Examine a banknote
Banks that issue banknotes have throughout the ages tried to protect themselves against counterfeits by using special banknote paper, watermarks, patterns and various printing methods. The progress made in reproduction technology in recent years has given increased opportunities to counterfeiters, and older versions of banknotes are no longer considered to be really secure. Modern methods for security printing are used in the manufacture of Swedish banknotes. Below follows a description of some of the security features that enable you to check the authenticity of a banknote.
How to quickly examine a banknote
When you check a banknote, you should examine a combination of several security details. One quick method is to check the watermark and the security thread. On the 100-krong and 500-krona banknotes and on the new versions of 50-krona and 1,000-krona banknotes there is also a foil strip and a see through picture.
Check the following:
- The foil strip contains a hologram (three-dimensional image) that shows, for instance the denomination and three crowns (on the 100-krona and 500-krona notes), a rose (the 50-krona note) or a ship (the 1,000-krona note).
- The watermark is visible from both sides when the banknote is held up to the light. The portrait is the same as the main portrait on the note. On the banknotes with a foil strip, you can also see the denomination in the watermark.
- The security thread is visible as a dark line when you hold the note up to the light. On the banknotes with a foil strip, the denomination and micro lettering should also be visible in the security thread.
- The see through picture is a pattern on the banknotes with a foil strip. Looking against the light, the front image fits exactly with the image on the reverse side of the banknote to form a pattern showing the denomination of the note.
- The banknote paper is made from raw cotton, which gives the note a special texture.
- The denomination and portrait on the front of the note are printed in intaglio print, which gives a raised, rough surface. Run your thumb over it or scrape lightly with a fingernail.
Counterfeit banknotes may not be used as a means of payment. To do so is a serious crime and if a person deliberately does so he or she can receive a prison sentence. Even the possession of counterfeit notes is an offence. If a person detects a counterfeit note they should refuse to accept it. A person who has already accepted such a note, should try to remember how he or she might have obtained it and report it to the police.
Mutilated and discoloured banknotes
It is important to be vigilant with regard to mutilated and discoloured banknotes. The Riksbank will replace mutilated banknotes. If at least two thirds of the banknote is intact, the Riksbank will compensate for the entire face value of the note and if at least one third of the note remains, the Riksbank will compensate for half of the face value. However, the Riksbank may refuse to accept banknotes and coins that have been deliberately mutilated, for instance, banknotes that have been discoloured due to the discharge of an ink cartridge in a security bag in connection with a robbery.