Paper Money

BEP gets an ‘A’ with new note (Series 2009A, that is)

The Series 2009A $100 Federal Reserve notes were released into circulation on Oct. 8. Coin World staff recently got its first look at an actual note.

Yes, you read the series designation correctly, 2009A.

A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve Board said the decision to add the letter A after the series year date on some of the new notes recognizes the gap in production between the time the design was approved in 2009 and the time the first notes were released.

The 2009A series designation was unexpected. All educational materials reflect Series 2009, because those materials were approved and printed long before production delays surfaced at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Currently, no Series 2009 $100 FRNs are in circulation, though they exist. The BEP has assured the Federal Reserve that the majority of the already printed Series 2009 $100 FRNs will eventually be released to use, according to the Federal Reserve spokesperson.

Approximately 22 million Series 2009 $100 FRNs rest in vaults at the two BEP facilities awaiting inspection, according to a BEP spokeswoman.

After the notes are inspected, officials will determine how many of the notes will be approved for release into circulation. Most of the 2009 notes sitting in vaults were printed before detection of a creasing problem related to the blue security ribbon visible on the face that led to a delay in the release of the notes, originally scheduled for February 2011.

When the note is tilted back and forth the tiny images of a Liberty Bell and small numeral 100s printed on the blue ribbon appear to move. The windowed thread has 650,000 tiny glass domes, called micro lenses, crammed into the thread. These micro lenses act as magnifiers for the microprinted images on the thread.

Other design features

The watermark is a faint image of the portrait of Franklin in the blank space on the right end of the face of the note, also visible to the left on the back.

Color-shifting ink is used to print a Liberty Bell and a large numeral 100 on the face of the note. When the note is tilted, the color-shifting ink makes the bell and the large numeral 100 appear to change color from green to copper.

The narrow security thread running vertically to the left of Franklin’s portrait can be seen from both sides of the note when held up to a light. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the numeral 100 in an alternating pattern. The thread glows pink when placed under ultraviolet light.

Microprinting appears on Franklin’s jacket collar in the main portrait, around the blank space containing the watermark portrait, along the new golden quill and in other spots

Franklin’s right shoulder feels rough to the touch due to the enhanced intaglio printing process used to create the image.

The facsimile signatures of former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and U.S. Treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios appear stacked to the left on the face of the note.

The back of the note depicts a new view of the back of Independence Hall (older $100 FRNs show the front of the building), and an enlarged numeral 100 printed in gold is intended to help visually impaired individuals recognize the note’s face value. ¦

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