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This is where we'll have news about money -- the kind we use every day.  It will be about new money, old money, collecting money, and what money to watch out for as in counterfeit money.

What's the largest bill in circulation today? Many believe the largest currency in circulation today is the $100 note because they are commonly seen especially at casinos and they are currently the largest bills or notes or currency printed by the U.S. government. But $100's are not the biggest bills in circulation. If you're lucky you might still find a $1,000 bill or a $500 bill in circulation. While they haven't been printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in decades they are still valid currency, backed by the government. Sometimes a $1,000 bill or a $500 bill will show up in a casino, or they might show up when a safe deposit box is opened after an elderly relative has died. If you are lucky enough to find a $1,000 or $500 bill take it to a coin dealer or numismatist to have it appraised as nearly every one of them is valued by collectors at more than face value.

Whenever I go to a casino cage or cashier I always ask if they happen to have a $1,000 bill or a $500 bill in their cash drawer? The answer has always been "no" but one time a cashier told me that a $500 bill did "come in" but a savvy casino employee exchanged their own money for it, knowing it was worth more than face value.


Update February 21, 2016  In the past year or so there have been discussions about resuming the printing of $500 bills. I suggested that the $500 should be printed again and feature the portrait of Ronald Reagan.  See: for a discussion about the $500 bill.

But now, there is discussion about eliminating the $100 bill. Why eliminate the $100 bill? The reasons are to cut down on crime, money-laundering, tax evasion, terrorist activities, and so forth. Of course the $100 bill is the primary currency in Las Vegas casinos.  Eliminating the $100 bill would be a hardship on gamblers who want to be anonymous. The last thing a card counter in blackjack would want to do is cash a check at a casino or to open a credit line to play. Card counters want to remain anonymous and having cash to play is the perfect means for being anonymous. Casinos on the other hand might actually welcome the end of $100 bills because it would allow them to convert small denomination bills into tickets and could allow them to track the betting and behavior of gamblers. Casinos might reject a player who brings in a bag of $20-bills and ask them to convert those bills into chips or tickets at the casino cage or cashier where they can also check for ID. Why would the casino want to see identification? It's because then they can track suspected card counters and casino cheaters.

In poker rooms the elimination of $100 bills might mean more time spent counting and sorting small bills as players buy into games and tournaments. While that might be a hardship on casinos it's the opportunity to track players that might make casinos favor the end of $100 bills.

For Main Street America eliminating the $100 bill is probably a non-issue. How many consumers actually spend $100 bills in stores and at restaurants and paying for professional services with doctors and lawyers? The answer is probably few if any. The only time I have a $100 bill in my wallet is after a casino visit. I've never shown up at a casino with more than a hundred dollars in cash -- and it's in twenties -- and that's because I hate to travel with large amounts of money. I prefer to have a credit account at a casino or use my ATM card. I don't even carry $50-bills because I consider them unlucky and $50s rarely circulate here in California. When I lived in New York $50s were common, however.

$100-bills just are not used on Main Street because most consumers use debit and credit cards for large purchases -- and the use of plastic has dramatically impacted even the use of personal checks. Is there a retailer who prefers a personal check over a credit card?

If eliminating $100 bills were put up to a vote I think the only "no votes" would come from gamblers, drug dealers, and criminals.  I can't imagine why anyone else would oppose the elimination of $100 bills.


Update October 14, 2013  As I expected, the first of the new $100 bills made their appearance in casinos and they received mixed reviews from casino personnel who handle the new money.  Casino tellers and slot attendants who pay jackpots say that the new $100 bills feel like they are printed on thinner stock and that the new bills -- direct from bank wraps -- seem to stick together.  Some of the casino cage cashiers and some of the slot attendants need to take extra time to be sure that the new notes are not sticking together when they are making a handpay.

However, at several casinos where the new $100 bills are in use I was told that the bill acceptor devices on slot machines are not having any problem at all with the new currency.  And I tested some of the new $100 bills at a Bank of American ATM that accepts cash deposits and the new bills were accepted without incident.  However, before I inserted the new $100s into the ATM I made sure that the bills were not sticking together and that I had a correct count.


Update October 8, 2013  The new $100 bills with the bold new colors and security features have been released for circulation.  It is important to remember that older $100 bills do not lose value and remain as valid U.S. currency.  There is no need to exchange older currency for the new $100 bills.

The Federal Reserve said that "distance, demand, and the policies of individual financial institutions will influence how quickly the redesigned notes reach businesses and consumers around the world."

The Federal Reserve also said that "consumers worldwide are advised that it is not necessary to trade in older-design $100 notes for new ones.   It is U.S. government policy that all designs of U.S. currency remain legal tender, regardless of when they were issued."

