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Latest currency redesigns help fight counterfeiting, but is it effective?

In recent years the United States government redesigned multiple banknotes in order to curb counterfeiting and make it harder for criminal organizations and unscrupulous individuals to forge American bills. While there weren't necessarily huge problems with counterfeit bills under the old design, government officials are always looking for a way to stay one step ahead of those trying to fake U.S. currency. 

New security features aim to deter forgeries 
The designs include more advanced security features that will allow banks, businesses and consumers to ensure their bills are legitimate and avoid any problems with counterfeit notes. The $100 bill, the last note to be resigned, has yet to be introduced to the public, but its design carries several features that aim to make it harder for criminals to print bills that will pass as real U.S. currency. A 3D security ribbon features bells that change to read "100s" when moved back and forth. This ribbon, which is woven into the currency rather than printed on it, is one of the first things workers at banks and businesses should look for when checking the validity of a bill. Similarly, the redesigned $100 bill also features a bell inside an inkwell, and when the bill is tilted, this bell changes from copper to green.

Besides technology that allows people to determine the validity of a bill by looking at it from another angle, the new currency also offers a variety of other security options that are difficult to forge. A portrait watermark, raised printing, security thread and microprinting all offer banks and businesses alternative ways to determine if a note is valid. 

Forgeries still present  
While the U.S. government has attempted to thwart groups that counterfeit American money, they can never completely deter those who are determined to accurately fake U.S. currency. Criminal organizations are still trying to find ways to forge bills by taking advantage of consumers' lack of knowledge of the new banknote security components or trying out new methods to fake these anti-forgery features. 

It's important for banks, credit unions and businesses that deal with a great deal of cash each day to be able to tell the difference between real and cleverly forged bills. However, even knowledgeable individuals can be fooled by an accurately faked note. A currency counting machine with the ability to detect forgeries is essential for an operation that handles plenty of cash on a daily basis. Having the right technology on hand can ensure no counterfeit currency is infiltrating a cash room and being handed out to customers.

April 12, 2013