A couple of days back, one of my friends was generous enough to give me a new version of the Philippine Twenty Peso Bill during one of our batch reunions. I was even lucky enough to receive a note that has a quite interesting serial number, something that looks like this:
On the way home, I remembered seeing an article about the rebuffed security measures in producing these new notes. Being the naturally curious guy that I always am, I couldn't help but to wonder if there's anything else in this note that cannot be seen with the naked eye, save for the UV marking, of course. So, with my crisp bill in my hands, I decided to place it under a nano-microscope.... or rather, my camera, fitted with my AF-S Nikkor 35mm. f/1.8G lens, and a set of extension tubes. ;)
At first glance, the note does look like your ordinary note, with some rearrangements of the usual parts that one would find in a regular note, like the placement of the serial number, the watermarks, or the signatures for that matter. Some new elements are there as well, like the presence of two Palm Civets at the back of the note, both drawn realistically and, um, Pokemonically... Hehe... (I also couldn't help but to notice, that Quezon here seemed to have, um, taken a few years off his face.) ^_^
The characters, specifically, the numbers, are prominently embossed, mayhap to help the blind to identify the bills, as we can see in this shot:
Going for a closer inspection, led me to this little detail that I found in the leftmost side of the bill:
These signatures, meticulously placed amidst the background pattern, are of those involved in the 1935 Constitution of the Philippines. I'm not sure, but I think I counted at least 30 signatures in this small side alone. Fascinating.
These are all nice and intricate details in preserving the security of the bill. But so far, these are only things that can be seen by the unaided eye. What really impressed me is that they've placed these on the notes:
At the bottom of the bill, there's the word "Pilipinas" in yellow, followed by what appears to be a string of "BSP20" characters, which stands for "Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas", or the Central Bank of the Philippines. However, these can still be barely seen by the naked eye. The next photo shows a detail that I didn't notice until the bill went under the lens:
At the top of the bill are the underlined words "Republika ng Pilipinas". However, that's not just a simple line there; it's actually a string of the characters "BSP20" as seen from the previous photo. Only this time, it's invisible to the naked eye.
Here's a closer-than-close-up shot of the string of characters... (actually I'm just showing off my macro capabilities at this point... ^_^)
Nice no? :)
Because of this, I'm already excited at grabbing a crisp copy of each new bill to be released in the near future. Who knows what little surprises I'd be able to find there...? ;)