Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Bank Note of the Year

Who knew there’s an International Bank Note Society? Or that they have a prize for best bank note of the year? This year’s winner is the “1,000-franc note issued by the Banque Centrale des Comores, the central bank of the Comoros, an archipelago located between Madagascar and the east coast of southern Africa.”


Don’t miss the discussion of the note’s security features:

Despite a low face value (approximately US$2.70 at current exchange rates), the 1,000-franc note sports an impressive array of security features. Portions of the design are printed with the intaglio process, imparting a tactile element to the raised ink, along with the latent image created by the BCC embossed above the signatures. Counterfeiting is made more difficult through the use of microtext, incorporation of a perfect-registration device, and the inclusion of Omron rings. The paper contains an embedded security strip that fluoresces under UV light, and a watermark of a crescent moon, four stars, and the letters BCC. Finally there is an iridescent band on the front of the note that can be seen only when tilting the note at an angle to the light.

Incidentally, the term “Omron rings” seems to describe what’s better known as the “EURion Constellation,” the set of rings that break various scanning devices.

Via Davi’s Flying Penguin.

2 comments on "Bank Note of the Year"

  • Thanks for posting our society’s press release regarding the banknote of the year.
    You are correct, Omron rings are the same thing as EURion Constellation. I prefer the term Omron rings because the company that invented them is Omron, and EURion Constellation was a term made up by a third-party who happened to figure out their function. Many central banks refer to them correctly as the Omron security feature.

  • Adam says:

    Hi Owen,
    Thanks for your comment. I think Omron would get more public credit if they took credit publicly. I know there’s a long tradition of secrecy in anti-counterfeiting, but even today, a search for “Omron Ring” on the Internet returns almost nothing. (There’s a reference in the German Wikipedia to “Omron Ringe,” and I added one to the English Wikipedia.)
    I know Steven and Markus and don’t think they’d invent a term to invent one, they invented a term because they couldn’t find a correct name.

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