updated 3/7/2010 5:42:09 PM ET 2010-03-07T22:42:09

Aiming to stay a step ahead of counterfeiters, the government is planning a new design for the $100 bill that will be unveiled next month, the Treasury Department said Friday.

Wraps will come off the facelift for Ben Franklin at an April 21 ceremony in the ornate Cash Room at the department, the site of Ulysses Grant's first inaugural ball in 1869. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do the honors.

The government says its decisions on redesigning currency are guided by assessments of counterfeiting threats, from digital technology or old-fashioned printing presses.

The C-note — the highest value of all U.S. bills — circulates widely around the globe.

The unveiling of the new design is the first step in a global campaign by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the Secret Service to inform users of the bill of the changes before it starts circulating, Treasury said in a news release.

Training materials on the new $100 bill for those who handle cash and educational information will be available in 25 languages beginning on April 21 at www.newmoney.gov.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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