When too much ink is applied to paper it creates a print error known as "mashing". This was the cause of 30 million new $100 bills being destroyed.
David Wolman, of the "New Yorker" reported: "This time, recent batches of cash from the Washington, D.C., plant contained 'clearly unacceptable' bills intermixed with passable ones, according to a July memo to employees from Larry Felix, the bureau’s director. "So the Fed is returning more than thirty million hundred-dollar notes and demanding its money back, Felix wrote. Another thirty billion dollars’ worth of paper sits in limbo awaiting examination, and Fed officials have informed the bureau that they will not accept any hundred-dollar notes made at the Washington, D.C., facility until further notice."
The newly designed bill, that will have a Liberty Bell, a message on Ben Franklin’s collar, and 3-D images that move when you hold the bill a certain way, was set to debut in 2011. However, it has continuously been delayed due to malfunctions and errors. The Bureau is trying their best to meet the October 8 deadline for cash orders, and to finally be able to reveal the new bill and get them into circulation.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing spokesperson told BI they are "investing this issue to determine the root cause" and will start by re-inspecting the notes to sift out any tainted ones. The $100 notes returned to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had a small proportion of notes affected by mashing, which were included with many, good, quality notes. It’s expected only a marginal fraction of the notes will be unacceptable."