New 5 Euro Note Unveiled

Wikipedia says: The five euro note (€5) is the lowest value euro banknote and has been used since the introduction of the euro (in its cash form) in 2002. The note is used in the 22 countries which have it as their sole currency (with 20 legally adopting it); with a population of about 332 million. It is the smallest note measuring 120 … Continue reading

Current denominations of U.S. currency

Wikipedia says: Currently printed denominations are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Notes above the $100 denomination stopped being printed in 1946 and were officially withdrawn from circulation in 1969. These notes were used primarily in inter-bank transactions or by organized crime; it was the latter usage that prompted President Richard Nixon to issue an executive order in 1969 halting their use. With … Continue reading

Seigniorage

Great example from Wikipedia, baby: The “50 State” series of quarters (25-cent coins) was launched in the U.S. in 1999. The U.S. government planned on a large number of people collecting each new quarter as it rolled out of the U.S. Mint, thus taking the pieces out of circulation[citation needed]. Each set of quarters is worth $14.00 (a complete set includes quarters … Continue reading

Canada: New Polymer Currency

Canada just recently introduced a new $100 banknote, made with a polymer substrate rather than paper. Its security features include two see-through windows. According to the Bank of Canada, you can “feel, look, and flip” to make sure the bill is real. The polymer bills can last much longer (up to two-and-a-half times longer) than … Continue reading

US Currency Design Timeline

from NewMoney.gov, “New Currency History” 1861 – first general circulation of paper money by the federal government 1929 – all paper currency is reduced in size by about 30% to lower manufacturing costs, and standardized designs across each denomination are introduced. 1955 – In God We Trust motto first appears on paper currency 1990 – Security thread … Continue reading

Cards: Magnetic Strip vs. Chip-and-Pin

US banks are starting to convert their standard magnetic stripe cards to chip-and-pin (a technology that is now 15 years old), to keep up with the now-dominant standard in Europe. In recent years, American travelers in Europe have found that many merchants do not accept magnetic stripe cards at all. More than 1.34 billion EMV … Continue reading

G&D and SmartCard/SIMcard Market

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute developed the GSM, or Global System for Mobile Communications, to standardize 2G cellular networks. The SIM card is a key feature of the GSM — it’s the vehicle for a Subscriber Identity Module that “stores network-specific information used to authenticate and identify subscribers on the network.” A SIM is embedded into … Continue reading

The (Il)Legality of Scanning Currency

Reproductions of money: Federal laws don’t ban reproducing images of United States currency, but they do restrict how you can legally display those reproductions. According to the Counterfeit Detection Act of 1992, Public Law 102-550, Section 411 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, you can make and display color reproductions of bills … Continue reading

New $5 bill video

Yes, this was actually produced by the US government.

The Economist – “Cash Machine”

A recent article in The Economist had a few choice bits of information we haven’t come across yet. My notes: Although demand for physical cash had been in decline over the course of the 20th century (due to the growing popularity of checks and then credit cards), there was a spike in demand for paper currency after … Continue reading

Securency Scandal

Federal police have charged two Reserve Bank of Australia currency firms, Securency and Note Printing Australia, along with several of the company’s former senior managers with paying massive bribes to foreign officials in order to win banknote supply contracts. In a series of dawn raids, AFP agents swooped on houses across Melbourne, arresting six former … Continue reading

Security Printing Risks

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). There are a number of risks involved in the security printing process, which must be managed by the printer. The security printer and supplier have a responsibility to operate under best practices in order to ensure the safety, health, … Continue reading

Marketing and Pricing Security Products

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). Promotion: A reputation for security is built over years. It starts by changing internal business processes, procedures, and culture. Staff should be informed of the importance of security and trained to enable smooth implementation of secure storage, auditing, and … Continue reading

What does it take to be a security printer?

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). A carefully customized security system should incorporate the following attributes: It should respond to the threats the customer is facing. The supplier therefore needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the type of counterfeits that are found in the … Continue reading

Prepress, Press, and Postpress Operations for Security Printing

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). “Prepress for security printing involves the use of fine-line patterns that are usually continuous-tone rather than bitmapped or half-toned. Colors are generally spot or trademarked colors that are spectrally or colorimetrically matched rather than being process color. The guilloche, … Continue reading

Security Printing Inks

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). There are two types of security printing inks. Anti-duplication inks are meant to prevent, you guessed it, unauthorized copying. They are usually a covert security feature. Anti-alteration inks are an overt feature, and they are used to indicate when … Continue reading

Making Security Paper

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). Security printing papers must be a suitable substrate for the many security devices that will be embedded in or printed on them. Rag pulp is used to produce currency paper. It’s made from cotton fiber, and produces the highest … Continue reading

Security Printing Overview

from Warner, Richard D. and Richard M. Adams II, Introduction to Security Printing. (Pittsburge: PIA/GATF Press, 2005). Security printing: “the process of converting printed products using limited-access materials and supplies along with unique or specialized technologies and a multiplicity of printing processes to produce security end products under secure operating procedures and manufacturing/distribution protocols.” Security end … Continue reading

NYT: “Treasury Slows Its Presses”

Appelbaum, Binyamin. “As Plastic Reigns, the Treasury Slows its Printing Presses.” New York Times. 6 July 2011. The number of dollar bills rolling off the great government presses in Washington and in Fort Worth fell to a modern low in the last fiscal year. Production of $5 bills also dropped to the lowest level in 30 years. … Continue reading

Description of the Crane papermaking plant

Crane tells us that currency paper is made of more durable linen and cotton fibers. When NPR visited, the company was preparing tons of dull-brown linen fibers to be an ingredient in the paper. One of the first things we see is a giant iron ball swinging from the rafters. If you’re at all familiar … Continue reading