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An overview of the security features

Counterfeiters have been around ever since money was first used. In order to prevent forgery of its banknotes, the Swiss National Bank provides them with special security features.

New security feature for the small denominations

Initially, the perforated number was used on the large banknotes only. Since 2000, this feature has also been incorporated into the 10, 20 and 50 franc notes. Until all the banknotes have been replaced, small denominations with and without the perforated number will be in circulation. Both versions will, however, remain legal tender.

If you click on a security feature, detailed information on this feature is displayed.

 
 

Security feature A

Iriodin® digits: The magic number

Feature:

Security feature A shows the denomination of the banknote printed in a shimmering, transparent colour. It is especially easy to see when the light falls on the feature at a particular angle.

Test:

Hold the banknote like a sheet of paper you want to read. If you cannot read the magic number, tilt the note slowly towards the light until it appears.

Security feature B

Watermark digits

Feature:

Security feature B is a watermark in the note paper reproducing the denomination of the banknote.

Test:

Hold the note up to the light. If you look closely, you will see the watermark digits beneath the colour printing.

Security feature C

Intaglio digits: The coloured number

Feature:

As security feature C, the denomination of the note is produced by an intaglio process. It is rough to the touch and leaves traces when rubbed.

Test:

Rub the coloured number on a sheet of paper. The ink leaves distinct traces.

Security feature D

The perforated number (microperf®)

Feature:

The denomination is made up of very fine perforations, a feature known as microperf®. (Initially, the perforated number was used on the large banknotes only. Since 2000, this feature has also been incorporated into the 10, 20 and 50 franc notes. Until all the banknotes have been replaced, small denominations with and without the perforated number will be in circulation. Both versions will, however, remain legal tender.)

Test:

When held up to the light, the denomination is seen as a perforated surface.

Security feature E

Optically Variable Ink (OVI): The chameleon number

Feature:

As security feature E, the denomination of the banknote is printed with a special ink. The chameleon number changes colour whenever the light falls on it from a different angle.

Test:

Hold the banknote like a sheet of paper you want to read and look at the chameleon number. Tilt the note slowly away from you or towards you, and you will see the colour of the chameleon number change.

Security feature F

Ultraviolet digits

Feature:

As security feature F, under UV light the denomination of the note appears dark on the left edge and brightly fluorescent on the right side.

Test:

In order to see the two UV numbers, you will need an ultraviolet lamp. With UV light, you can see a dark UV number on the left-hand side and directly opposite a bright, fluorescent figure. At the same time, the left half of the portrait is brightly fluorescent and the right half, dark.

Security feature G

Metallic digits: The glittering number

Feature:

As security feature G, the banknote denomination is reproduced in metal-coated form.

Test:

Hold the banknote like a sheet of paper you want to read. When you move it, the number has a silvery glitter. Under a magnifying glass you can see the monograms of the Swiss National Bank SNB BNS in the glittering number. It is partially covered by ink.

Security feature H

Tilt effect

Feature:

As security feature H, the banknote's denomination is printed in such a way that it can only be seen from an unusual angle.

Test:

Hold the note horizontally at eye level so that you can just see the front of the note at an extremely sharp angle. Now you should be able to see the number appear.

1 - Transparent register

On both sides of the note a cross is printed at exactly the same spot. The two crosses are slightly different in size so that a Swiss cross is visible between the two silhouettes.

2 - Watermark portrait

In the top right-hand corner on the front of the note, a watermark portrait can be seen looking in the same direction as the printed portrait.

3 - Guilloches

The fine entwined lines can change colour from line to line or within the line itself.

4 - Kinegram®: The moving number

Feature:

In the middle of the note is the Kinegram®: the banknote's denomination, shown on special silver foils, appears to move. Two other, smaller Kinegram® show the Swiss cross and the monograms of the Swiss National Bank: SNB BNS. The form of the Kinegram®, the positioning of the two smaller Kinegram® and the movement of the numbers differ from denomination to denomination.

Test:

Tilt the banknote back and forth and observe the Kinegram®: the moving number appears to run across the Kinegram®; the Swiss crosses and the monograms also seem to move.

5 - Microtext (example front face)

On both sides of the note a short text about the person portrayed is reproduced in a print so small that a powerful magnifying glass is needed to read it.

6 - Symbol for the visually handicapped

A symbol perceptible to the touch and different for each denomination is embossed at the lower end of the front of each note to enable the blind and vision-impaired to recognize the face value.

1 - Serial number

Each note bears a serial number in two different places and two different colours. The serial number is a combination of letters and digits.

2 - Security thread

A metallic thread is embedded in the paper and emerges as a series of silver dashes on the back of the note. When held up to the light, the thread appears as a bold continuous line.

1 - Serial number

Each note bears a serial number in two different places and two different colours. The serial number is a combination of letters and digits.

3 - Microtext (example back side)

On both sides of the note a short text about the person portrayed is reproduced in a print so small that a powerful magnifying glass is needed to read it.