Counterfeit money has always
been a nuisance and a problem worldwide. Criminals
in charge of organizations that produce counterfeit
money use home computers and printing yards to produce
very real looking, convincing counterfeit copies of
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currencies are vulnerable and subject to currency
forgery, but the most susceptible are the currencies
that circulate around the world and are able to
be used globally. This makes the US dollar the
most commonly and easily reproduced currency,
and unfortunately, currencies that are easily
reproduced tend to attract the most illegal counterfeiters.
are not a popular form of forgery, as their value
is much lower and priniting notes is much simpler
than engraving coins. Photo couresty of www.imageafter.com.
the past, notes have been created using intricate imprinted
designing techniques and featured difficult to replicate
a design imprinted into the note and only visible when
a light is shone on it. They also had specific numbering
patterns and fine metal threads imbedded in the note.
However, it became easier for counterfeiters to forge
currencies towards the end of the 1980's as higher quality
colour photocopiers and printers made copies look extremely
convincing. Today's bank notes have new improved aspects
to stop the forgery of currency. These include words
that only appear when the note is heated by a
The Euro's introduction early this century has created
the first universal currency in Europe, hence the need
for holograms and number patterns on the note. Photo
courtesy of www.bigfoto.com.
| copier lamp,
colour-changing ink that turns from green to black when
the note is turned over, print that is only visible
when viewed through a magnifying glass, machine readable
only bar codes, shimmering ink, and holograms.
the currency forger involves combining clues found in
the paper type, printing techniques and the ink variety
used. Paper banknotes are now printed on material that
is of a high quality and is economically impossible
to mass reproduce. Microscopes are used to recognise
substituted paper forms and using this information,
investigators may then be able to find the supplier.
lights can show the metal security threads in
true banknotes and reveal attempts to fake them in fake
notes. X-rays show watermarks and make them clearer.
The printing process can also reveal the counterfeiter,
as they usually use laser and inkjet printers that are
easily distinguishable against the extremely high quality
methods used on authentic banknotes. Chemically analysing
the ink can be traced back to the counterfeiters using
a computer database that matches the ink's characteristics.
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