IHMA Praises New UK Banknotes with Holograms


SUNBURY, UK | The International Hologram Manufacturers Assn. (IHMA) reports on new polymer banknotes that have been introduced by the Bank of England. The polymer banknotes will be made from a thin, transparent and flexible film made of polypropylene which will be coated with a lacquer layer that enables it to carry the printed design features of the banknote. This will allow the inclusion of windows or clear portions in the design, used to provide enhanced protection and featuring holograms for verification and anti-counterfeiting purposes. 

The bank will begin phasing in £5 polymer notes from 2016 after a period of public consultation. New £10 notes will follow as the old cotton fiber and linen rag banknotes are removed from circulation and destroyed.

The IHMA says that other countries such as Canada have been using polymer banknotes featuring holograms successfully for many years, and if the UK banknotes utilize the same technology as the new Canadian ones, it is another example of how holography continues to evolve as the leading security feature for notes.

“Holography is an effective weapon in the battle to thwart banknote counterfeiters and fraudsters,” says Ian Lancaster, IHMA’s general secretary, “and it has evolved to become an important feature of modern banknotes. The Canadian banknotes are a great example of this evolution and illustrate some of the best and most technically innovative holograms on banknotes, which can work specifically with the window the polymer substrate offers to deliver real added value solutions. In fact, this is such an effective feature that paper banknotes are now being developed which have a polymer window.”

IHMA also points out that, with the annual global volume of banknotes produced being in excess of 125 billion, the reward for hologram producers capable of providing the technology to overcome the technical challenges is potentially highly lucrative.


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