United States one-hundred-dollar bill

Last updated
One hundred dollars
(United States)
Width156 mm
Height66.3 mm
Weight≈ 1.0 [1]  g
Security featuresSecurity fibers, watermark, 3D security ribbon, security thread, color shifting ink, microprinting, raised printing, EURion constellation
Material used75% cotton
25% linen
Years of printing1861–present
Design Benjamin Franklin's portrait by Joseph Duplessis, Declaration of Independence, quill pen, Syng inkwell with an imbedded image of the Liberty Bell
Design date2009
Design Independence Hall
Design date2009

The United States one-hundred-dollar bill (US$100) is a denomination of United States currency. The first United States Note with this value was issued in 1862 and the Federal Reserve Note version was first produced in 1914. [2] Inventor and U.S. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin has been featured on the obverse of the bill since 1914, [3] which now also contains stylized images of the Declaration of Independence, a quill pen, the Syng inkwell, and the Liberty Bell. The reverse depicts Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which it has featured since 1928. [3]


The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed and circulated since July 13, 1969, when the larger denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired. [4] As of December 2018, the average life of a $100 bill in circulation is 22.9 years before it is replaced due to wear.

The bills are also commonly referred to as "Bens", "Benjamins", or "Franklins", in reference to the use of Benjamin Franklin's portrait by the French painter Joseph Duplessis on the denomination, as "C-Notes" or "Century Notes", based on the Roman numeral for 100, or as "blue faces", based on the blue tint of Franklin's face in the current design. The bill is one of two denominations printed today that does not feature a president of the United States, the other being the $10 bill, featuring Alexander Hamilton. The Series 2009$100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was issued to the public on October 8, 2013. The new bill costs 12.6 cents to produce and has a blue ribbon woven into the center of the currency with "100" and Liberty Bells, alternating, that appear when the bill is tilted.

As of June 30, 2012, the $100 bill comprised 77% of all US currency in circulation. [5] Federal Reserve data from 2017 showed that the number of $100 bills exceeded the number of $1 bills. However, a 2018 research paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago estimated that 80 percent of $100 bills were in other countries. Possible reasons included $100 bills being used as a reserve currency against economic instability that affected other currencies, and use of the bills for criminal activities. [6]


Large size notes

(approximately 7.4218 × 3.125 in ≈ 189 × 79 mm)

Small size notes

(6.14 × 2.61 in ≅ 156 × 66 mm)

Series dates

Small size

TypeSeries Register Treasurer Seal
National Bank Note Types 1 & 21929 Jones Woods Brown
Federal Reserve Bank Note 1928AJonesWoodsBrown
TypeSeries Secretary Treasurer Seal
Gold Certificate 1928 Mellon Woods Gold
Legal Tender Note 1966 Fowler Granahan Red
Legal Tender Note1966A Kennedy Elston Red
Federal Reserve Note 1928MellonWoodsGreen
Federal Reserve Note1928AMellonWoodsGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934 Morgenthau Julian Green
Federal Reserve Note1934AMorgenthauJulianGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934B Vinson JulianGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934C Snyder JulianGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934DSnyder Clark Green
Federal Reserve Note1950SnyderClarkGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950A Humphrey Priest Green
Federal Reserve Note1950B Anderson PriestGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950C Dillon Smith Green
Federal Reserve Note1950DDillonGranahanGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950EFowlerGranahanGreen
Federal Reserve Note1963AFowlerGranahanGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969KennedyElstonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969AKennedyKabisGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969B Connally KabisGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969C Shultz BañuelosGreen
Federal Reserve Note1974 Simon Neff Green
Federal Reserve Note1977 Blumenthal Morton Green
Federal Reserve Note1981 Regan Buchanan Green
Federal Reserve Note1981ARegan Ortega Green
Federal Reserve Note1985 Baker OrtegaGreen
Federal Reserve Note1988 Brady OrtegaGreen
Federal Reserve Note1990Brady Villalpando Green
Federal Reserve Note1993 Bentsen Withrow Green
Federal Reserve Note1996 Rubin WithrowGreen
Federal Reserve Note1999 Summers WithrowGreen
Federal Reserve Note2001 O'Neill Marin Green
Federal Reserve Note2003 Snow MarinGreen
Federal Reserve Note2003ASnow Cabral Green
Federal Reserve Note2006 Paulson CabralGreen
Federal Reserve Note2006A Paulson CabralGreen
Federal Reserve Note2009 Geithner Rios Green
Federal Reserve Note2009A Geithner Rios Green
Federal Reserve Note2013 Lew RiosGreen
Federal Reserve Note2017A Mnuchin Carranza Green
Federal Reserve Note2021 Yellen Malerba Green

