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The Story of the 100$ Dollar Bill: A Guide to the Most Iconic US Currency

March 07, 2023 7 min read

The History of the 100$ Dollar Bill:

The 100$ dollar bill is one of the most widely recognized and coveted banknotes in the world. Featuring the portrait of founding father Benjamin Franklin, this bill has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 18th century. As the largest denomination of US currency in circulation, the 100$ dollar bill is prized by collectors and investors alike.

The 100$ dollar bill was first introduced in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note. It featured a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the front and an allegorical figure representing freedom on the back. In 1914, the bill was redesigned to include a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the most prominent figures of the American Revolution. Since then, the design of the 100$ dollar bill has undergone several changes, but Franklin's portrait has remained a constant feature. In this article, we will take a closer look at the design, symbolism, and security features of this iconic banknote.

Design and Symbolism of the 100$ Dollar Bill

The front of the 100$ dollar bill features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was an accomplished polymath, inventor, statesman, and author, and his likeness on the bill is a testament to his contributions to the nation's history.

The back of the bill also includes a depiction of the Great Seal of the United States. The majestic American eagle is a revered symbol of the United States, embodying strength, freedom, and resilience. Its soaring wings and sharp talons evoke a sense of power and grace, while its unwavering gaze exudes confidence and determination. The eagle's image can be found on everything from the Great Seal of the United States to the presidential podium, serving as a constant reminder of the country's values and ideals.

Similarly, Independence Hall stands as an enduring symbol of American democracy and the birthplace of the nation. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this historic building is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were drafted and signed. Its stately facade and elegant interior offer a glimpse into the past, showcasing the rich history and culture of the country.

Microprinting: The Secret Weapon Against Counterfeiters

One of the most powerful weapons in the fight against counterfeiting is microprinting. This feature can be found throughout the bill's design and is so small that it's virtually impossible to replicate using standard printing techniques. Microprinting is a technique where tiny letters and numbers are printed on the bill in a way that is invisible to the naked eye but can be seen with a magnifying glass.

This secret feature serves as an effective deterrent against counterfeiters who are looking to replicate the bill's design. It's not just the size of the microprinting that makes it difficult to reproduce, but also the complexity of the design. The microprinting is woven into the bill's intricate design, making it nearly impossible to replicate.

Another hidden feature on the 100$ bill is the security thread. This is a thin strip that is embedded into the paper of the bill and can only be seen when held up to a light source. The security thread is designed to make it difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce the bill's unique features.

Is the 100$ Dollar Bill the Largest in US currency?

The largest US currency bill ever issued for public circulation was the $100,000 bill. These bills were only used for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and were never released into general circulation, and illegal for a private party to own.

PCGS Banknote has officially certified and graded the most exceptional known instance of the 1890 $1,000 "Grand Watermelon" Treasury Note, a remarkably unique and elusive banknote. In 2005, this banknote achieved the distinction of being the very first to be auctioned off for an astounding $1 million, which remains an unparalleled feat. The moniker "Watermelon" was inspired by the distinctive design and color of the colossal zeroes displayed on the note's back.

These $1,000 notes were initially released in both $100 and $1,000 denominations, and their redemption could be done through either gold or silver coin. Due to their substantial face value, which is approximately equal to $29,000 in present times, they were primarily employed for interbank transactions and were not prevalent in circulation. The "Grand Watermelon" note, assigned catalog number Fr.379a by prominent banknote experts Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, underwent a limited printing of just 16,000 notes. Currently, only two of these precious banknotes are known to exist and are held in private possession.

Today, the highest denomination of US currency in circulation is the $100 bill.

What are the security features of the $100 bill?

One of the reasons the $100 bill is so valuable is because of its advanced security features. These features make it difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce the bill accurately, helping to prevent fraud and protect consumers. Some of the key security features of the $100 bill include a watermark, a security thread, and color-shifting ink. The watermark is visible when held up to light and shows a small image of Benjamin Franklin on the right side of the bill. The security thread is a thin strip embedded in the paper that glows pink when held under UV light. Finally, the color-shifting ink changes from green to copper when tilted, making it difficult to reproduce accurately.

