often think of money as coins and paper money
which use everyday which is true to a certain
extent. Money has been used as trade for goods,
to measure a man's wealth. Many objects have
been some form of money in other times and places.
Amber, beads, shells, drums, eggs, feathers,
ivory,cloth, jade, kettles, leather, mats, nails,
oxen, pigs, quartz, rice, salt, weapons, you
name it has been used as "money" some
common form of trade. More familiar types of
money would be silver, gold and diamonds. In
Biblical times pieces of silver were used as
a payment for Jesus Christ. Precious metals
have been used throughout history as jewelry
and that is probably why they were use as money
in many ancient societies and civilizations.
metal coins usually made of nickel or some other
metal alloy as well as paper money are used
as a common currency within each individual
country. Each country had specific denominations
( values or types) like $100, $50, $10 etc...And
the designs of these banknotes or paper money
again portray outstanding figures, scenes, national
symbols from the countries history.
popular form of trading today is actually done
without any physical currency at all. Credit
cards, cheques, debit cards, money orders you
name it is all done electronically between computers
in banks, trading centres, supermarkets, department
stores all over! All done within seconds or
minutes of being started.
we need money
since we cant exactly define coins and banknotes
as money , we must then define it by its purpose
or function. Money primarily is used as:
measure of value (for trading)
did money come about?
of all the items that were being trade a few
like one or two became the preferred items to
trade with because of their qualities in acting
as media of exchange and their value.
did banking start?
Banking is said to have started in Ancient societies
where the royal palaces and temples provided
secure places for the safekeeping of harvested
grain and other essentials.
Egypt harvest grain were stored in warehouses
and the farmer given a form of payment, or piece
of land or it went to his taxes. The recording
of a farmers contribution on the scrolls gradually
originated in the form of receipts upon depositing
his grain. Gradually a method came about and
evolved into a system of banking that exists
are made of metal partly for historical reasons
A tooth for a bride...
In Fijian society whales teeth was used
as bride-money, with a symbolic meaning
similar to that of the engagement ring
in Western society.
man of cattle..
mans wealth was once measured by the amount
of cattle he owned. Large stocks of cows,
sheep and cattle were made the owner a
very wealthy man
presses can each strike more than 600
coins per minute!!
In 24 hrs, 86,4000 coins could be made!!
are valuable. Typically coins of higher value
are made of metal of higher value.
are durable. Unlike stone, they won't shatter;
unlike wood, they don't burn easily and
are hard to break.
are easy and cheap to form and stamp. They
can be melted and recast; they can be stamped
with the king's (or queen's) head and anything
else you care to put on them. In this way,
it becomes easier to distinguish real currency
of making coins
coins are made at a mintage, like the U.S Mint.
What is a mint? The process and procedure of
making or manufacturing money, both coin and
currency. The entire minting process involves
refining metal to the correct proportion, rolling
it into strips, cutting planchets from it, striking
the coins, sorting and bagging them, and distributing
them into the channels of banking and commerce.
exactly are they made
Large strips of metal probably around 1,400
feet long rolled into a coil are used manufacture
quarters, half-dollars, and dollars. Each
coil is fed through a blanking press which
punches out round discs called blanks or (planchet).
The remaining pieces of the sheets called
webbing are collected and recycled.
Washing and Drying
The blanks are heated in an annealing furnace
to soften them. Afterwards they are passed
through a washer and dryer.
The shiny blanks are sorted on a riddler
to screen out any that are the wrong size
The good blanks go through an upsetting mill.
This raises a rim around their edges.
The blanks then go to the coining press. Where,
the coins are struck from dies, which are
two cylindrical pieces of metal, each bearing
an incised design, date, and other information.
These dies are mounted in a coining press.
A blank disk, called a planchet, is inserted
on top of the lower die, the top die is then
squeezed or forced against the planchet with
many tons of pressure, and a coin is created.
Using magnifying glasses each batch of
newly struck coins is spot checked for any
misprints. They are run through a coin sizer
to remove any dented or irregular shaped coins.
An automatic counting machine counts the coins
and drops them into large canvas bags. The
bags are sewn shut, loaded on pallets, and
taken by forklifts to be stored in vaults.
New coins are shipped by truck to Federal
Reserve Banks. From there, the coins go the
The security features incorporated into the
making of banknotes can be quite elaborate and
varied. From the use of special paper, watermarks,
special printing, security threads and invisible
features. In the Caribbean typical banknotes
features political leaders, aspects of the island
culture, as well as national symbols like birds.
are they made of ?
Banknotes are made from a high quality of paper
made from a mixture of cotton and linen. US
Banknotes are composed of 75% cotton and 25%
linen mixture. The life expectancy of it is
approximately 15-18 months. Most European countries
use a different mixture of cotton and linen.
Some countries also use plastic in the production
of banknotes, which increases durability and
banknotes are printed on a polypropylene polymer
material a switch from the paper cotton mixture
reasons Why the switch ? Firstly, wear and tear
the polymer bank notes are stronger and non-porous.
