Ben Franklin Gets Facelift

Benjamin Franklin still appears on the $100 bill, but he’s got a few new bells and whistles alongside him, reports The Washington Post.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke unveiled the redesigned C-note, which includes new security features designed to weed out counterfeit versions of the most copied piece of U.S. currency.

The new design includes a 3-D security ribbon that contains images of bells and 100s that move and change from one to the other as handlers tilt the note. A new image of the Liberty Bell in the inkwell changes color from copper to green when the bill is tilted.

The $100 bill, the highest-value denomination in general circulation, is the last bill to have undergone an extensive redesign. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing began the process in 2003, adding splashes of color to spruce up first the $20 and then the $50, $10 and $5 bills. The $1 bill isn’t getting a makeover.

The changes are aimed at thwarting counterfeiters armed with ever-more sophisticated computers, scanners and color copiers.

The new currency will not be issued until Feb. 10, 2011, giving the government time to educate the public at home and abroad about all the changes.

Photo by US Treasury.

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