Counterfeits are a threat to the circulation of genuine Kenyan currency.
Security features in currency notes act as a deterrent and safeguard to minimise the risk of counterfeiting. We encourage the public to be aware of the available security features incorporated in genuine currency notes and to be able to distinguish between genuine and fake notes.
Each genuine banknote incorporates a number of security features which makes 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 the banknote glows under UV light
- See Through FeatureEach of the banknotes has a see through feature which forms a perfect complete elephant when held up to the light. When looked at from one side, the image does not form any recognizable feature unless when looked at 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.
– Central Bank of Kenya