Paper Money

Private security concerns reveal new technologies

The introduction, three weeks apart, of a pair of advanced new technologies, one visible and the other not, by two industry leaders, Crane Currency and De La Rue, shows the effort and expense now a part of bank note production.

Crane Currency, the sole supplier of the paper used by the United States for Federal Reserve notes, offers a glimpse at another aspect of its business. On March 21, it revealed a new security technology that it says will not be detectable to human vision.

In an announcement from its facility in Malta, Crane introduced products called Motion Detect and Rapid Detect. Both involve micro-optic technology and infrared light or a transparent material that can be used for machine-detectable verification. Crane says the technology cannot easily be imitated by even a knowledgeable counterfeiter. 

The company’s vice president of technology, Eric Ziegler, gave an explanation: “These features create a highly secure combination of an IR light or transparent material from the micro-optics and an IR dark feature. It is this unexpected combination — invisible to the eye but visible in IR — that underpins the novelty of Motion Detect and Rapid Detect.”

A major concern with all new bank notes is machine compatibility. Crane says the materials it is using are already compatible with most machines in use.

De La Rue

Citing an increased demand for more brightness and new holographic effects, De La Rue revealed a new, customizable, holographic security thread named “PureImage” on April 21. The company calls it a “game changer,” and claims that it offers secure designs, high durability, clear imagery, and bold movement that it says results in easy authentication by the user. 

According to De La Rue, the thread is very bright, and is suitable for all circulating environments, where it maintains its brightness even in the harshest conditions. It can also be machine-readable, and include ultra-violet fluorescence. It is available in widths of up to 6 millimeters and is suitable for use on all designs and denominations in a bank note family, De La Rue said. 

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