

Overview
The United States one hundred-dollar bill ($100) is a denomination
Denomination (currency)
Denomination is a proper description of a currency amount, usually for coins or banknotes. Denominations may also be used with other means of payment like gift cards. See also Redenomination.-Subunit and super unit:...

 of United States currency
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

. U.S. statesman, inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 is currently featured on the obverse of the bill. On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall. The time on the clock according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, shows approximately 4:10. If the time is converted to a date (April 10), it is possible that the time was chosen because April 10th is the 100th day of the year.

The numeral four on the clock face is incorrectly written as "IV" whereas the real Independence Hall clock face has "IIII".
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Encyclopedia
The United States one hundred-dollar bill ($100) is a denomination
Denomination (currency)
Denomination is a proper description of a currency amount, usually for coins or banknotes. Denominations may also be used with other means of payment like gift cards. See also Redenomination.-Subunit and super unit:...

 of United States currency
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

. U.S. statesman, inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 is currently featured on the obverse of the bill. On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall. The time on the clock according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, shows approximately 4:10. If the time is converted to a date (April 10), it is possible that the time was chosen because April 10th is the 100th day of the year.

The numeral four on the clock face is incorrectly written as "IV" whereas the real Independence Hall clock face has "IIII". (See Roman numerals in clocks.) The bill is one of two current notes that does not feature a President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

; the other is the United States ten-dollar bill
United States ten-dollar bill
The United States ten-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. The first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is currently featured on the obverse of the bill, while the U.S. Treasury is featured on the reverse. The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a...

, featuring Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

. It is the largest denomination that has been in circulation since July 14, 1969, when the higher denominations
Large denominations of United States currency
The base currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar, and is printed on bills in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.At one time, however, it also included five larger denominations. High-denomination currency was prevalent from the very beginning of U.S. Government issue...

 of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve itself is...

 says the average life of a $100 bill in circulation is 89 months (7 years) before it is replaced due to wear and tear.

The bills are also commonly referred to as "Benjamins", in reference to the use of Benjamin Franklin's portrait on the denomination, or "C-Notes", based on the Roman numeral
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...

 for 100.

Approximately 29% of all notes produced in 2009 were $100 bills. One hundred hundred-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in mustard-colored straps ($10,000).

The Series 2009 $100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was to be issued to the public in February 11, 2011,
but production was shut down in December 2010 because as many as 30% were unusable due to a manufacturing flaw. A vertical crease in the paper reveals a blank space on the bill when pulled out. The new release date is unknown.

Large size note history


(approximately 7.4218 × 3.125 in ≅ 189 × 79 mm)
  • 1861: Three-year 10 dollar Interest Bearing Note
    Interest Bearing Note
    Interest Bearing Note refers to a grouping of Civil War era paper money-related emissions of the Treasury. The grouping includes the one and two year notes authorized by the Act of March 3, 1863, which bore interest at 5 percent, were a legal tender at face value, and were issued in denominations...

    s were issued that paid 7.3% interest per year. These notes were not primarily designed to circulate, and were payable to the original purchaser of the dollar bill. The obverse of the note featured a portrait of General Winfield Scott
    Winfield Scott
    Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

    .
  • 1862: The first $100 United States Note
    United States Note
    A United States Note, also known as a Legal Tender Note, is a type of paper money that was issued from 1862 to 1971 in the U.S. Having been current for over 100 years, they were issued for longer than any other form of U.S. paper money. They were known popularly as "greenbacks" in their heyday, a...

     was issued withvariations of this note were issued that resulted in slightly different wording (obligations) on the reverse; the note was issued again in series of 1863.
  • 1863: Both one and two and one half year Interest Bearing Notes were issued that paid 5% interest. The one-year Interest Bearing Notes featured a vignette
    Vignette (graphic design)
    Vignettes, in graphic design, are decorative designs usually in books, used both to separate sections or chapters and to decorate borders.In Descriptive, or Analytical Bibliography for the hand-press period a vignette refers to an engraved design printed using a copper-plate press, on a page that...

