In the past several decades, the governments of many nations have redesigned their paper currency to incorporate the use of attractive color schemes. This has been done mainly to achieve a greater level of security against counterfeiting, and the brilliant color combinations seen today in paper money is only part of an overall attempt to make paper money difficult to reproduce illegally. Very detailed construction of the printing templates is combined with the insertion of special watermarks and hidden thread weaves to produce a finished product that is unique to each country.
Inks Used To Produce Various Colors
Special oils and ink extenders are used to print paper money. These inks have changed over the years, and in many countries the formulas are closely guarded secrets. Natural inks from the wings of butterflies were once commonly used, but today most of the inks are vegetable based. Usually a specialty ink is applied first, and then after drying, the bill is covered with one or more secondary colors with a more standard variety of printers ink. The incredible color combinations seen on many currencies is the result of modern imaging technology that allows for certain pigment selections to be overlaid while still maintaining the proper color contrast. This is part of the general plan to create a bill that is virtually impossible to forge, especially considering the fact that the color scheme is detailed even upon high magnification. Hidden among all these brilliant colors are the security threads. Watermarks can be added before or after the final ink is applied; the option results in a number of ways in which the mark will appear.
Colors Seen In Todays Currencies
Although the United States currency is probably the most recognized paper money in the world, its design has only recently been updated to reflect the governments concern for added security measures. Many other countries have already perfected their contemporary styles, and the result has been a profusion of colorful bills. Some nations prefer a contrast of two main colors, while others have as many as five pigments in each paper. Switzerland is a prime example; it involves several shades of blue, a sort of sea green, yellow, red and brown. Other countries like Brazil tend to use a dominant color according to the varying denominations. The Brazilian Real is mostly green, while the 2 reais bill is dominated by the color blue. This is followed by purple, red and yellow for the 5, 10, and 20 reais bills. In many countries, the actual design of the currency itself has been revamped to include not only the likeness of political figures but also certain animals native to the region. The colors of these bills are often decided upon so as to bring out the image of the person or creature in a prominent, attractive manner.
All of this is possible because of the advancements made in imaging and digital photography. These outstanding works of art are of course cash money, and whenever it becomes possible to create something newer and better than before, the realization is that the thieves and counterfeiters are only a step or two behind. All colorful currencies used around the world today have the same dual purpose, and that is to provide security while at the same time making the paper itself easily recognizable to the public.