New US $100 bill to enter circulation in October

The United States will put a redesigned $100 bill, including an array of cutting-edge security features, in circulation in October, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

The new $100 bill was supposed to have entered circulation in February 2011. But the release was delayed by production problems, notably creasing of the paper during printing.

The Fed said the redesigned bill will begin circulating on October 8.

"This note, which incorporates new security features such as a blue, 3-D security ribbon, will be easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the central bank said.

A portrait of Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States, will remain on the note in its new incarnation, as specified under US money rules since 1928.

To the right of the Franklin portrait, the bill features a blue, vertical 3-D security ribbon that has images of bells and the number 100 that move when the note is tilted. An image of a bell inside an inkwell changes color from copper to green.

Other security measures include a portrait watermark, an embedded security thread and microprinting, miniscule printed words on the bill.

The "Benjamins," as they are knicknamed, have been the biggest US denomination in circulation since 1969. The Fed estimates that two-thirds of the $100 bills are circulating outside the US.

The $100 bill currently circulating, printed between 1990 and 1996, will remain legal tender after October 8.

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