Over the past couple of days, and even last night, I asked various people who regularly handle cash including dealers at casinos, cashiers at casinos and stores at restaurants and even managers of some businesses if they were aware of the new $100 bills.  All of them said they were unaware that the bills would be issued today, October 8th.  A few said they heard on the news some time ago that a new $100 bill was coming.  And not one of the cash handlers I spoke with could describe any of the security features of the new $100 bill and all of them also said they were unaware of the new design.  My feat is that this lack of knowledge of what the new bills look like will make it possible that counterfeits can be passed.

For more about the new $100 bill see our various articles below.


Update September 30, 2013  The next "new money" after the release of the new $100 bills will be a new $10 bill.  But don't expect the new $10 bill right away.  And there is also talk about bringing back the $500 bill.  Click here to read more about these developments,


Update September 10, 2013  In less than a month, October 8, the new $100 bills will be released.  So where will they likely show up first?  Your local bank is probably the first place where they will show up.  If you really want to be the first on your block -- or in your workplace -- to have one, you can probably ask your bank now when they will be getting their first shipment of the new $100 bills.   They could arrive on October 8.  After your neighborhood bank, the next place to get a new $100 bill will be at your nearest casino.  Casinos are probably the biggest users of $100 bills in this country.  And casinos might also be the first place where someone will try to pass a counterfeit of the new $100 bill.

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are both aware of this and a government website about the release of the new money has this warning for casino personnel:

Whether you work in a cage or as a slot attendant, you need to know about the security features in U.S. Currency.  Although less than 1/100th of one percent of the value of all U.S. currency in circulation is reported counterfeit, the volume of currency passing through casinos raises the possibility of encountering a fake.  A casino that receives counterfeit notes experiences a real economic loss.


Update April 27, 2013  The Federal Reserve has announced that the new redesigned $100 bill will begin circulating on October 8, 2013.  This is the note with the latest high-tech anti-counterfeiting features including a security ribbon with a 3-D image.  As we have been reporting, this new bill was unveiled in 2010 but printing errors delayed production and the release.  For months the government went through its stock of printed bills to determine which were printed properly and could be released to the public. 

Now the education about the new $100 bill begins.  Over the next few months, the government will carry out an education campaign so consumers and businesses are able to identify what the new bills are.  It is important to remember that older U. S. currency will still be valid and older $100 bills do not lose any value when the new currency is introduced.  Be sure you know what the new bills look like -- and what the security features are -- so that you do not accept bogus bills that counterfeiters might claim are the new issue.  Below you will see illustrations and a video with the new security features and details of the new $100 note.

But once the bill gets into the hands of consumers -- here in the United States and overseas, especially in Asia -- there might be some objections to the new bill.  Specifically, there might be some objections about the colors used on the new currency.  While the new bill is certainly attractive, in some cultures the colors might make the new $100 note unpopular.  And keep in mind that in many countries, the United States $100 bill is widely circulated.  Some Asian cultures might find the new $100 offensive because of the dark blue ribbon on the bill.  At issue might be the dark blue security ribbon and the pink security thread.  Take a good look at the illustrations below and further down this page there is more about the colors of this new money.

One of the techniques used to thwart counterfeiters and to help those with vision impairments is to add large, colorful images to our currency to indicate the denomination.  Below is the image of the reverse of the new $100 bill and there is no mistaking that it is worth 100 dollars with the giant 100 in big and bold gold.

I want to point out one thing that is very important about older U. S. currency: once the new bills are being issued, the older currency is not being cancelled or demonetized and does not lose any value.  I have to mention this because when new U. S. currency is issued, there are some scam artists who try to convince people that their old currency has lost value and they try to "redeem" that old currency for a fraction of its actual worth.  So be sure you tell everyone you know that when the new currency is issued, the older currency is still valid and did not lose any value.

I think it is very important that you get a good look at what the new currency looks like. Because when the new currency is released you want to be sure that the "new currency" you get is the legitimate "new currency" and not some arts and crafts project that someone is passing off as the new currency.


Update April 27, 2013  Casinos, in particular, have a huge need for $100 bills.  Casinos can wear out $100 bills quickly.  In casinos, for example, $100 bills can quickly be worn out by the bill acceptors on slot machines and video poker machines because the rollers in those devices can wear down the bills and even punch small holes in them.  Currency used in casinos sometimes gets "marked" with markers or ink and if there are too many marks on a bill they won't work with certain bill acceptors in slot machines and change machines and will need to be replaced.  Casinos are perhaps the biggest users of $100 bills in this country, and many casinos will not give out $50 bills because many gamblers consider $50 bills to be unlucky.

