Security features are typically embedded in security documents to prevent them from being forged. From watermarks and security threads on banknotes to radio chips and security paper in electronic passports, these security devices are a benchmark in the fight against counterfeiting. One of the more recent security features making an impact on today’s secure documents is the hologram.
Holograms are images registered with the use of coherent laser light, allowing the preservation of the 3D information in a holographic image. With a single source of white light, the image is “played back” and appears in 3D exactly as it was registered. The images can project deep inside, or “stick” out of the picture. Given the unique visual effects holograms provide, they are virtually impossible to counterfeit and have become a staple in anti-counterfeit technology.
Though essentially just stickers, holograms are typically extremely difficult to remove from any security document and are much more durable than normal paper-based stickers.
Recently, the United States Treasury unveiled a new $100 bill (which will begin circulation in early 2011) that contains a 3D hologram of the Liberty Bell as a defining feature of the banknote’s high-tech anti-counterfeit measures.
Banknotes, however, aren’t the only products that make use of holograms. Manufacturers who produce event tickets are among those who use the security feature the most.
With developments in colour copying and colour printing technologies making counterfeiting tickets easier over the past decade or so, holograms are a highly efficient way of preventing these forgeries.
Earlier this fall, the National Football League (NFL) warned fans of counterfeit tickets to football games, encouraging consumers to look for authenticating barcodes and holograms on any tickets purchased in “the secondary market.”