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, inkwell with an image of the Liberty Bell
Design date2009
Design Independence Hall
Design date2009

The United States one-hundred-dollar bill ($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 launched in 1914, alongside other denominations. [2] Statesman, inventor, diplomat, and American founding father Benjamin Franklin has been featured on the obverse of the bill since 1914. [3] On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which has been used since 1928. [3] The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed and circulated since July 13, 1969, when the 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", based on the Roman numeral for 100, or as "blue faces", based on the blue tint of Benjamin Franklin's face in the bill's 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. It is also the only denomination today to feature a building not located in Washington, D.C., that being Independence Hall located in Philadelphia on the reverse. The time on the clock of Independence Hall on the reverse, according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, showed approximately 4:10. [5] It has been suggested this may refer to 4/10, or April 10, the 100th day of the year. The newer colorized notes show 10:30.

The Series 2009$100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was issued to the public on October 8, 2013. [6] 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. [7] 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. [8]


Large size notes

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

Small size notes

(6.14 × 2.61 in ≅ 157 × 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 Treasurer Secretary Seal
Gold Certificate 1928 Woods Mellon Gold
Legal Tender Note 1966 Granahan Fowler Red
Legal Tender Note1966A Elston Kennedy Red
Federal Reserve Note 1928WoodsMellonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1928AWoodsMellonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934 Julian Morgenthau Green
Federal Reserve Note1934AJulianMorgenthauGreen
Federal Reserve Note1934BJulian Vinson Green
Federal Reserve Note1934CJulian Snyder Green
Federal Reserve Note1934D Clark SnyderGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950ClarkSnyderGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950A Priest Humphrey Green
Federal Reserve Note1950BPriest Anderson Green
Federal Reserve Note1950C Smith Dillon Green
Federal Reserve Note1950DGranahanDillonGreen
Federal Reserve Note1950EGranahanFowlerGreen
Federal Reserve Note1963AGranahanFowlerGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969ElstonKennedyGreen
Federal Reserve Note1969A Kabis Connally Green
Federal Reserve Note1969CBañuelos Shultz Green
Federal Reserve Note1974 Neff Simon Green
Federal Reserve Note1977 Morton Blumenthal Green
Federal Reserve Note1981 Buchanan Regan Green
Federal Reserve Note1981A Ortega ReganGreen
Federal Reserve Note1985Ortega Baker Green
Federal Reserve Note1988Ortega Brady Green
Federal Reserve Note1990 Villalpando BradyGreen
Federal Reserve Note1993 Withrow Bentsen Green
Federal Reserve Note1996Withrow Rubin Green
Federal Reserve Note1999Withrow Summers Green
Federal Reserve Note2001 Marin O'Neill Green
Federal Reserve Note2003Marin Snow Green
Federal Reserve Note2003A Cabral SnowGreen
Federal Reserve Note2006Cabral Paulson Green
Federal Reserve Note2006ACabral Paulson Green
Federal Reserve Note2009 Rios Geithner Green
Federal Reserve Note2009A Rios Geithner Green
Federal Reserve Note2013Rios Lew Green
Federal Reserve Note2017A Carranza Mnuchin Green

Removal of large denomination bills ($500 and up)

The Federal Reserve announced the removal of large denominations of United States currency from circulation on July 14, 1969. While larger denominations remained legal tender, [13] with their removal the one-hundred-dollar bill was the largest denomination left 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. [14] 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 of which $4.929 was circulating overseas. [15] 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 $738.93 in 1969), and despite competition from some more valuable foreign notes (most notably, the 500 euro banknote), there are no plans to re-issue banknotes above $100. The widespread use of electronic means to conduct high-value transactions today has made large-scale physical cash transactions obsolete and therefore, from the government's point of view, unnecessary for the conduct of legitimate business. 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. [16]

Related Research Articles

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This Note is a Legal Tender for all debts public and private except Duties on Imports and Interest on the Public Debt; and is receivable in payment of all loans made to the United States.

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

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Further reading