US Hundred-dollar Bill Receives a Makeover

November 11, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. debut [dey-BYOO] (n.) – the first public appearance of something
Example:  Many reporters went  to the store where newest computers and tablets were expected to make their debut.

2. crease [krees] (n.)  – a wrinkle or a fold
Example: She asked the hotel staff to use a steam iron to remove the creases on her green dress.

3. authenticate [aw-THEN-ti-keyt] (v.) – to prove that something is real or authentic
Example: The museum hired several experts to authenticate the painting before making the purchase.

4. pictograph [PIK-tuh-graf] (n.) – a picture or a symbol that represents an idea
Example:  Designers use pictographs to show complex ideas through simple icons or symbols.

5. circulation [sur-kyuh-LEY-shuhn] (n.) – the act of moving from one person or place to another
Example:  The newly-published newspaper is now in circulation.


Read the text below.

A redesigned hundred dollar bill made its debut in the US early last month, several years later than originally planned.

The bill was actually supposed to enter circulation in February 2011, but production issues caused a delay of nearly three years. According to the US Federal Reserve, a problem with the original design caused the bills to crease during printing, leaving blank spaces on the bills and causing delay.

Designed to be harder to counterfeit and easier to authenticate, the new bill is actually more expensive to print than the bill it replaces. However, its new look comes with a lot of new security features.

These new features include a blue 3-D security ribbon that is woven into the paper, a special color-shifting ink that changes from copper to green when the bill is tilted, and various hidden texts and pictographs that only reveal themselves under certain conditions.

The $100 bill plays an important role not only in the American economy but across the world as well. In 2010, the US Federal Reserve revealed that about two-thirds of all the hundred-dollar bills in circulation are located overseas.

Tu Packard, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, believes that the $100 bill is popular in other countries because the US dollar is one of the most trusted currencies in the world. She added that these bills are more trusted especially in countries where inflation rate is high.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think it is important to update the design of paper money? Why or why not?
·         What are the disadvantages of releasing new designs of paper bills? Discuss with your tutor.

Discussion B

·         When you go shopping, do you usually pay using cash or do you prefer some form of electronic payment like credit cards? Why is that so?
·         Do you agree that cash will soon be replaced by electronic money? Why or why not?


November 11, 2013