In November 2010 Peru was named the Counterfeit Cash Capital of the World. Quite surely nothing the country can be proud of; rather an indicator that you might be confronted with fake money while in Peru. Therefore we highly recommend getting familiar with the Peruvian banknotes (also the coins – there are even fake coins in circulation, mainly with the higher nominations of S/. 2 and S/. 5) and their standard security features.
Be aware as there are quite a number of counterfeit US$ notes in circulation!
The modern Peruvian currency, the Nuevo Sol, has been in circulation from 1991 and since then the banknotes have undergone a couple of improvements making forgeries more difficult while recognizing counterfeits more easily. With this not being enough in June 2011 completely new S/. 10 and S/. 20 and in August 2011 new S/. 50, S/. 100 and S/. 200 bills have been put into circulation. The new Peruvian Nuevo Sol banknotes combine the latest international security features of modern banknotes with Peru's rich cultural patrimony.
Have a look at our extensive overview of: Current Peruvian Banknotes
For the moment both types of Nuevos Soles banknotes are valid, legal tender and in circulation simultaneously!
Every time we get a banknote we observe it with greater or lesser attention. It mostly depends on the value (higher value, longer observation), the situation or from whom we might be getting it. The modern Peruvian banknotes (old and new!) have all similar security features and therefore verifying the authenticity of a 200 Nuevos Soles bill doesn't take longer and isn't more difficult than for a 10 Nuevos Soles one.
As you might not be familiar with the Peruvian money the biggest question will be on what details you should concentrate and how to differentiate a real from a fake bill. With the introduction of the Euro there as globally has been the implementation of a very simple concept: Feel, Look & Tilt. For the last few years this concept is also promoted by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru. Below we explain this concept in general. On the corresponding pages you find detailed descriptions for each Peruvian banknote and its security features; of course with numerous pictures making sure you exactly know what to concentrate on and where to look.
The three simple steps of Feel, Look & Tilt can easily be applied to all Peruvian Nuevo Sol Banknotes, old and new!
Security features on banknotes issued until 2011
The watermark displays the image of the personality with multitone and three dimensional features.
Around the personality on the banknote is a shadow created by using micro lettering of the word PERU (Banknotes issued before 2011).
The security thread is a plastic strip that is inserted into the paper. Hold the banknote up to a light source and the text PERU 20 will appear crisp without any irregularities (Banknotes issued before 2011).
When tilting the banknote up/down a reflective stripe becomes visible partially covering the face of the personality. Within the strip appear repeatedly the 20 (value) and BCRP (Banco Central Reserva Peru) - for Banknotes issued before 2011.
On the front there is a circle, actually an Inca design depicting the head of a Puma. On the back there is a ring and the center part is white. Holding the banknote up to a light source both images should line-up perfectly (Banknotes issued before 2011).
Under the writing "Banco Central de Reserva del Perú" (top left corner) is a line created with micro lettering (repeatedly the text: BANCO CENTRAL DE RESERVA DEL PERU) for Banknotes issued before 2011.
By placing the banknote horizontally in front of the eye, start tilting it up/down. The value of 100 should appear (Banknotes issued before 2011).
Below the National Emblem (right side) is the value of the banknote printed with optical variable ink. By placing the banknote horizontally in front of the eye, start tilting it up/down. The 100 changes from fuchsia to gold-green (Banknotes issued before 2011).
By using a magnifying glass the micro lettering PERU should appear repeatedly in the number 200 (bill value) - for Banknotes issued before 2011.
Security features on banknotes issued since 2011
Hold the banknote up to a light source and the area free of prints will be displaying the watermark. The watermark on the S/. 10 bill shows the image of José Abelardo Quiñones Gonzáles, the 10 and an airplane. The watermark has multi-tone and three dimensional features giving you the impression of three distinct areas. Furthermore the watermark is formed by different thicknesses in the paper so it appears sharp and clear. On fake banknotes the watermark is printed on, looks blurry and lacks the appearance of the multi-dimensional image.
All new Nuevos Soles banknotes have the on first sight invisible security feature of micro-lettering. Only when using a magnifying glass you can read the prints. Look at the detailed description of all features in the below summery...
