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A $100 Problem

Pete Springer/OPB

The new $100 bill is trekking a long, hard road to our wallets. This week, David Wolman reported in the New Yorker that yet another printing glitch has ruined potentially millions of dollars worth of currency paper. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the people in charge of cash production, say it will have the new bills out by October 8 of this year, but that’s still years behind their original schedule.

The new bill is built to be both easy to identify as genuine and hard to fake. It doesn’t look drastically different from its predecessor, and some of the new features are the same as those on that spare fiver you have lying around. Mr. Franklin will appear in a beige area to the right if you hold the bill up to the light and a thin band that glows under a black light is woven into the paper on the left. There are even more colors splashed around this bill, continuing the washed-with-new-tie-dye-shirts look of recent bills.

But this bill also includes 3D Liberty Bells and “$100s” floating in a blue band and a Liberty Bell that emerges from an inkwell as the paper is tilted. Those are the high-tech protections, and they may cause many of the problems.

We’ll check in about the latest on the difficulties of the new $100 bill.


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