History of money forgery: origins and our days

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History of money forgery: origins and our days Fake, counterfeit or forgery: all these things describe coins and banknotes made as imitation of original money and misrepresented as the genuine coins or banknotes. Since has been invented money, people have tried to reproduce it illegally and use it for their own earnings.

First forgeries of the earliest Greek coins were done by covering a core of coin with a stratum of a precious metal named electrum (gold and silver), so that they resembled genuine coins. The process of covering a less precious metal (such as iron or copper) with electrum is known as plating. Throughout history plating has been one of the most widely known ways of creating a forgery.

Another method of faking coins was so-called casting. Professional counterfeiters would use an authentic coin or metal to make a mould, which they would then mix with molten iron. When this mix had cooled and hardened, it forms a veritable imitation of the genuine coin.

The authorities who edited money officially have always had to find new ways of avoiding the forgers, and making money by the time became the real art. The introduction of machines was important to this aspect of the process of production, as it resulted in coins of more concrete and standardized shape and design. Decorated edges, such as those on silver sovereign coins, were sufficient improvement in the prevention of forgery. As milling is hard to imitate well enough, it also protects against counterfeits.

First banknotes also had simple design and in most cases included black and white signs that were relatively easy for qualified calligraphers to forge. Owing to this, more detailed images and signs were included which were more laborious to imitate.

Nowadays paper banknotes have very detailed, complex and colourful ornamentation. Metallic security threads, luminescent and ink holograms are just some of the signs which are very difficult to imitate and it all helps successful to prevent forgery.

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