Withdrawal of large denomination bills ($500 and up)

On July 14, 1969, the Federal Reserve announced that the large denominations of United States currency would be withdrawn from circulation; banks were instructed to return any notes received or deposited larger than $100 to the United States Treasury. While the larger denominations remained legal tender, [15] with their removal, the $100 note was the largest denomination remaining in circulation. All the Federal Reserve Notes produced from Series 1928 up to before Series 1969 (i.e. 1928, 1928A, 1934, 1934A, 1934B, 1934C, 1934D, 1950, 1950A, 1950B, 1950C, 1950D, 1950E, 1963, 1966, 1966A) of the $100 denomination added up to $23.1708 billion. [16] Since some banknotes had been destroyed, and the population was 200 million at the time, there was less than one $100 banknote per capita circulating.

As of June 30, 1969, the U.S. coins and banknotes in circulation of all denominations were worth $50.936 billion of which $4.929 billion was circulating overseas. [17] So the currency and coin circulating within the United States was $230 per capita. Since 1969, the demand for U.S. currency has greatly increased. The total amount of circulating currency and coin passed one trillion dollars in March 2011.

Despite the degradation in the value of the U.S. $100 banknote (which was worth about $830.85 in 1969), and despite competition from some more valuable foreign notes (most notably, the 500 euro banknote), there are no current plans to re-issue banknotes above $100. Today's widespread use of electronic means to conduct high-value transactions has made large-scale physical cash transactions for legitimate business unnecessary, from the government's point of view. Quoting T. Allison, Assistant to the Board of the Federal Reserve System in his October 8, 1998 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Committee on Banking and Financial Services:

There are public policies against reissuing the $500 note, mainly because many of those efficiency gains, such as lower shipment and storage costs, would accrue not only to legitimate users of bank notes but also to money launderers, tax evaders and a variety of other lawbreakers who use currency in their criminal activity. While it is not at all clear that the volume of illegal drugs sold or the amount of tax evasion would necessarily increase just as a consequence of the availability of a larger dollar denomination bill, it no doubt is the case that if wrongdoers were provided with an easier mechanism to launder their funds and hide their profits, enforcement authorities could have a harder time detecting certain illicit transactions occurring in cash. [18]

Related Research Articles

Seigniorage, also spelled seignorage or seigneurage, is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it. The term can be applied in two ways:

Federal Reserve Notes, also United States banknotes, are the currently issued banknotes of the United States dollar. The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces the notes under the authority of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and issues them to the Federal Reserve Banks at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The Reserve Banks then circulate the notes to their member banks, at which point they become liabilities of the Reserve Banks and obligations of the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States five-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States currency

The United States five-dollar bill (US$5) is a denomination of United States currency. The current $5 bill features U.S. president Abraham Lincoln and the Great Seal of the United States on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. All $5 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes. As of December 2018, the average life of a $5 bill in circulation is 4.7 years before it is replaced due to wear. Approximately 6% of all paper currency produced by the U.S. Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 2009 were $5 bills.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States ten-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States currency

The United States ten-dollar bill (US$10) is a denomination of U.S. currency. The obverse of the bill features the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, two renditions of the torch of the Statue of Liberty, and the words "We the People" from the original engrossed preamble of the United States Constitution. The reverse features the U.S. Treasury Building. All $10 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States twenty-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States currency

The United States twenty-dollar bill (US$20) is a denomination of U.S. currency. A portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president (1829–1837), has been featured on the obverse of the bill since 1928; the White House is featured on the reverse.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States fifty-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States currency

The United States fifty-dollar bill (US$50) is a denomination of United States currency. The 18th U.S. president (1869-1877), Ulysses S. Grant, is featured on the obverse, while the U.S. Capitol is featured on the reverse. All current-issue $50 bills are Federal Reserve Notes.

