Wednesday, 9 November 2016

How do you check for a counterfeit Indian Rupee Note? 

These notes contain distinct easily recognizable security features to facilitate the detection of genuine notes vis-à-vis forgeries.


The Mahatma Gandhi Series of banknotes contain the Mahatma Gandhi watermark with a light and shade effect and multi-directional lines in the watermark window.

Security Thread:

  1. The Rs.500 notes have a security thread with windowed security thread alternately visible on the obverse with the inscriptions ‘Bharat’ (in Hindi), and ‘RBI’.
  2. When held against the light, the security thread on Rs.500 can be seen as one continuous line.
  3. The security thread appears to the left of the Mahatma's portrait.
  4. Notes issued prior to the introduction of the Mahatma Gandhi Series have a plain, non-readable fully embedded security thread.

Latent Image:

  • On the side of Rs.500, a vertical band on the right side of the Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait contains a latent image showing the respective denominational value in numeral.
  • The latent image is visible only when the note is held horizontally at eye level.

Micro Lettering:

  • This feature appears between the vertical band and Mahatma Gandhi portrait.
  • The Rs. 500 notes contain the denominational value of the notes in micro letters. This feature can be seen better under a magnifying glass.


  • The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, the Reserve Bank seal, guarantee and promise clause, Ashoka Pillar Emblem on the left, RBI Governor's signature are printed in intaglio i.e. in raised prints, which can be felt by touch.

Identification Mark:

A special feature in intaglio has been introduced on the left of the watermark window on all notes. This feature is in different shapes for various denominations (Rs. 20-Vertical Rectangle, Rs.50-Square, Rs.100-Triangle, Rs.500-Circle, Rs.1000-Diamond) and helps the visually impaired to identify the denomination.


  • Number panels of the notes are printed in fluorescent ink. The notes also have optical fibres. Both can be seen when the notes are exposed to ultraviolet lamp.

Optically Variable Ink:

  • This security feature is incorporated in Rs.500 notes with revised colour scheme introduced in November 2000.
  • The numeral Rs.500 is printed in optically variable ink viz., a colour-shifting ink.
  • The colour of the numeral 500 appears green when the note is held flat but would change to blue when the note is held at an angle.

See through Register:

  • The small floral design printed both on the front (hollow) and back (filled up) of the note in the middle of the vertical band next to the Watermark has an accurate back to back registration.
  • The design will appear as one floral design when seen against the light.

Legal provisions against counterfeiting:

Printing and circulation of forged notes are offences under Sections 489A to 489E of the Indian Penal Code and are punishable in the courts of law by fine or imprisonment or both.


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