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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.

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 banknote 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:

The denomination of the note is produced in raised print. It leaves behind traces of colour when rubbed.

Test:

Rub the number onto a piece of light-coloured paper. The ink leaves distinct traces.

Security feature D

Perforated number (microperf®)

Feature:

The numeral 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 appears as a perforated surface.

Security feature E

Optically Variable Ink (OVI): The chameleon number

Feature:

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 back and forth, and you will see the colour of the number change.

Security feature F

Ultraviolet digits

Feature:

Under UV light the denomination of the note appears dark on the left and brightly fluorescent on the right.

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:

The banknote denomination is reproduced in metallic print.

Test:

Hold the banknote like a sheet of paper you want to read. As you move the note, the number appears in silver. 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:

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 flat angle. Now you should be able to see the number appear.

See-Through 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 on front)

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 - Tactile element for the visually impaired

A symbol, perceptible to the touch and different for each denomination, is embossed at the lower edge on the front of each note to enable the visually impaired to recognise 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 appears as a series of silver dashes on the back of the note. When held up to the light, the thread forms a 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 on back)

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.