Skip to main content

Treasury unveils new $100 bill

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
High tech hundred dollar bill
  • New $100 bill unveiled Wednesday at U.S. Department of Treasury
  • It is the first redesign of the denomination in 14 years
  • Currency changes come to stay ahead of counterfeiters

Washington (CNN) -- Benjamin Franklin gets a facelift as the Treasury Department unveils a new $100 bill Wednesday, the first remake of the denomination since 1996.

The new design for the $100 note made its debut during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at the Department of the Treasury's Cash Room attended by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"The $100 note is the highest value denomination of U.S. currency in general circulation, and it circulates broadly around the world," according to a statement from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The denomination is popular when large amounts of cash need to be carried internationally.

Anti-counterfeiting measures are the main reason the United States has been making changes in currency.

The currency changes started in 1996 with the $100 bill, followed by a new $20 bill in 2003. The $50 bill got an overhaul in 2004, and the $10 was redesigned in 2006. The $5 bill was upgraded in 2008.

Watch CNNMoney video: Meet the new Benjamin

Security features added to the paper help people to spot bogus bills. They include watermarks and an embedded security thread.