Large denominations of United States currency greater than $100 were circulated by the United States Treasury until 1969. Since then, U.S. dollar banknotes have been issued in seven denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States one-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States paper equivalent of currency

The United States one-dollar bill (US$1), sometimes referred to as a single, has been the lowest value denomination of United States paper currency since the discontinuation of U.S. fractional currency notes in 1876. An image of the first U.S. president (1789–1797), George Washington, based on the Athenaeum Portrait, a 1796 painting by Gilbert Stuart, is currently featured on the obverse, and the Great Seal of the United States is featured on the reverse. The one-dollar bill has the oldest overall design of all U.S. currency currently being produced. The reverse design of the present dollar debuted in 1935, and the obverse in 1963 when it was first issued as a Federal Reserve Note.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silver certificate (United States)</span> Paper currency used between 1878 and 1964

Silver certificates are a type of representative money issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, which had effectively placed the United States on a gold standard. The certificates were initially redeemable for their face value of silver dollar coins and later in raw silver bullion. Since 1968 they have been redeemable only in Federal Reserve Notes and are thus obsolete, but still valid legal tender at their face value and thus are still an accepted form of currency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gold certificate (United States)</span> Certificate of ownership that gold owners held instead of storing the actual gold

Gold certificates were issued by the United States Treasury as a form of representative money from 1865 to 1933. While the United States observed a gold standard, the certificates offered a more convenient way to pay in gold than the use of coins. General public ownership of gold certificates was outlawed in 1933 and since then they have been available only to the Federal Reserve Banks, with book-entry certificates replacing the paper form.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Bank Note</span> Retired US currency banknotes

National Bank Notes were United States currency banknotes issued by National Banks chartered by the United States Government. The notes were usually backed by United States bonds the bank deposited with the United States Treasury. In addition, banks were required to maintain a redemption fund amounting to five percent of any outstanding note balance, in gold or "lawful money." The notes were not legal tender in general, but were satisfactory for nearly all payments to and by the federal government.

Federal Reserve Bank Notes are banknotes that are legal tender in the United States issued between 1915 and 1934, together with United States Notes, Silver Certificates, Gold Certificates, National Bank Notes and Federal Reserve Notes. They were specified in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and had the same value as other kinds of notes of similar value. Federal Reserve Bank Notes are different from Federal Reserve Notes in that they are backed by one of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, rather than by all collectively. Federal Reserve Bank Notes were envisioned as a replacement for National Bank Notes, but that did not prove to be the case. They were backed in a similar way to National Bank Notes, using U.S. bonds, but issued by Federal Reserve banks instead of by chartered National banks. Federal Reserve Bank Notes are no longer issued; the only U.S. banknotes still in production since 1971 are the Federal Reserve Notes.

The history of the United States dollar began with moves by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America to establish a national currency based on the Spanish silver dollar, which had been in use in the North American colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain for over 100 years prior to the United States Declaration of Independence. The new Congress's Coinage Act of 1792 established the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, creating the United States Mint tasked with producing and circulating coinage. Initially defined under a bimetallic standard in terms of a fixed quantity of silver or gold, it formally adopted the gold standard in 1900, and finally eliminated all links to gold in 1971.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demand Note</span> Type of United States paper money

A Demand Note is a type of United States paper money that was issued from August 1861 to April 1862 during the American Civil War in denominations of 5, 10, and 20 US$. Demand Notes were the first issue of paper money by the United States that achieved wide circulation. The U.S. government placed Demand Notes into circulation by using them to pay expenses incurred during the Civil War including the salaries of its workers and military personnel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Series of 1928 (United States Currency)</span>

The Series of 1928 was the first issue of small-size currency printed and released by the U.S. government. These notes, first released to the public on July 10, 1929, were the first standardized notes in terms of design and characteristics, featuring similar portraits and other facets. These notes were also the first to measure 6.313" by 2.688", smaller than the large-sized predecessors of Series 1923 and earlier that measured 7.438" by 3.141".

This page is a glossary of notaphily. Notaphily is the study of paper money or banknotes.

Banknotes of the United States dollar are currently issued as Federal Reserve Notes (1914–).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States two-dollar bill</span> Current denomination of United States currency

The United States two-dollar bill (US$2) is a current denomination of United States currency. A portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States (1801–1809), is featured on the obverse of the note. The reverse features an engraving of John Trumbull's painting Declaration of Independence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States one hundred-thousand-dollar bill</span> Former denomination of United States currency

The United States one hundred-thousand-dollar bill (US$100,000) is a former denomination of United States currency, a gold certificate, issued for two years from 1934 to 1935 as designated for Federal Reserve use. The bill never circulated publicly, rather having been used as a large denomination note for gold transactions between Federal Reserve Banks. Featuring President Woodrow Wilson, the $100,000 bill was initiated by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing under the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the hoarding of gold during the Great Depression, believed to be slowing economic regrowth. Executive Order 6102, signed by President Roosevelt, was ratified by the United States Congress in 1934. Executive Order 6102 prohibited the hoarding of gold certificates, accompanied also by bullion and coins.


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Further reading