How to Identify Counterfeit 100 Dollar Bill?

How to Identify Counterfeit 100 Dollar Bill

Did you know that according to the US Department of Treasury, an estimated USD 70 million to USD 200 million counterfeit dollar bills are in circulation in the US? And 100-dollar bills are the most counterfeited dollars in the world as per the report by the Department of Homeland Security. Chances are that you might come across some counterfeit dollars. So, how about learning to spot a counterfeit 100-dollar bill? Let’s explore the ways through which any individual can identify a counterfeit 100-dollar bill easily. 

Counterfeit 100-Dollar Bill vs Real 100-Dollar Bill

It’s comparatively easier to identify if a 100-dollar bill is real or fake. To spot this, checking the counterfeit dollars’ serial number, colour-changing ink, holographic strips, watermark, and microprinting are important steps in spotting a counterfeit 100-dollar bill.

Specimen 100-dollar bill

Also Read: Thinking about exchanging currency at the airport? Hold on with that thought. Check out our blog on Airport Currency Exchange Rates.

Check the Security Thread

The first thing is to check the security thread. You need to hold the 100-dollar bill in light and look for an embedded thread running vertically to the left of the portrait. The thread is imprinted with the letters USA and the number 100 in an alternate pattern. It should be visible from both sides. The ultraviolet lights illuminate the security thread of a 100-dollar bill in pink. 

Check the 3-D Ribbon

It is the blue ribbon on the bill. You will notice the bells on it change to 100s as you focus on the blue ribbon. The bells and the 100s move sidewards when the bill is tilted back and forth. Tilting the 100-dollar bill side to side will make the bells and 100s move up and down. 

On a real 100-dollar bill, the ribbon is woven into the paper. However, on a counterfeit 100-dollar bill, the ribbon is printed on it. 

Check the Bell in the Inkwell

A real 100-dollar bill will make you notice the colour-shifting bell. On tilting it, you will notice the copper inkwell change to green. This effect makes the bell appear and disappear in the inkwell. However, counterfeiters are unable to use colour-shifting ink. This implies that a counterfeit 100-dollar bill won’t have a colour-shifting bell effect. 

Check the Portrait Watermark

When you hold the counterfeit 100-dollar bill in the light, you won’t see the faint image of Benjamin Franklin in the top right corner in the blank space. A real bill will make the image visible on both sides of the note. 

Check the Numeral 100

In a real 100-dollar bill, the numeral 100 in the bottom right will change from copper to green. It shows a colour-shifting pattern. But, a counterfeit 100-dollar bill will not show any of these features. 

Also Read: If you are travelling to London to study abroad, check out our blog on Currency Exchange in London and learn about different ways to exchange currency. 

Additional Features and Tips to Identify Counterfeit 100- Dollar Bill

Apart from the ways discussed above to spot a 100-dollar counterfeit bill, there are other additional features and tips to consider to check if a 100-dollar is real. The most common feature to look for is the unique combination of serial numbers. On a real bill, it would appear twice (at the upper left and lower right corners) on the front of the note. 

The front side of 100 Dollar Bill
The back side of 100 Dollar Bill
  • Check Benjamin Franklin’s jacket using a magnifying glass. You will see a micro-printed text THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on it. One can also spot USA 100 around the blank space in the portrait’s watermark (Point D above). Besides, ONE HUNDRED USA along the golden quill, and small 100s along the borders are micro-printed on a real 100-dollar bill. 
  • A 100-dollar bill features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin on the front side of the note. While on the back side, you can spot a vignette of Independence Hall. 
  • When touching the portrait of Benjamin Franklin, it should feel rough to touch. This is the result of the intaglio printing method to create the image. On a counterfeit 100-dollar bill, traditional raised printing can’t be felt. 

Related Blogs on Counterfeit bills:

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Tips To Identify Fake Money

FAQs on Counterfeit 100-dollar bills

How can you tell if a $100 bill is counterfeit?

The change in the copper 100 numeral at the bottom and the copper bell to colour green will help you identify a counterfeit 100-dollar bill. A fake bill will not turn green when you tilt it. 

What makes the new $100 bill hard to counterfeit?

Security features, such as special paper, watermarks, ink used, and holographic strips, make it very challenging for counterfeiters to replicate the new $100 bill. They are unable to acquire the Federal Reserve paper which contains red and blue security fibres.

What anti-counterfeiting feature is found in the $100 bill?

The real 100-dollar bills have a colour-shifting ink on the bottom right-hand corner including the liberty bell image using this ink. 

How to know if a note is a counterfeit 100-dollar bill?

Although counterfeiters try their best to replicate the 100-dollar bills, counterfeit dollars are blurry, dull, and flat as they are printed on a different paper quality. The real bill Federal Reserve note paper is one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton and contains red and blue security fibres.

Is it difficult to identify a counterfeit 100-dollar bill?

No, counterfeit dollars are not difficult to spot. One must know what features to look at like- watermark, security thread, microprinting, raised printing, and the 3D ribbon. Knowing about these security features can easily help an individual to identify a counterfeit 100-dollar bill. 

This was all about identifying counterfeit 100-dollar bills. Be cautious and aware of 100-dollar counterfeit bills. Follow the steps and identify the features and tips discussed to save yourself from acquiring counterfeit dollars and be protected against any financial threats. If you come across any counterfeit dollars, make sure to report it to the local US Secret Service Field office. 

To know more about education loans, the best bank accounts for students, forex and banking experience for global students or international money transfers, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience.

Also Read:

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Education Loan Rejection with High Credit Score

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About Shubhika Garg

Hey there! I'm Shubhika- a proud graduate in English Literature and Language from Delhi University. My journey as a content writer transitioned from online teacher into the world of words. Stepping into the domain of blogs and articles, I discovered my passion for writing growing deeper and stronger. Having said that, I have experience of writing for diverse industries in automobile, technology, ed-tech, finance and mental-health; crafting details to help you find the solution to what you are looking for. Join me as I invite you all explore and learn together.

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