March 20, 2011

Tips on spotting genuine notes in circulation

In the booklet “Know Your Philippine Currency," the BSP advised the public to study and familiarize the characteristics, designs and distinct features of the central banknotes.

The following are some practical steps to tell genuine BSP notes:

* Feel the paper – Genuine notes are printed on a special kind of paper, which is rough when running the fingers on it. It does not glow under ultraviolet light. The watermark, security fibers, security threads and irisdescent band are included during paper manufacture.

* Examine the watermark on the unprinted portion of the note – The watermark is the silhouette of the portrait appearing on the face of the note. Sharp details of the light and shadow effect can be seen when the note is viewed against the light. The contours of the features of the silhouette are slightly raised and can be felt by running the fingers over the design of relatively new notes.

* Inspect the security fibers— Embedded red and blue visible fibers are scattered at random on both surfaces of genuine notes and can be readily picked off by means of any pointed instrument.

* View the embedded security thread—The embedded security thread is a special thread vertically implanted off the center of the note during paper manufacture. This can easily be seen when the note is viewed against the light. It appears as a broken line in 10s and 20s and straight line in 50s, 100s, 200s, 500s and 1000s.

* View the windowed security thread on the improved version of 100s, 500s and 1000s notes and the new 200s notes— The windowed security thread is a narrow security thread vertically located like stitches at the face of the note with clear text of the numerical value in repeated sequence and changes in color from magenta to green and green to magenta, depending on the angle of the view.

* Look for the irisdescent (like rainbow) band or the wide glistening gold vertical stripe with the numerical value printed in series.

* Recognize the portrait—It appears life-like, the eyes “sparkle." Shadings are formed by the fine lines that give the portrait a characteristic facial expression, which is extremely difficult to replicate.

* Check the serial number—It is composed of 1 or 2 prefix letters and 6 or 7 digits. The letters and numerals are uniform in size and thickness, evenly spaced, well aligned, and glow under the ultraviolet light. A banknote with six “0" digit serial number is a specimen note and not legal tender note.

* Scan the background/lacework design—The background designs are made up if multicolored and well defined lines. The lacework designs are composed of web-crisscrossing lines, which are continuous and traceable even at the intersection.

* Verify the vignette—The lines and dashes composing the vignette are fine, distinct and sharp; the varying color tone gives a vivid look to the picture that makes it “stand out" of the paper.

* Check the numerals found at the four corners of the front and back of the note—The numerals show the denomination of the bill.

* Recognize predominant color of each denomination: P1000 (blue), P500 (yellow), P200 (green), P100 (mauve), P50 (red), P20 (orange)

* Look for the presence of fluorescent print when the note is exposed under the ultraviolet light—The fluorescent print is the invisible numerical value located off center of the face of the note that glows when exposed to ultraviolet light.

* Verify under the lens the presence of microprinting on the denominations 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000—Microprintings are the minute and finely printed words “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas" or Central Bank of the Philippines" located at the face or back of the note that are clearly printed and readable.

* Check the concealed value on the P500 denomination—This concealed value is located at the lower left corner of the face of the note and is recognizable when the note is held at eye level.

* Check the optically variable ink on the P1000 denomination—It changes color from green to blue or blue to green when the note is held at different angles.

When receiving a suspected counterfeit bill, people are advised not to return the note to the person who gave it, the BSP said. The central bank said remembering the person’s face and other information about him or her would be helpful.

The BSP said recipients of bogus bills should turn over these to the BSP’s Currency Analysis and Redemption Division in Room 202, Multi-Story Building, BSP Complex, Malate, Manila, or to the nearest BSP regional office. The currency analysis division can be reached at 524-7011 local 2296 and 524-2777.

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