     of George Washington
    George Washington
    George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

     in the center, and allegorical figures representing "The Guardian" to the right and "Justice" to the left . The two-year notes featured a vignette of the U.S. treasury building in the center, a farmer and mechanic to the left, and sailors firing a cannon to the right.
  • 1863: The first $100 Gold Certificate
    Gold certificate
    A gold certificate in general is a certificate of ownership that gold owners hold instead of storing the actual gold. It has both a historic meaning as a US paper currency and a current meaning as a way to invest in gold....

    s were issued with a Bald Eagle to the left and large green 100 in the middle of the obverse. The reverse was distinctly printed in orange instead of green like all other U.S. federal government issued notes of the time.
  • 1864: Compound Interest Treasury Note
    Compound Interest Treasury Note
    Compound Interest Treasury Notes were emissions of the United States Treasury Department authorized in 1863 and 1864 with aspects of both paper money and debt. They were issued in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. They matured for three years until they could be redeemed and...

    s were issued that were intended to circulate for three years and paid 6% interest compounded semi-annually. The obverse is similar to the 1863 one-year Interest Bearing Note.

  • 1869: A new $100 United States Note
    United States Note
    A United States Note, also known as a Legal Tender Note, is a type of paper money that was issued from 1862 to 1971 in the U.S. Having been current for over 100 years, they were issued for longer than any other form of U.S. paper money. They were known popularly as "greenbacks" in their heyday, a...

     was issued with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

     on the left of the obverse and an allegorical figure representing architecture on the right. Although this note is technically a United States Note, TREASURY NOTE appeared on it instead of UNITED STATES NOTE.
  • 1870: A new $100 Gold Certificate with a portrait of Thomas Hart Benton
    Thomas Hart Benton (senator)
    Thomas Hart Benton , nicknamed "Old Bullion", was a U.S. Senator from Missouri and a staunch advocate of westward expansion of the United States. He served in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms...

     on the left side of the obverse was issued. The note was one-sided.
  • 1870: One hundred dollar National Gold Bank Note
    National Gold Bank Note
    -History:National Gold Bank Notes were banknotes that were redeemable for gold in the 1870s. National gold bank notes came in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, and $5,000. Today, all are very rare and in the higher grades and denominations many are unknown to even exist now. Most notes show...

    s were issued specifically for payment in gold coin by participating national gold banks. The obverse featured vignettes of Perry leaving the USS St. Lawrence
    USS St. Lawrence (1848)
    USS St. Lawrence was a frigate in the United States Navy. She was based on the same plans as .Although St. Lawrence was laid down in 1826 by the Norfolk Navy Yard, she remained uncompleted on the ways until work on her, interrupted by a shortage of funds, was resumed during the Mexican-American War...

     and an allegorical figure to the right; the reverse featured a vignette of U.S. gold coins.
  • 1875: The reverse of the series of 1869 United States Note was redesigned. Also, TREASURY NOTE was changed to UNITED STATES NOTE on the obverse. This note was issued again in series of 1878 and 1880.
  • 1878: The first $100 Silver Certificate
    Silver Certificate
    Silver Certificates are a type of representative money printed from 1878 to 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, which had effectively placed the United...

     was issued with a portrait of James Monroe
    James Monroe
    James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

     on the left side of the obverse. The reverse was printed in black ink, unlike any other U.S. Federal Government issued dollar bill.
  • 1882: A new and revised $100 Gold Certificate was issued. The obverse was partially the same as the series 1870 gold certificate; the border design, portrait of Thomas H. Benton, and large word GOLD, and gold-colored ink behind the serial numbers were all retained. The reverse featured a perched Bald Eagle and the Roman numeral for 100, C.
  • 1890: One hundred dollar Treasury or "Coin Notes" were issued for government purchases of silver bullion from the silver mining industry. The note featured a portrait of Admiral David G. Farragut. The note was also nicknamed a "watermelon note" because of the watermelon-shaped 0's in the large numeral 100 on the reverse; the large numeral 100 was surrounded by an ornate design that occupied almost the entire note.
  • 1891: The reverse of the series of 1890 Treasury Note was redesigned because the Treasury felt that it was too "busy" which would make it too easy to counterfeit. More open space was incorporated into the new design.
  • 1891: The obverse of the $100 Silver Certificate was slightly revised with some aspects of the design changed. The reverse was completely redesigned and also began to be printed in green ink.
  • 1914: The first $100 Federal Reserve Note
    Federal Reserve Note
    A Federal Reserve Note is a type of banknote used in the United States of America. Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing on paper made by Crane & Co. of Dalton, Massachusetts. They are the only type of U.S...

     was issued with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and allegorical figures representing labor, plenty, America, peace, and commerce on the reverse.
  • 1922: The series of 1880 Gold Certificate was re-issued with an obligation to the right of the bottom-left serial number on the obverse.