The security stripe is inserted into the paper and can only be seen when holding the bill up to a light source. Then you can as well easily read the text PERU 20 on the stripe and if you have really good eyesight under it three times BRCP (or with a magnifying glass). The text appears clear without any irregularities.
All new Nuevos Soles banknotes have the on first sight invisible security feature of micro-lettering. Only when using a magnifying glass you can read the prints. Look at the detailed description of all features in the below summary...
Hold the banknote comfortably in both hands and concentrate on the big 50 left of the image of the personality. Bop the note slowly a little bit up and down. As the 50 is printed with an optical variable ink (OVI) it changes its color from pink to green when slightly turned. This security feature is really easy to identify, but very difficult to counterfeit. Therefore on faked bills you won't see any color changes.
When you closely look at the S/. 50 bill you can see small grey to green fibers spread over the banknote (best discovered at the area free of print where the watermark is). When you place the banknote under UV light these fibers appear red or blue.
Have a look at the upper left corner. There you can see the incomplete number 100, parts are printed in pink. Turn the note and you find on the upper right corner again the incomplete number 100, this time parts are printed in light blue. Hold the banknote up to a light source and the pink parts from the front and the light blue parts from the back complete the number 100 perfectly.
Additionally to above mentioned fibers there are lots of other security features one can unfortunately only see under UV light. On the front of the S/. 100 banknote on Jorge Basadre Grohmann chin the word BCRP appears under UV light. On the back of the S/. 100 banknote on the image of the Gran Pajatén three times BCRP100 emerge. And the nice light blue ceramic on the left changes its color to two fluorescent colors, pink and blue, under UV light.
Hold the banknote horizontally in front of your eyes and concentrate on the nun's veil. Bop the bill slowly a little bit up and down. If you can find the right angle, the number 200 will appear.
What should you feel? First of all it's important to mention that the Peruvian money is printed on "paper" made from 100% cotton, which gives the banknote a unique texture and much more resistance than ordinary paper.
Another thing you can feel are details printed with the intaglio technique (calcographic printing). This is the printing of raised images or relief printing. By passing your fingers over certain areas of the bill you can feel a relief image on it. On the old Peruvian Nuevo Sol banknotes this feature can be felt for example at the printed name of the Central Reserve Bank and the National Emblem; on the new ones at the collar left of the personalities head and right of the goggles at the ornaments. Be aware that age and wear can negate some of these properties.
For more easy palpable security features please check out the corresponding pages of each nomination. Here you find numerous pictures showing exactly where you can feel what.
What should you look at? Hold the banknote up to a light source and the area free of prints will be displaying the watermark. This is a basic security feature that most currencies worldwide possess. The Peruvian Nuevo Sol watermark shows the image of the personality of that particular bill and the nomination; the new bills additionally a for the personality characteristic item. The watermark has multi-tone and three dimensional features giving you the impression of two (on the new bills three) distinct areas. Furthermore the watermark is formed by different thicknesses in the paper so it appears sharp and clear. On fake banknotes the watermark is printed on, looks blurry and lacks the appearance of the multi-dimensional image.
Another easy visible security feature is the in the paper inserted security stripe. Holding the banknote up to a light source you can read on the security stripe of all old Peruvian Nuevo Sol bills the word "PERU" and the nomination; this feature is only implemented in the new S/. 10, S/. 20 and S/. 50 banknotes.
For more easy visible security features have a look at the corresponding pages of each nomination. Here you also find numerous pictures showing exactly what to look at.
How can you "tilt" a banknote and what should you look at while doing so? There are security features that require the slight tilting of the bill so you can see them. Hold the banknote horizontally in front of your eyes and bop it slowly a little bit up and down. The nomination (in the middle right on the old Peruvian Nuevo Sol bills; left of the image of the personality on the new bills) is printed with an optical variable ink (OVI) that changes its color when slightly turned. This security feature is really easy to identify, but very difficult to counterfeit. Therefore on faked bills you won't see any color changes.
On all old and new Peruvian Nuevo Sol bills you can also discover a hidden number and only on the new S/. 100 and S/. 200 bills moving fish when tilting.
Confused? Check out our corresponding pages for each nomination. Here you find detailed explanations and various pictures showing exactly what you have to do to see the special effects: Current Peruvian Banknotes