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How to differentiate a genuine Sh1000 note from a counterfeit one

By Vincent Kejitan | Sep 26th 2019 | 2 min read

The deadline for submitting the old Sh1000 notes is September 30, 2019, and the Central Bank of Kenya has urged Kenyans to be careful since there are many counterfeit notes in circulation.

There are a number of simple steps to ensure you have the genuine notes.

Each genuine banknote incorporates a number of security features that make the counterfeiting of the currency notes extremely difficult. The following are public security features to be checked by each member of the public:

Portrait Watermark A three-dimensional portrait of a lion’s head can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark has a three-dimensional appearance with areas in varying tones of dark and light. Below the watermark is the value numeral of the banknote. This number can be seen when the note is held up to the light. Both the portrait and value numeral depict some brightness when held up to the light.

Serial Numbers The serial numbering style is asymmetrical and has progressively larger digits in adjacent positions. One set of serial numbers appears horizontally, the other vertically. The vertical serial numbers on the left hand side of banknotes glow under UV light

See Through Feature Each of the banknotes has a see-through feature that forms a perfect complete elephant when held up to the light. When looked at from one side, the image does not form any recognisable feature until held up to the light.

Security Thread All genuine banknotes have a distinct interwoven thread running vertically down the right hand side of the notes. When held up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous line and it shows a series of text featuring the denomination numeral of the note and the letters CBK. The current generation of banknotes features two types of threads:

  • For the 1000 and 500 shillings denominations, the thread is thicker and portrays a colour shift when viewed at angles.
  • The 50, 100 and 200 shilling denominations have a thinner thread, silver in colour, and do not depict any colour shifts when viewed at angles.

According to CEO of Kenya Bankers Association Habil Olaka, Kenyans are still able to trade in their old notes from any commercial bank before close of business on September 30.

“If one has a million shillings or less, they can be able to walk into any bank and change the money,” he said.

“However, if they have more than a million then it’s advised to exchange the notes at the bank they bank with, if not they are to seek clearance from CBK,” he said.

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