Common security measures used in paper currency

9.01.2014 Benjamin Gubler


Over the years currency counterfeiting has become more sophisticated and has been a major threat to governments of the world. To counter this, various security measures have been put in place. A couple of security features have been incorporated into the paper money.



One of the measures that have been put in place is engraving. This is whereby the image of the individual on the currency is altered in such a way that the clarity is very difficult to manipulate. The image is professionally detailed in such a fine manner and appears very realistic. Another measure is that there is a security thread which is embedded into the paper currency. The only way that the thread is visible is through holding the money against a source of light. This is evident in the American hundred dollar bills.



Micro printing is another measure taken against currency counterfeiting. This feature cannot easily be reproduced. Depending on the denomination, this feature is mostly located in various parts of the money. For instance in the American dollar, the hundred dollar bill has a very thin line that appears on the surface of the currency, which is printed the United States of America.



The watermark is one other security measure. The watermark is basically formed when different paper densities are varied in a petite section, during the process of making the currency. This method makes it hard for anyone to manipulate the currency.



The paper currency is manufactured by being printed using color shifting inks. The inks can be seen on the lower right part of the note. This part of the note changes color when viewed at different angles. Another security feature is the fine line printing patterns. This feature is difficult to copy or scan, but can be seen normally by human beings. These patterns can be found behind the image on the front face or the back of the note. Low vision feature is another security measure that was adopted together with a machine readable one for the blind.


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