Polymer notes last at least four times as long
as paper notes. They don't get as dirty and
tatty as paper and they are much harder to tear.
Secondly, polymer bank notes allow for more
sophisticated security features to deter forgeries.
paper notes are shredded and discarded when
they become old, polymer bank notes can be recycled
economically into useful products such as polymer
wheelbarrows, compost bins and plumbing fittings.
A watermark was first used in banknote
production by the Bank of England in 1697.
watermark has been around the longest
and is the most common security device
The watermark design is usually carved into wax
first and then a copper die is made from the wax
and the finished design is then stamped into a
wire mesh. Then these designs are pressed into
the paper during paper manufacture while still
moist, by the wire mesh. This causes a thickening
or thinning in the paper fibers. When finished
design can be seen by holding the paper up to
The metal security thread was invented by Stanley
B. Chamberlain and consisted of a fine metal
(aluminum foil) covered with cellophane and
embedded in the paper, The electrical conductivity
of the thread is used as a method to determine
if the note is a counterfeit. The plastic thread
is a newer advancement.. The embedded security
thread can be seen when held up to the light
and may appear solid or fragmented. The security
strip is placed in different areas of the note
for each denomination to stop counterfeiters
from raising the note. Some denominations have
the security strip placed in different areas
of the notes to deter counterfeiters. Similarly
the plastic threads may also have an inscription
with the banks name, denomination, or design
on it. The plastic threads may also have UV
properties changing color when exposed to UV
latest version of security thread is the metallic
one and it breaks the surface of the paper intermittently.
This "windowed" thread when held up
to the light appears as a solid line, and appears
as silvery dashes under normal or regular viewing.
This helps to prevent photocopying by the newer
coping machines and also makes it easier to
Many printing methods are used in the production
of bank notes, engraved printing, color, print
registry, serial numbers, micro printing, and
latent imaging. Today the most important parts
of bank notes are generally printed in a method
know as intaglio printing. This starts with
a master engraver, engraving the art into steel
plates, from which the production plates are
made. Then ink is applied to the plates, wiped
clean and the remaining ink in the groves and
fine lines is apply under enormous pressure
to the paper (7,500 to 15,000 psi), this gives
the printed surface of the note a raised feeling.
countries have switched a long time ago to using
multiple colored inks to help foil counterfeiting.
The use of color increases the expense and time
required to produce counterfeits. With the advent
of laser printer these two methods are not as
effective as the use to be.
notes are also produced with perfect registry.
This is were a design on the front will align
perfectly with the design on the back. The French
are true masters of this art and beautiful examples
of this can be seen many French notes, the facial
parts of the portrait align perfectly front
and Ultraviolet Properties
These features can only be seen under UV lighting.
compounds can be combined with anything to give
it fluorescent properties. It can be combined
with the treads, security dots, security strip,
counterfeiting of money is one of the oldest
crimes in history. At some periods in early
history, it was considered treasonous and was
punishable by death.
Today, counterfeiting is still a prosperous
trade. Rashes of fake bills, usually all of
the same denomination (face value), will hit
on of the major cities and are usually traced
to a single source. Modern counterfeits are
nearly all photomechanical, and therefore do
not carry the mistakes of engraving
fibers embedded throughout some banknotes like
those in US dollars. Counterfeiters try to simulate
these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines
on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however,
that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed
on the surface, not embedded in the paper. However
counterfeiters use a process called raising
which is the process of bleaching or chemically
treating a note to remove the ink and then printing
a higher denomination on genuine paper.
genuine paper currency is sometimes altered
in an attempt to increase its face value. One
common method is to glue numerals from higher
denomination notes to the corners of lower denomination
coins are stamped out by special machinery.
Most counterfeit coins are made by pouring liquid
metal into molds or dies which often leaves
die marks, such as cracks or pimples of metal
on the counterfeit coin.
coins are made to simulate rare coins which
to fool coin collectors. This can be done by
altering genuine coins to increase their monetary
value. The most common changes are the removal,
addition, or alteration of the coin's date or
Note Detectors :
A good detection device for counterfeit
money like the ones on the left should check
different properties of banknotes
Paper currency reacts to the chemical
solution on the pen detector. The mark
on genuine bills will turn yellow. If
the mark turns dark, the bill is suspect.
However this does not work on all currencies.
The magnifier allows for the examination
micro-printing (small print) and special
marks on bills and documents. These marks
are extremely difficult to duplicate by
Real bills under ultraviolet rays usually
absorb the UV light and will show special
marks made with fluorescent ink. Most
counterfeit bills will reflect the UV
light, indicating a counterfeit.
Many bills, such as US Dollars, Sterling
Pounds, Italian Liras, Venezuelan Bolivars,
etc., as well as Traveler's Checks and
Credit Cards, use magnetic ink as security
features against counterfeiters.
A genuine banknote shows watermarks and/or
special lines inside. A counterfeit bill
or document will show marks and/or lines.
If there are marks and/or lines, they
will be of poor quality impression and
will not be well positioned in the bill.