How to check if a $100 bill is real?

It's important to know how to identify a fake $100 bill to protect yourself from fraud. Here are some steps you can take to check if a $100 bill is real: Check the watermark: Hold the bill up to light and look for the watermark of Benjamin Franklin on the right side of the bill. If the watermark is not visible, the bill may be fake. Check the security thread: Hold the bill up to UV light and look for the pink security thread embedded in the paper. If the thread is not visible or is a different color, the bill may be fake. Check the printing quality: Look closely at the printing on the bill, including the lines, borders, and lettering. If the printing is blurry or appears smudged, the bill may be fake. Check for color-shifting ink: Tilt the bill and look for the color of the ink to change from green to copper. If the ink does not change color or looks different, the bill may be fake.

When was the 100$ bill first introduced?

The first 100-dollar bill was introduced in 1862 as a Legal Tender Note. Since then, the bill's design has undergone several changes, with the latest version being issued in 2013.

What are the security features of the current 100$ bill?

3-D Security Ribbon: A blue ribbon that features images of bells and 100s, which move and change color when tilted. Color-Shifting Ink: The number 100 on the front of the bill shifts from copper to green when tilted. Watermark: A faint image of Benjamin Franklin is visible on the right-hand side of the bill when held up to light. Security Thread: A thin strip of polyester is embedded in the paper, which glows pink when held under ultraviolet light. Microprinting: Tiny words and numbers are printed on various parts of the bill, such as the words "The United States of America" on the bottom of the portrait.

Can you still use old 100$ bills?

Yes, older versions of the 100-dollar bill are still legal tender, meaning they can be used to make purchases or pay debts. However, some merchants may refuse to accept older bills due to concerns about counterfeit currency.

Why the 100 dollar bill canvas is a valuable addition to any home decor?

The Cash is King 100$ dollar bill canvas is more than just a piece of art; it also serves as a conversation starter and a statement piece. It's a reflection of our culture and society, with its symbols of wealth, power, and influence. It can spark discussions about money, politics, and the American Dream, and it can also evoke feelings of nostalgia and patriotism.

When hung in a room, a 100$ dollar bill canvas can add depth and dimension to the space. It can serve as a focal point or an accent piece, depending on its size and placement. It can complement a variety of design styles, from modern to traditional, and it can be incorporated into a range of color schemes.

The $100 bill holds significant cultural value as an iconic piece of American currency, and using it in artwork can pay homage to the history and culture of the United States. Its presence can also serve as a motivator for individuals to work harder and achieve success in their personal and professional lives

Incorporating a $100 bill in artwork can stimulate discussions about the role of money in society, wealth inequality, and the American Dream. It can be a thought-provoking and meaningful piece of art that prompts debates and sparks conversations. With all these benefits, it's no wonder that including a $100 bill in artwork can be both inspiring and impactful.

How to use a $100 bill while traveling abroad?

Exchange for local currency: Before you leave for your trip, exchange your $100 bill for local currency. This will make it easier to make purchases and avoid the hassle of finding a place to exchange your bill while traveling.

Use for larger purchases:While traveling, you may want to use your $100 bill for larger purchases, such as hotel rooms or excursions. This can help you avoid carrying large amounts of cash and minimize the risk of theft.

Be aware of scams: Unfortunately, tourists with large denominations of currency are often targets of scams. Be aware of common scams, such as overcharging or giving you incorrect change, and always double-check the currency you receive.

Use credit cards when possible: While it's convenient to have cash on hand, using credit cards can be a safer and more secure way to make purchases while traveling. Many credit cards also offer perks such as travel rewards and insurance.

Overall, using a $100 bill while traveling can be a convenient option, but it's important to take precautions to ensure your safety and avoid scams.