Philippine Banknotes: New Generation Currency Security Features
The New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes of our country feature some interesting security features never before seen in previous Philippine paper money in circulation. I would like to share these security features in this post. I am quoting from a publication by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas entitled, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ New Generation Currency Notes: Safeguarding the Integrity of the Philippine Currency by Maja Gratia L. Malic & Nenette E. Malabrigo. This details the new security features of the new banknotes that help consumers identify counterfeit bills from the real deal.
What follows is quoted from the publication.
For greater protection, the NGC notes were provided with four layers of security features:
Level I : Security features which can be easily recognized by the public without use of special instrument. These are the “look, feel, tilt” elements in the notes such as watermark, security thread, security fibers, and others.
Level II: Security features recognizable by professional cash handlers/bank tellers with the use of magnifying lens or ultraviolet light. Examples are fluorophosporescent features, security fibers, and microprinting.
Level III: The hidden or covert security features reserved for the use of the Bangko Sentral.
Level IV: Forensic security features for the use of law enforcers in testifying whether a banknote is genuine or counterfeit. These are detectable at specialized laboratories.
The publication goes further to detail Level I security features for public knowledge. Some of the Level II security features can be seen, but Levels III and IV are not for public use.
Level I: Security features which can be easily recognized by the public without the use of special instrument. These are the “look,” “feel,” and “tilt” elements in the notes, enumerated below.
1. Embossed prints: The embossed or raised print nature of the ink deposition combined with the quality of cotton-based paper gives the traditional banknote a unique tactile effect that makes it the first and the most important line of defense against counterfeiting. This can be felt over the words “REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS,” denominational value in text, signatures, and value panels particularly, the one located at the lower right corner of the obverse.
2. Asymmetric Serial Number: Alphanumeric characters at the lower left and upper right corners of the note bearing one or two prefix letters and six to seven digits, with font increasing in size and thickness.
3. Security Fibers: Visible red and blue fibers embedded on the paper and randomly scattered on the face and back of the note.
4. Watermark: Shadow image of the portrait with the highlighted denominational value that is particularly seen against the light from either side of the blank space on the note.
5. See-Through Mark: The pre-Hispanic script (Baybayin) at the lower right corner of the face of the note slightly above the value panel. This is seen in complete form only when the note is viewed against the light. This script means “PILIPINO.”
6. Concealed Value: The denominational value superimposed at the smaller version portrait at the upper left portion of the note. This becomes clearly visible when the note is rotated 45 degrees and slightly tilted.
7. Security Thread (Embedded or Windowed): Embedded thread that runs vertically across the width of 20- and 50- piso notes when viewed against the light. Also, the stitch-like metallic thread on the 100-, 200-, 500- and 1000-piso notes which changes color from red to green and bears the cleartext of “BSP” and the denominational value on the obverse and “BSP” on the reverse, both in repeated series.
8. Optically Variable Device (OVD) Patch: Found only in 500- and 1000-piso notes, this patch is a reflective foil, bearing the image of the Blue-naped parrot for 500-piso/clam with South Sea pearl for 1000-piso, changes color from red to green when the note is rotated 90 degrees.
*Incorporated on the OVD patch is a logo of BSP that also changes color when viewed from different angles, the denomination at the upper right and bottom center, the text BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS on the upper left of the oval, and a micro print right below the clam or parrot.
9. Optically Variable Ink (OVI): Found only in the 1000-piso note, this embossed denominational value at the lower right corner of the face of the note changes color from green to blue when viewed at different angles.