I have American bill notes. I don't know if I still can use it or not. How can I find out?

$100 bill$100 bill


The note in the image is definitely not genuine. Taking it to a bank would be a waste of time.

Federal reserve notes are printed entirely in green and black. There should be no red. United States notes were printed with red seals, but the design was rather different, and they of course did not bear the title "Federal Reserve Note."

The letter in the left seal, which should be black, should match the first letter of the serial number, but they do not match. The text above that seal should be black. The 100 superimposed on the right seal should be black. The right seal itself should be green. For some examples, have a look at Wikipedia

As noted by others, the signatures indicate that the note should say series 1993, but it does not.

The red elements appear to have been lifted from a genuine 1930s federal reserve note and printed in monochrome red instead of the original color.

As noted by others, genuine US banknotes remain valid indefinitely, but this note is neither genuine nor valid.


Genuine US currency is always usable -- no US bill or coin has ever been de-monitized. You may have trouble getting a business to accept older bills because of the absence of anti-counterfeiting measures, but banks should be willing to accept them. For exceptionally old money, you may be able to find a collector who will pay considerably over face value for it.

Unfortunately, what you've got there is a low-quality counterfeit, with a mix of elements from very different time periods.


Mr. Franklin looks so youthful......

That looks like the 1929 Federal Reserve series (which was printed for decades). The Secretary of the Treasury signature is Lloyd Bentsen, and his tenure was 1993-1994 (December). The Treasurer is Mary Ellen Withrow, March 1994. So that gives us a fairly narrow window of the banknote's vintage.

The condition looks like Fair - folds, wrinkles, small tears. So given that it is barely 25 years old it is worth face value. That's assuming it isn't counterfeit.

Take it to a large bank (in the USA), ask them to verify if it is real money or not. If it is, the bank will be happy to give you newer / smaller banknotes.

If you do not live in the USA, good luck. Rather unlikely your local bank will accept it for exchange, simply because this denomination was a very popular one for the forgers.

If you have access to a black (ultraviolet) light, try it on the banknote. If it glows brightly it is most certainly fake. Real money never lights up under UV light, but you can see things like flourescent threads in the paper.

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    Notes from 1994 did not have the verbiage about redeeming them for lawful money. This was eliminated when the US went off the gold standard. This note is very likely to be counterfeit. – Michael Hampton Feb 14 '20 at 12:22
  • @MichaelHampton so that's what the red stamp says. So he's got an interesting souvenir for his wall. – peter Feb 14 '20 at 12:32
  • The note says series 1939. The red seal indicates that it is a U.S. note rather than a federal reserve note. Federal reserve notes change series year when the signatures change, so given the signatures it should be series nineteen-ninety-something, not series 1939. U.S. notes, on the other hand, haven't been issued since 1971. It's clearly a fake. – phoog Feb 14 '20 at 13:53
  • More evidence: the engraved title of the note says "federal reserve note," so we can conclude that everything but the red was lifted off a federal reserve note from the period you identify. But some of the elements printed in red here should be green on a federal reserve note, not red, and the others should be black. There's no red. Also, the letter in the left seal (which should be black) identifies the federal reserve bank issuing the note (B is New York). The first character in the serial number should be the same letter, but it isn't. – phoog Feb 14 '20 at 14:10
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    @phoog, "series of" was used for quite some time. I'm not sure when the changeover took place, but 1934A was "series of", while 1953 was "series". – Mark Feb 15 '20 at 3:31

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