Small size note history


(6.14 × 2.61 in ≅ 157 × 66 mm)

  • 1929: Under series of 1928
    Series of 1928 (United States Currency)
    The Series of 1928 was the first issue of small-size currency printed and released by the U.S. government. These notes were the first standardized notes in terms of design and characteristics, featuring similar portraits and other facets...

    , all U.S. currency was changed to its current size and began to carry a standardized design. All variations of the $100 bill would carry the same portrait of Benjamin Franklin, same border design on the obverse, and the same reverse
    Obverse and reverse
    Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

     with a vignette of Independence Hall. The $100 bill was issued as a Federal Reserve Note
    Federal Reserve Note
    A Federal Reserve Note is a type of banknote used in the United States of America. Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing on paper made by Crane & Co. of Dalton, Massachusetts. They are the only type of U.S...

     with a green seal and serial numbers and as a Gold Certificate
    Gold certificate
    A gold certificate in general is a certificate of ownership that gold owners hold instead of storing the actual gold. It has both a historic meaning as a US paper currency and a current meaning as a way to invest in gold....

     with a golden seal and serial numbers.


  • 1933: As an emergency response to the Great Depression
    Great Depression
    The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

    , additional money was pumped into the American economy through Federal Reserve Bank Notes issued under series of 1929. This was the only small-sized $100 bill that had a slightly different border design on the obverse. The serial numbers and seal on it were brown.
  • 1934: The redeemable in gold clause was removed from Federal Reserve Notes due to the U.S. withdrawing from the gold standard
    Gold standard
    The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed mass of gold. There are distinct kinds of gold standard...

    .
  • 1934: Special $100 Gold Certificates were issued for non-public, Federal Reserve bank-to-bank transactions. These notes featured a reverse printed in orange instead of green like all other small-sized notes. The wording on the obverse was also changed to ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS IN GOLD PAYABLE TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW.
  • 1950: Many minor aspects on the obverse of the $100 Federal Reserve Note were changed. Most noticeably, the treasury seal, gray numeral 100, and the Federal Reserve Seal were made smaller; also, the Federal Reserve Seal had spikes added around it.
  • 1963: Because dollar bills were no longer redeemable in silver, beginning with series 1963A, WILL PAY TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND was removed from the obverse of the $100 Federal Reserve Note and the obligation was shortened to its current wording, THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. Also, IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse.

  • 1966: The first and only small-sized $100 United States Note
    United States Note
    A United States Note, also known as a Legal Tender Note, is a type of paper money that was issued from 1862 to 1971 in the U.S. Having been current for over 100 years, they were issued for longer than any other form of U.S. paper money. They were known popularly as "greenbacks" in their heyday, a...

     was issued with a red seal and serial numbers. It was the first of all United States currency to use the new U.S. treasury seal
    Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury
    The United States Treasury Seal is the official symbol of the United States Department of the Treasury. It actually predates the department, having originated with the Board of Treasury during the period of the Articles of Confederation. It is used on all U.S...

     with wording in English
    English language
    English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

     instead of Latin
    Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

    . Like the series 1963 $2 and $5 United States Notes, it lacked WILL PAY TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND on the obverse and featured the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse. The $100 United States Note was issued due to legislation that specified a certain dollar amount of United States Notes that were to remain in circulation. Because the $2 and $5 United States Notes were soon to be discontinued, the dollar amount of United States Notes would drop, thus warranting the issuing of this note.
  • 1991: The first new-age anti-counterfeiting measures were introduced under series 1990 with microscopic printing around Franklin's portrait and a metallic security strip on the left side of the bill.

  • March 25, 1996: The first major design change since 1929 took place with the adoption of a contemporary style layout. The main intent of the new design was to deter counterfeit
    Counterfeit
    To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

    ing. New security features included a watermark
    Watermark
    A watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light , caused by thickness or density variations in the paper...

     of Franklin to the right side of the bill, optically variable ink
    Optically Variable Ink
    Optically variable ink is an anti-counterfeiting measure used on many major modern banknotes.The ink displays two distinct colors depending on the angle the bill is viewed at. The United States fifty-dollar bill, for example, uses color shifting ink for the numeral 50 so that it displays copper at...

