Facts About $100 Notes

  • The first $100 notes (called United States Notes or “Legal Tenders”) were issued by the Federal Government in 1862 and featured a vignette of an American eagle.
  • The first use of Benjamin Franklin’s portrait on $100 notes was on the first series of Federal Reserve Notes, Series 1914.
  • The $100 note is the largest denomination currently issued in the United States.
  • The life span of a $100 Federal Reserve Note is 9 years. (Other denominations have different life spans.)
  • Beginning with Series 1996, $100 Federal Reserve Notes feature large portraits, watermarks in the paper, and color-shifting ink. The notes also included micro-printing (small lettering that is hard to replicate); on the face of the note, “USA 100” is within the number in the lower left corner and “United States of America” appears as a line in the left lapel of Benjamin Franklin’s coat.
  • Vignette on the Back of the $100 Note Since Series 1928, the $100 note has featured an engraving of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The former State House of Pennsylvania, Independence Hall is often called the birthplace of our Nation. Within its walls the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution of the United States was drafted.