It’s all about the Benjamins.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve begins circulating a new $100 bill today designed with advanced high-tech security features to thwart counterfeiting.
Don’t expect to see the revised note right away, though, because some local money managers expect it to be a few days before the colorful currency is floated among metro Augusta establishments. Location, demand and policies of financial institutions will determine how quickly the new bills reach the public, the Fed reports.
“It will probably take a couple of days,” said Sharon Anderson, a teller at First Bank of Georgia on Wheeler Road.
Though Anderson had not yet seen the new bill, she said bank employees will be briefed about its appearance and security features before the bank starts handling the money.
As of Tuesday, any bank or credit union ordering $100 bills from the Federal Reserve will receive the new note, which is easier for consumers and merchants to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate.
The $100 bill is said to be the most widely circulated and most often counterfeited denomination outside this country. It was last redesigned in 1996.
Nearly a decade in the making, the Benjamin Franklin-adorned bill includes a blue 3-D security ribbon with shifting images of bells and 100s, in addition to a copper “bell in the inkwell” that changes colors when the note is tilted.
The bill’s redesign, unveiled in 2010, was originally scheduled for a February 2011 issue date. A problem with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing of the new note, however, delayed the process.
Melisa Brown, a customer service representative at the Circle K on Wrightsboro Road at Highland Avenue, said she’s looking forward to the relative ease when checking for counterfeit cash promised by the new bill.
Brown said she and other employees are trained to mark the bill and to hold it up to the light to ensure its authenticity.
“It’s colorful. It’s not like the old ones,” Brown said. “We don’t have to keep marking them. If we’re busy, it’ll cut down a little bit on the time.”
Many customers choose to pay for gas or other merchandise with a $100 note to break up the big bill, she said. Brown expect to see her first $100 bill in the store by next month.
Since 2003, the Federal Reserve has implemented new currency designs, using different colors for each denomination.
Older designs of the $100 bills will remain legal tender, so consumers and businesses will not need to trade in older $100 notes for new ones.