     (OVI) that changed from green to black when viewed at different angles, a higher quality and enlarged portrait of Franklin, and hard-to-reproduce fine line printing around Franklin's portrait and Independence Hall. Older security features such as interwoven red and blue silk fibers, microprinting, and a plastic security thread (which now glows red under a black light
    Black light
    A black light, also referred to as a UV light, ultraviolet light, or Wood's lamp, is a lamp that emits ultraviolet radiation in the long-wave range, and little visible light...

    ) were kept. The individual Federal Reserve Bank Seal was changed to a unified Federal Reserve Seal along with an additional prefix letter being added to the serial number.
  • The newest $100 bill was announced on April 21, 2010 and was to enter circulation in early 2011. In addition to design changes introduced in 1995, the obverse features the brown quill that was used to sign the Declaration of Independence; faint phrases from the Declaration of Independence; a bell in the inkwell that appears and disappears depending on the angle at which the bill is viewed; teal background color; a borderless portrait of Benjamin Franklin; and to the left of Franklin, small yellow 100s whose zeros form the EURion constellation
    EURion constellation
    The EURion constellation is a pattern of symbols found on a number of banknote designs worldwide since about 1996. It is added to help software detect the presence of a banknote in a digital image. Such software can then block the user from reproducing banknotes to prevent counterfeiting using...

    . The reverse features small yellow EURion 100s and has the fine lines removed from around the vignette of Independence Hall. These notes will be issued as series 2009 with Rios
    Rosa Gumataotao Rios
    Rosa "Rosie" Gumataotao Rios is the 43rd and current Treasurer of the United States. She is the sixth Latina to occupy the office as well as the third consecutive Californian.As U.S...

    -Geithner signatures. Many of these changes are intended not only to thwart counterfeiting but to also make it easier to quickly check authenticity and help vision impaired people. Problems in the printing process has led to a delay in the release of the new bills. As of November 24, 2011 no release date has been set for the new $100 bill.

Limiting the Value of Banknotes


The Federal Reserve announced that they were taking Large denominations of United States currency
Large denominations of United States currency
The base currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar, and is printed on bills in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.At one time, however, it also included five larger denominations. High-denomination currency was prevalent from the very beginning of U.S. Government issue...

out of circulation in July 14, 1969. The one-hundred-dollar bill was the largest denomination left in circulation. All the federal reserve notes produced from series 1928 up to before series 1969 (i.e. 1928, 1928A, 1934, 1934A, 1934B, 1934C, 1934D, 1950, 1950A, 1950B, 1950C, 1950D, 1950E, 1963, 1966, 1966A) of the $100 denomination summed to $23.1708 billion. Since some banknotes had been destroyed, and the population was 200 million at the time, there was less than one $100 banknote per capita circulating.

As of Jun 30, 1969 the US coins and banknotes in circulation of all denomination were worth $50.936 billion of which $4.929 billion was circulating overseas. So the currency and coin circulating within the United States was $230 per capita. Since 1969 the demand for US currency has greatly increased. As of the end of 2010, a total of 7 billion hundred dollar notes are in circulation. The total amount of circulating currency and coin passed one trillion dollars in March 2011.

Despite the degradation in the value of the $100 banknote since 1969, competition with the 500 Euro banknote, and clear gains in efficiency, there are no plans to re-issue banknotes above $100. Quoting T. Allison, Assistant to the Board of the Federal Reserve System in his October 8, 1998 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
There are public policies against reissuing the $500 note, mainly because many of those efficiency gains, such as lower shipment and storage costs, would accrue not only to legitimate users of bank notes, but also to money launderers, tax evaders and a variety of other law breakers who use currency in their criminal activity. While it is not at all clear that the volume of illegal drugs sold or the amount of tax evasion would necessarily increase just as a consequence of the availability of a larger dollar denomination bill, it no doubt is the case that if wrongdoers were provided with an easier mechanism to launder their funds and hide their profits, enforcement authorities could have a harder time detecting certain illicit transactions occurring in cash.

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