Security features for banknotes around the world come in various forms. From holograms, to see through windows, to covert text, banknotes are outfitted with many different high-tech elements that help prevent counterfeiting. This article details the security features specific to the Canadian $20 bill.
#1 – Metallic Stripe (holographic stripe): Numbers and two-tone maple leaves in the metallic stripe change colour and light up when the bill is tilted. The numbers on the stripe match the bill’s value.
#2 – Ghost Image (watermark): When held to the light, the ghost image that appears matches the portrait. The number above the ghost image’s shoulder also matches the bill’s value, and the dashes form a continuous line.
#3 – Dashes (security thread): The dashes change from gold to green when the bill is tilted, and tiny numbers next to “CAN” match the bill’s value.
#4 – Puzzle Number (see-through number): When held to the light, a seemingly “broken” number matching the bill’s value is filled in by stripes making the number “whole.”
#5 – Raised Ink (intaglio): The large denomination number, the portrait, the coat of arms, and the text “Bank of Canada – Banque du Canada” are all printed with raised ink that makes those parts of the bill feel thicker.
#6 – UV (fluorescence): Under a UV light, “Bank of Canada – Banque du Canada” text and a number matching the bill’s value glow in red and yellow. Scattered red and yellow fibres on both sides of the bill also appear.
Bank of Canada: “Bank Notes”