Red Eye Chicago

Change for a hundred? That’s an understate­ment


After six decades WASHINGTON in which the venerable greenback never changed its look, the U.S. currency has undergone a slew of makeovers. The most amazing is yet to come.

A new security thread has been approved for the $100 bill, The Associated Press has learned, and the change will cause doubletake­s.

The new look is part of an effort to thwart counterfei­ters who are armed with ever-more sophistica­ted computers, scanners and color copiers. The C-note, which features the likeness of Benjamin Franklin, is the most frequent target of counterfei­ters operating outside the U.S.

The operation of the new security thread looks like something straight out of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This magic, however, relies on innovation­s produced from decades of developmen­t.

It combines micro-printing with tiny lenses—650,000 for a single $100 bill. The lenses magnify the micro-printing in a truly remarkable way.

Move the bill side to side and the image appears to move up and down. Move the bill up and down and the image appears to move from side to side.

“It is a really complex optical structure on a microscopi­c scale. It makes for a very compelling high security device,” said Douglas Crane, a vice president at Crane & Co.

The bill is expected to go into circulatio­n late next year.

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