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US to launch security-enhanced 100 dollar bill in April

March 06, 2010

The United States is to unveil a new 100 dollar bill in April aimed at foiling counterfeiters, the government said Friday.

The new 100 dollar note "will make its debut" on April 21 in a ceremony at the Treasury Department's Cash Room, the Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasurer Rosie Rios and Mark Sullivan, head of the US Secret Service, will present the new-look note to the public before it enters circulation.

The 100 dollar bill is the highest-value US denomination in general circulation and is a target for counterfeiters.

"The US government redesigns currency in order to stay ahead of counterfeiters and protect the public," the Treasury said.

The Treasury said the unveiling will launch a global multi-government agency public education program before the new 100 dollar note is put into circulation.

"A well-informed public is our first and best line of defense against counterfeiting," it said.

The current 100 dollar note was redesigned in 1996 incorporating new features to deter counterfeiting.

Under 1928 currency rules, the new 100 dollar note will continue to bear the likeness of Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers, on the face.

On the back, an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, will be maintained.

The back of the bill also will feature the words "In God We Trust," which has been required by law on all US currency since 1955. The following year it was declared the national motto and in 1957 it first appeared on paper money.

Since 2003 the United States has issued a series of dollar notes in values of five, 10, 20 and 50 dollars that incorporate anti-counterfeiting features and, for the first time since 1905, background colors.

One dollar notes, and the relatively rare two dollar bills, have not been redesigned.


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