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
Security features on banknotes issued since 2011
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