WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will begin circulating a redesigned $100 bill this fall, more than two years after its initial target.
The Fed has set a new target date of Oct. 8. The redesigned note incorporates added security features, such as a blue 3-D security ribbon and a disappearing Liberty Bell in an inkwell. The features are designed to thwart counterfeiters.
The revamped bill had been expected to go into circulation in February 2011. But in December 2010, officials announced an indefinite delay. They said they needed more time to fix production issues that left unwanted creases in many of the notes.
"We made numerous process changes to address the creasing issue and we are back in full production," said Dawn Haley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Haley said those changes included modifying the paper feeder on the printing presses to accommodate variations in the paper associated with the 3-D security ribbon. The blue security ribbon is composed of thousands of tiny lenses. Those lenses magnify the objects underneath them to make them appear to be moving in the opposite direction from the way the bill is being moved.
Benjamin Franklin portrait will remain on the $100 bill, the highest value denomination in general circulation. It is also the most frequent target of counterfeiters.
The $100 bill is the last note to undergo an extensive redesign aimed at thwarting counterfeiters with ever-more sophisticated copying machines. The redesigns began in 2003 when the government added splashes of color to the $20 bill. That makeover was followed by redesigns for the $50, $10 and $5 bills. The $1 bill isn't getting a makeover.
An extensive public-education effort is planned for businesses and consumers around the world to raise awareness about the new design and provide information on how to use the new security features.