Topic: CNA E-Bulletin - Counterfeit Detection  (Read 3435 times)
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« on: January 11, 2006, 01:10:28 am »

For anyone who is interested, I saw the below article in the most recent CNA E-Bulletin, and I was compelled to submit a response to the editor.

-----Original Message-----
From: CNA-BB []
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:10 AM
Subject: C.N.A. E-Bulletin - Volume 1, Number 2 - January 10, 2006

QUICK TESTS TO KEEP FAKE CASH OUT OF YOUR WALLET With more than half a million counterfeit bills in circulation in Canada - almost three times as many as there were just a few years ago - you could easily be in a lineup at the checkout counter when the clerk holds up your $5 bill and proclaims it a fake.

The worst part is that once you know a bill is a counterfeit, you're supposed to hand it over to the police and take the loss. No, you can't put it into your paper money collection without potential consequences. A recent issue of MoneySense Magazine provided some tips of how to make sure you don't get stuck with a fake. Our American friends especially might appreciate this simple checklist.

1. If you're given one of the older bills with birds on the back, look at the little square gold stamp on the front. If it's real, when you tilt the bill the stamp should change from gold to green.

2. If you're given one of the newer $5 or $10 bills with a scene on the back, check out the cluster of three gold leaves on the front, near the bottom right. As you tilt the bill, the leaves should glow then fade away.

3. Instead of the three gold leaves, the newest bills have a holographic stripe running down the left side of the front. When you tilt the bill, you get that 3D holographic effect. The $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills all have this stripe.

4. If you really want to level the playing field, get your own pocket ultraviolet currency checker, a smaller version of the kind the stores use. The article states that you can buy them online from Photon Light at www.photonlightcom/products/ultraviolet_phton.html for $19.95 (U.S.).

Hi John,

I just wanted to mention that of all the fake notes that I have seen, the majority (over 50%) were Canadian Journey Series 2001 $10 notes (the ones with the gold leaves on them). Each and every one would have passed your tests below for checking the gold leaves or the UV ink.

The most foolproof way of checking a note is to FEEL it. Run a fingernail against the lines of the raised ink in the shoulder of the portrait. This is one of the spots where the raised ink is thickest and most easily detectible. If you feel a washboard texture, it is almost certainly real. If it feels flat, you likely have a fake.

Another way to test a note is to let a drop of water soak into the paper. Most fakes are printed with inkjet printers. This ink will run horribly when wet. Authentic banknotes will not suffer any adverse effects. I once left a $2 bill in my pocket and when it came out of the washing machine, it was better than ever!

Bottom line is DO NOT RELY ON the UV ink or the gold leaves. This is the easiest way you can fool yourself into getting stuck with a fake.

Brent W.J. Mackie

Life Member of CPMS, RCNA, ONA, ANA, IBNS, WCS.
President, IBNS Ontario Chapter.
Treasurer, Waterloo Coin Society.
Show Chair, Cambridge Coin Show.
Fellow of the Ontario Numismatic Association.

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