Optimising the Visualisation of Security Thread in Banknotes

Project Owner:

Description of new feature or product

With the creation of the $50 CRISP Evolution series banknote, the Central Bank of The Bahamas wanted to push the boundaries of what had been done before. One matter was combining Durasafe® with Crane’s RAPID® thread, which had never been done, and required some intense work to achieve. The banknote was designed and the project managed by Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited who worked with Landqart’s designers to find a way to get the most out of the thread and substrate combination for the general public who would use the note. The outgoing $50 banknote had a series of small windows to show the thread; for the new note, in order not to lose the new thread in the design, a single, 36mm tall window was used – nearly half the height of the banknote – and the longest thread window ever seen in a banknote.

The manufacturing process of Durasafe®, anchors the reverse of the thread to one of the paper layers and obverse to the polymer layer, essentially encapsulating it between the two materials. The second layer of paper is cut away during manufacturing to show the thread. This technique, and the strength supplied by the paper-polymer combination allows for windows of virtually any height to added to the design, increasing the amount of thread that is visible to the public without compromising its security.

Issuer and Denominations

The Central Bank of the Bahamas, CRISP Evolution $50 (regular circulation)

Date of Issue or Release

October 3rd, 2019

Countr(ies) where implemented



This technique of encapsulating the thread in the polymer, and of making thread windows is unique to the Durasafe® process; only this process allows for windows of this size to be used without compromising the security of the note, its durability, or risking the thread falling out of the substrate. Further, by encapsulating it in the polymer, a thread such as RAPID® is rendered unusable if someone tries to remove it from the substrate.

Improved security

Encapsulating the thread means it is more firmly anchored into the substrate than when thread is inserted to regular banknote paper, so it is less likely to be damaged or fall out during regular usage. Consequently, there is less risk of misfeeds or misreads when using banknote acceptors or processing equipment.

When using a thread such as RAPID®, any attempt to remove the thread eliminates the movement and depth effect, so the thread cannot be re-used, and tampering is rapidly evident.

Using large windows greatly increases the visibility of the visual effect of the thread, be it movement, colour shift, or diffractive images, which greatly aids public recognition, the first line of defence against counterfeiting.

Feedback from Stakeholders, Including the General Public

The feedback about the banknote has been very positive, with people writing into the Bank to congratulate them on the new note, and positive impromptu commentary in the media about the new design and features.
Technically, the note has fulfulled the Bank’s objective of pushing the boundaries of the technology that was available, and creating something new and different. For the stakeholders involved in creating the combination, it sets a benchmark for presenting a security thread to the general public, and opens up new design options which, until now, had never been explored to such strong effect.

Awards | Technical Awards 2020


Best New Currency Feature or Product