Following the announcement by the central bank of a deployment of upgraded banknotes in May, Head of Communications at the Bank of Ghana, Esi Hammond says the upgrade was needed for the currency to be ahead of counterfeiters.
She said Ghana had not upgraded her currency notes since 2007 noting there’s been technological advancement which requires Ghana to build “the durability of her currency.”
“When counterfeiters copy the designs of our notes, we must be able to print with unique attributes,” she submitted adding “the bank notes will come with improved durability, machine readability while meeting international standards.”
Curiously however she was unable to explain to Joy News the cost of the exercise.
She said, “…I wouldn’t know that, what I’m concerned about at the moment is to bring to you the fact that we are going to bring to you something more durable that meets best practices at the moment. I don’t know how much it’s going to cost but in line with what we do we have to make sure we are giving you good notes in line with our good or clean note policy.”
Parts of the improved features include:
1) An optically variable magnetic image, also known as “SPARK LIVE.” The enhancement is a glossy, colour-changing image of the cowrie shell currently on the GHc10. On the GHc20 note, a shiny star will appear, and on GHc50, a glistening cocoa pod. When the note is tilted, a high-polished line will stretch across each image that will move up and down and change colour from gold to green.
2) A new security thread (RAPID) will be an illuminated broken line that runs horizontally through the note. When tilted, the star will expand and contract while the denomination value stays in place.
3) A more prominent watermark will appear. It will be the image of the Ghanaian agriculturalist Tetteh Quarshie and a cocoa pod. Against light, the watermark will appear transparently on both sides of the note.
4) A polished gold band with gold bars on the back will be printed on the new banknotes. The iridescent band will stretch from top to bottom and will become visible when held against light.