Observations on Thai banknotes

Banknote Production and Security Features

“Banknotes are legal tender for all debts, public and private” Therefore, in order to maintain its reliability as Medium of Exchange, “banknotes” are to be produced with particularly anti-counterfeit features. Banknote patterns are specially designed with distinctive characteristics in the hope that people can easily recognize.


Three easy-to-follow methods to distinguish genuine national banknotes from counterfeit ones include FEEL, LOOK and TILT.



a)   The Banknote Paper

The Banknote Paper is made of special paper manufactured from cotton fiber which makes it tougher and more durable. The thickness of each banknote denomination is differentiated allowing the distinctively tactile feel to the touch.




b)  Intaglio Ink

This happens when the specially designed printing press comes into contact with the banknote paper and the ink is forcibly drawn from the plate onto the paper under very high pressure. This process, called Intaglio, results in raised print and produces high quality clearly defined images. Intaglio printing is suitable for printing some areas requiring raised print such as the portrait of His Majesty the King or the numbers identifying value.

Raised prints can be easily sensed in the area of the numerals indicating value up in the right corner and the letters ‘Thai Government’. The letters identifying value on the front side allows distinctively tactile feel to the touch more than any other areas.




a)   Watermark

H.M. the King’s portrait watermark is observed on the right side when the banknote is held against the light. The portrait majestically rests with small watermark of Lai Thai as well as other translucent watermark including Lai Dok Jok, Lai Dok Loi, Lai Prajam Yam and Phum Khow Bin depending on each banknote denomination.

b)  Security Thread (Metallic Color Thread)

On the left side of each banknote denomination is vertically put a metal color thread. When holding the note against the light, small translucent numerals and letters indicating value become visible from both sides of the note.

For 500 and 1000 Baht denominations, the metallic color security thread are visible at intervals on the back side. But when the banknote is held against the light, the whole security thread are visible as well as the translucent numerals and letters indicating value.




c) See – Through Register

Such feature, a completed front and back registered design, is printed by a specially designed printing press at the dry offset printing stage. This printing press is able to print color patterns on both sides of the sheets simultaneously, which can be seen by viewing the design against the light.


a) Optically Variable Intaglio Ink

Indicating values, printed with special ink, at the upright corners of 500 and 1000-Baht banknotes are optically variable when viewing at different angels. For 1000-Baht denomination, the upper area of numeral “1000” is optically gold, while the lower part is green. However, the Arabic numeral indicating “1000” changes into green when the lower edge of the note is flipped. In the same way, the Arabic numeral indicating denomination “500” changes from green into violet when the lower edge is flipped.




b)   Metallic Hologram Foil stripe

On the front side of 100, 500 and 1000 Baht denominations, metallic hologram foil stripe is vertically embedded in the left ot the note. Such foil stripe with indicating values can be seen in different reflecting colors and in various dimensions, when the note is flipped back and forth and viewed at different angles.




c) Latent Numbers

The hidden Arabic numerals in the elaborate patterned are on the lower left corner of every banknote. These latent numbers can be seen when the note is viewed from the lower left corner towards the middle part of the note.




4. Banknote Examination Using Device

 a) Magnifying Glass

Tiny numerals and letters can be worked into designs and printed by both the intaglio and litho printing processes. They are readable with the aid of a magnifying glass.




b) Ultraviolet Lamp

The special luminescent characteristics which appear under ultraviolet light ;

  • The invisible fibers scattering in the pale blue paper will luminesce into blue, red and yellow. 
  • The red alphabetical codes and serial numbers will luminesce into orange.
  • The background design will luminesce into different colors, depending on denominations.