Since casinos are probably the biggest users of $100 bills in this country, I've been asking casino managers and dealers and money handlers if they've been briefed yet about the new $100s and everyone told me the same thing: no.  However, I was told they are aware of the bills, and some have even seen photos of it, but no one has actually been given any kind of briefing -- formal or informal -- about what it looks like.  But, I was told that the casino industry has already prepared its slot machines and bill acceptors for the new $100s and this was probably done a couple of years ago.


Update April 27, 2013  Let's be clear about this so no one is confused or gets ripped off.  The new $100 bills are not yet in circulation so if someone tells you that they'll sell you a new $100 for half-price you know it's a scam.  The second thing I want you to know is that once the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve do release the new $100 bill older $100 bills will still be valid currency and will not lose value.  There is no need to exchange or trade-in older $100 bills for the new ones.

In the meantime there are plenty of rumors about the design of the new $100 bill.  One of the rumors going around is that there is a lot of "gold color" used on the bill to boost the psychological value of the U.S. currency.  Many years ago U. S. currency could be redeemed for gold (the "gold backs") and of course you can't do that anymore.  There is also concern that our money is losing too much value in other countries and consumers in other countries and consumers even in this country don't trust paper money anymore.  Well, according to rumors, that's why plenty of gold ink appears on the new $100 bill -- to psychologically link gold and the value of gold with our currency.  You might say they want the world to think that the U. S. currency is good as gold.

Federal Reserve Bank Money Wrapper
From A $10,000 Pack of $100 Bills


Update April 27, 2013  The "new" $100 bill is what I call "blue ribbon currency" because of the large, distinct blue ribbon running from top to bottom on the face of the bill.  The large blue ribbon is actually "a 3-D ribbon" with an image that moves and this is an anti-counterfeiting device.

This new $100 bill will have some other anti-counterfeiting features.  If you look in the inkwell on the front of the bill and if you look closely you will see a "Liberty Bell" inside the inkwell. This Liberty Bell will change colors and is made with color-shifting ink just like the "100" has color-shifting ink on many of the $100 bills in circulation today.  And there is a watermark of Franklin similar to the watermark now in use.

The newest anti-counterfeiting feature of the new $100 bill is that blue ribbon called the "3-D ribbon."  The blue ribbon only appears on the front of the note even though it is woven into the paper.  As you look at the blue ribbon on the front of the note you will note that the images in the blue ribbon change.  As you tilt the note back and forth while focusing on the blue ribbon you will see the bells change to 100s as they move.  And when you tilt the note back and forth the bells and 100s move side to side.   And the government information on the new $100 bill says that If you tilt it side to side these images move up and down.  Again the key thing to keep in mind is that the ribbon is woven into the paper and not printed on it.

Here are some of my personal thoughts about the new colors used on the $100 bill and why the new $100 bill might be viewed as unlucky money in certain foreign countries where our $100 bill is used because of the colors:

I wonder if some people might consider the new $100 bill to be unlucky because of its use of that big, bold blue ribbon on the front of the bill?  Here in the United States blue ribbons are good.  You win a prize or a race and you get the blue ribbon, right?  But I learned from reading on the Internet that dark blue in certain cultures -- mainly Chinese -- is a symbol or color of death and mourning and just might not be a good color for money.

In the past, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been very aware of superstitions and beliefs of the Chinese.  For example, you can buy special bills from the BEP that are designated as "lucky money" because they come from the 8th Federal Reserve District and have serial numbers with lots of 8s and this is because in the Chinese culture the number 8 is considered to be a number for luck and for wealth.

In fact years ago, when the BEP came up with this idea and started to market these Lucky Money bills at the Long Beach Coin Show, I suggested to the BEP and on a news report on KCAL that the BEP should do the same with the number 7 and call it "Lucky Money" for gamblers.  And yes, the BEP did come up with a product bearing bills with lots of 7s.  You can buy specially packaged currency from the BEP by going to their website and clicking on the BEP Store.

There might even be another problem with the new $100 bill because the "security thread" glows pink when under a UV light.  I remember the 1950s when "pinko" meant Communist, and even today the color pink can be used in a negative and discriminatory way to describe certain demographic groups.

So I wonder if the BEP might have been better off choosing different colors of money for the $100 bill especially since the $100 bill is so widely circulated outside the United States?  Perhaps a gold ribbon should have been chosen instead of a blue ribbon because Chinese culture considers the color gold to be one of prosperity, and perhaps the security thread should have been made to glow gold as well. There is a big gold 100 on the back of the new $100 bills, and using more gold features might have been more appropriate too.  Because of culture and politics you have to be careful these days with the colors of money.

