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Bank of Ghana: Techniques for identifying counterfeit cedi banknotes

An image showing two GH¢100 banknotes is being passed around on WhatsApp with a caution to the general public to look out for the Adinkra symbol- “Dwennimmen” if one wants to make out counterfeits.

But how true is the claim?

A Ghana cedi note being circulated on social media

Here are some tips and techniques from the Bank of Ghana to help you make out counterfeits:

Public Security Features

  1. New Motion Surface Stripe (Security Thread)

It is the wide shiny stripe that runs down the front of the banknote from top to bottom. The upper part has a three-dimensional image of an Adinkra symbol moving above an apparently deep background: the symbol of ‘STRENGTH’ on the GH¢100, and ‘EXCEPT GOD’ symbol on the GH¢200.

The lower part of the stripe features the parliamentary mace on the GH¢100 and the state sword on the GH¢200. When tilted these images appear to move.

  1. Optically Variable Magnetic Image (OVMI) – Spark Live

Shiny colour changing images of the Adinkra symbols: ‘STRENGTH’ on the GH¢100 and ‘EXCEPT GOD’ on the GH¢200. When the note is tilted, a shiny bar moves up and down the symbols. The colour changes from Gold to Green when tilted.

  1. More Prominent Watermark

It is the image of Tetteh Quarshie with a cocoa pod, more noticeable in the plain star area of the banknote.

It becomes visible on both sides when viewed against light. The denomination value can also be seen in the watermark.

  1. Enhanced Iridescent Band at the back of the Banknote

It is a golden band with gold bars at the back of the banknote, running from top to bottom. It can be seen more clearly when the note is tilted.

Techniques for Identifying Counterfeits

  • The bearer of the banknote is supposed to compare the suspected banknote with one of the same denomination from a different source.
  • Do not compare with the reproductions in a brochure (or a print out from the internet), which always differ from the original.
  • Unfold a received banknote and look at the front and the back.
  • Check the banknote for the security features (refer to write-up on the Features of the Ghanaian Banknote)
  • Pay attention to soiled or repaired bills
  • The Bank of Ghana can assist you in verifying the validity of a suspected note.
  • Notify the police as soon as possible if you think that a banknote has been counterfeited

Bank of Ghana

The circulation of banknotes is the responsibility of the Bank of Ghana.

The law grants the Bank the exclusive right to issue banknotes and is the holder of the copyright. Counterfeiting and even possession of counterfeit banknotes are punishable by law.

By: Sani Abdul-Rahman/www.ghanafact.com

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