Security Threads for Banknotes

14 April 2021
Tags: Report | Threads

The Definitive Report on One of the Most Enduring and Innovative AntiCounterfeiting Features for Currency

A ground-breaking new special report, ‘Security Threads for Banknotes’, has been released. Authored by the publishers of Currency News, the new 130-page report provides an essential guide for currency issuers to the use of one of the most enduring and innovative anti-counterfeiting technologies for currency, which is used in 95% of all the world’s current banknotes.

The first use of a security thread as we know it was in 1940, in Bank of England notes to counter attempts by Nazi Germany to flood the country with counterfeits.  80 years later, and the security thread has evolved to become one of the most successful and innovative features to secure banknotes – combining high public recognition value and aesthetic appeal with machine-readability and cost efficiency.

The report features a review of each of the most recent denominations of each country’s circulating banknotes at the end of 2020 based on their thread content and, where possible, type. This review concludes the Report but in between the first chapter on the history and milestones of thread development and the denomination review there is a wealth of valuable information.

Other chapters cover benefits and costs, thread types and technologies, materials and manufacturing, integration, products and producers, counterfeiting, trends and potential future developments. A glossary is also included.

There are currently 1,026 circulating denominations in the world (latest/current versions of notes only), of which just over 85% are printed on paper. Of these, nearly all (95%) have at least one security thread. 20% have an embedded thread, 23% a narrow windowed thread and nearly 50% a wide windowed thread. 8.5% have more than one thread (eg. embedded and windowed). 

The thread technology that stands out in all of this is the wide windowed thread – and in particular the range of features that this can now carry, from colour shift and diffraction to the new generation of micro-optics, micro-lenses and micro-mirrors.

The Report contains other insights and anecdotes, but it is its comprehensive coverage of all aspects of banknote threads, from cradle to grave, that make it a must for your library.

Security Threads for Banknotes is available free of charge to central banks and issuing authorities, and at a deep discount to Currency News subscribers.

Visit to obtain your copy.

Currency News is the leading industry newsletter covering the design, specification, production, distribution and management in circulation of banknotes and coins. It is published monthly by Currency Publications Ltd, a joint venture between Reconnaissance International and Currency Research.