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Useless Money: Production “Error” to Cause Delay in New $100 Bill Debut

The US government said it is still trying to identify the source of the production glitch that forced it to postpone introducing the new $100 bill and could force it to shred hundreds of millions of error-ridden bills. The issue stems from what officials called a “problem with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing” that resulted in blanks spots on some of the newly redesigned bills.

Officials at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are working with Crane & Co., the Massachusetts company which has supplied the government with paper for currency for more than 130 years, to identify what caused the errors, but it’s unclear if the problem was caused by Crane’s paper or some other element of the printing process.

A person familiar with the situation said that at the height of the printing process, as many as 30 percent of the bills rolling off the printing press included the flaw, leading to the production shut down.

The government said it believes most of the 1.1 billion bills already printed can be salvaged, but any of the bills that were misprinted will have to be shredded.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents—twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can’t use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills.

Sorting such a huge quantity of bills by hand, the officials estimate, could take between 20 and 30 years. Using a mechanized system, they think they could sort the massive pile of bills in about one year. (more…)

Bureau of Engraving and Printing Podcast Series on the $100 Bill

The first of six short videos will cover topics such as how to detect a counterfeit note, the art of banknote design and how new notes enter circulation. The episodes will feature guests from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Federal Reserve Board and the United States Secret Service.

Episode OneAn introduction to the $100 public education program.

Episode 2The New $100 Note Podcast Series : How To Detect A Counterfeit


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