U.S. Fed ships new $100 bills with anti-counterfeit features


WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve begansupplying banks on Tuesday with redesigned $100 bills thatincorporate advanced anti-counterfeiting features, the U.S.central bank said.

The notes, which retain the image of American statesman andscientist Benjamin Franklin, include two new security features -a blue three-dimensional security ribbon with images of bellsand 100s, and a color-changing bell in an inkwell, the Fed saidin a statement.

The bills, known as Benjamins, also keep security featuresfrom the previous design, such as a watermark.

"The new design incorporates security features that make iteasier to authenticate, but harder to replicate," said FederalReserve Board Governor Jerome Powell said in a statement.

The security features will let users verify the notes'authenticity more easily, he said.

U.S. officials have said the $100 note is the mostfrequently counterfeited denomination of U.S. currency outsidethe United States due to its broad circulation overseas. In theUnited States, the $20 bill is the most frequently counterfeitednote.

Benjamins are the highest-denominated notes issued by theFederal Reserve, since the United States stopped issuing $500,$1,000 and $10,000 notes in 1969.

The new bills have been in development since 2003.

People with old bills do not need to trade them in for newones since all designs of U.S. currency remain legal tender, theFed said.

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