Although the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s August production
report records 6.4 million colorized Series 2009 $100 Federal Reserve
notes, no notes of that denomination and series were printed or
processed during the month, according to BEP officials.
That figure was inadvertently included in the monthly production
report; the 6.4 million figure actually reflects the number of
colorized $100 FRNs that have been “staged for processing,” not what
In September 2010, the BEP “identified a problem with sporadic
creasing of the paper during printing of the new $100 note, which was
not apparent during extensive pre-production testing,” according to a
Federal Reserve announcement Oct. 1, 2010. Subsequent monthly
production reports have listed 2009 $100 notes, but a BEP spokeswoman
confirmed Oct. 14 that all of those reports are in error and that the
2009 $100 notes should have not been listed in any of those later reports.
The next step for the 6.4 million notes listed on the August
production report is for the notes to be “processed,” meaning they
will be manually and electronically inspected, at the BEP’s Western
Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The August 2010 production report will be removed from the BEP
website and will not be reposted until the issues with the production
reporting process are resolved, according to a BEP spokeswoman.
The BEP will also delay posting the September 2011 production
report. The error reports published earlier will have to be corrected.
Problems during printing
The notes represent a portion of millions of redesigned $100 FRNs
that were examined by the BEP. A large, and as yet unknown total,
number of printed colorized $100 notes were withheld from release in
2011 because of problems with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing.
On Oct. 1, 2010, Federal Reserve officials announced that the Feb.
10, 2011, release date would be delayed because of the sporadic
creasing of the paper during printing.
Following that announcement, the BEP conducted a manual
examination of the new notes produced to date.
A December 2010 national news report had stated that 1.1 billion
of the Series 2009 $100 FRNs were unusable because of the printing problem.
BEP officials characterized the news accounts as inaccurate, and
stated that of the 22 million notes examined at that time, “less than
2 percent of the notes examined were deemed unfit.”
In a statement on June 14, 2011, the Federal Reserve Board
announced the new colorized Series 2009 $100 FRNs may not be placed
into circulation until the end of 2011 at the earliest.
Now the earliest release date is more likely sometime in 2012,
since Federal Reserve officials have stated that at least six months
will pass between the announcement of an issue date and the day of issue.
New design features
The redesigned $100 FRNs represent the first redesign of the
denomination since 1996 and bear the facsimile signatures of Treasury
Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and United States Treasurer Rosa
The new $100 FRNs include a number of sophisticated
anti-counterfeiting features, including a blue 3-D security ribbon
with multiple shifting images of a bell and the inscription “100” and,
separately, an image of an inkwell that when tilted reveals a Liberty
Bell image that changes color.
The blue 3-D security ribbon, an optically variable device, is
clearly visible on the face of the note. The ribbon represents a new
form of the technology not previously used on any U.S. paper money.
The ribbon was developed by Crane, of Dalton, Mass.
During the April 21, 2010, unveiling of the new $100 design, BEP
Director Larry R. Felix said the new notes are more difficult to print
than the older versions because the blue three-dimensional security
ribbon is woven into the currency paper before the printing begins. He
said that the ribbon creates a small wave in what would otherwise be
BEP and Federal Reserve officials have not revealed what caused
the periodic creasing that occurred during printing.
The delay in the release of the Series 2009 notes has required the
BEP to continue printing Series 2006 notes, of the current design
style, with the facsimile signatures of Bush administration officials.
In a move that surprised some in the paper money collector
community, the BEP began producing Series 2006A $100 FRNs in January
2011. The production of the notes is to “meet public demand,”
according to a representative of the Federal Reserve Board.
The Series 2006A $100 FRNs feature the facsimile signatures of
former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and U.S. Treasurer Anna
Escobedo Cabral, both of whom served under President George W. Bush.
The Series 2006 and 2006A notes are identical with the exception of
the A suffix letter added to the series year date.
All the Series 2006A $100 FRNs printed as of August have been
printed at the BEP’s Washington, D.C., plant and all bear the K prefix
letter in the serial numbers. The notes have been printed for the
Federal Reserve Banks of Boston (A), New York (B), Philadelphia (C),
Cleveland (D), Richmond (E), Atlanta (F), Chicago (G), St. Louis (H)
and San Francisco (L). ■