You can give your opinions about the "new money" including currency and coins on our Forum using this link.

The colors of money vary on various denominations of currency.  Again, the "security thread" that says $100 on the new $100 will glow "pink" under UV light which will help workers identify the bill in low-light areas such as clubs and casinos.  Other denominations have their own unique colors, for example, $10 bills have a thread that glows orange, and on the $50 bill the thread glows yellow and there is a blue glow from the thread on a $5 bill. 

There is an important reason why different denominations have different colors in their security threads.  It is to stop counterfeiters.  One of the biggest obstacles to printing up a counterfeit bill is getting the right paper.  Well, in years past counterfeiters would take one dollar bills, bleach them out, and use the bleached out paper to print $20 bills or $100 bills.  That's why the security threads were introduced -- to stop the bleaching of paper. 

Not only do the different color threads confirm the denomination of the bill, but the threads also provide an obstacle for counterfeiters who might try to bleach out a $1 bill to print a $20 bill on it.  One dollar bills do not have security threads.  And if someone tried to bleach out a five dollar bill to print a $50 bill they would see that the security thread colors do not match.

Below is a video created by the Treasury Department for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing that illustrates the major security checks on the new currency.  While the animation video does a good job representing how the "blue ribbon" will appear, it is unfortunate that we don't see more of the reverse of the bill with the big "100" in big, bold gold and we don't see how the "security thread" glows pink when in UV light.  Certainly counterfeiters will take advantage of poor lighting to try to pass bogus bills, so I think illustrating the pink glow of the security thread would be very important.  The places with low light levels such as clubs and restaurants and even some casino gaming areas is where the pink glow of the security thread is vital and these are the places where counterfeiters are most likely going to try to spend counterfeit money.


Update April 12, 2012  While the United States struggles with clearing up problems that are delaying the introduction of a new $100 bill, the Mint of Canada (the Royal Canadian Mint) has announced that it is trying to come up with a digital or virtual currency that can be used with smart phones, computers and other electronic devices.  In short, this virtual currency will be spent and collected via the Internet and the Royal Canadian Mint envisions the digital currency to be so easy to use that you could buy items for as little as one-cent each.  On the Canadian Mint's website there is information about what it would like to develop and it is asking software designers to come up with applications and prize money will be awarded to the application designer who comes up with the winning ideas or plan.

On the Royal Canadian Mint website there is information about the development of this digital currency: 

MintChip™ uses innovative technology, for which the Mint has prototypes and five patents pending.  It uses a secure chip to hold electronic value and a secure protocol to transfer electronic value from one chip to another.

The Mint in Canada has produced a video about its planned digital currency.  It is all based on having some kind of embedded chip -- a MintChip or Mint Chip -- they call it in computers or smart phones or other devices.  Mint chip ice cream is one of my favorite flavors, but this Mint Chip or MintChip is strictly high tech.  Watch the video from the Roual Canadian Mint about the MintChip challenge below.  The website for the Royal Canadian Mint is and there is additional information there.


Update January 4, 2012  Two months ago, Canada was able to release its new anti-counterfeit currency and below you can see a video from the Bank of Canada about its new $100 bill or bank note.  This is a "polymer" bank note.

The $100 note features a portrait of Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada between 1911 and 1920, on the front and celebrates Canada’s contributions to innovation in the field of medicine on the back.  It was officially released into circulation in November of last year.

These new notes are expected to last at least two-and-a-half times longer than paper notes and will be recycled – saving money and being better for the environment, according to the Bank of Canada.

The new polymer bank notes, among the most advanced in the world, contain leading-edge security features that make them difficult to counterfeit but easy to verify; for example, a large transparent area extends from the top to the bottom of the note and contains complex holographic features that can be viewed from both sides.

Since unveiling the polymer bank note series in June 2011, the Bank of Canada has been working closely with financial institutions and the manufacturers of bank note equipment to support a smooth transition to the new notes. Through its regional offices across the country, the Bank has also been working with law enforcement and retailers to ensure that front-line police officers and cash handlers are familiar with the new security features and to encourage the regular authentication of bank notes.

The $50 note, which was also unveiled in June, will be issued in March 2012.  The $20 note will begin circulating in late 2012, followed by the $10 and $5 notes by the end of 2013.  Detailed images of the notes and information on their designs will be released on their official unveiling dates.


Update April 27, 2013  Our neighbors to the north are releasing their new polymer currency with advanced anti-counterfeiting technology.  The newest of the polymer currency is the $20 bill.  Watch the video below for an explanation of the bill's design and anti-counterfeiting measures.

Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. Some content on is paid advertising. The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.

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