Visualized: The Security Features of American Money
This post is by Avery Koop from Visual Capitalist
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Click here to license this visualization.
Visualized: The Security Features of of American Money
In 1739, Benjamin Franklin sought to tackle the issue of counterfeit money in America, using a printing press and leaves to create unique raised patterns on the colonial notes.
Almost 300 years later, Benjamin Franklin is the face of the U.S. $100 bill, and it is protected by a myriad of security features including secret images, special ink, hidden watermarks, and magnetic signatures, among others.
In this visual, we’ve broken down the $100 bill to showcase the anatomy of American currency.
The Makeup of American Money
There are 6 key features that identify real bills and protect the falsification of American money.
① Serial Numbers & EURion Constellation
The most basic form of security on an $100 bill is the serial number. Every bill has a unique number to record data on its production and keep track of how many individual bills are in circulation.
The EURion constellation is star-like grouping of yellow rings near the serial number. It is only detectable by imaging software.