Central Bank of Swaziland
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Educational: Counterfeit detection guide FOR EMALANGENI (SZL)

Counterfeit, fake or forged banknotes or coins are illegal reproductions of genuine banknotes or coin through unauthorised or criminal activities. Counterfeit notes (counterfeit bills) are prevalent in any environment where money is exchanged.

Members of the public are advised that they must accept counterfeits or suspected counterfeits, fake or forged banknotes or coin for payment for goods or services or as change. They must report such banknotes or coin in their possession or with suspected dealers, to the nearest Police Station or to the Central Bank of Swaziland.

Members of the public are advised that they can differentiate a counterfeit, fake or forged banknote from a genuine banknote using the three concepts of note examination (LOOK, FEEL, TILT), by examining the following banknote features:

Paper Feel - A genuine banknote has a rough surface, whereas a counterfeit normally has a smoother surface.

Colour - A counterfeit, fake or forged banknote colour invariably does not exactly match the colours of a genuine banknote. The colours of a counterfeit may be too dark or too light due to a lack of proper equipment or professionalism in adjustment of the colour codes in the devices used.

Security Thread - The security thread is a metal-looking strip positioned vertically, slightly away from the centre of the banknote. When viewed from the front, the strip appears broken, but when viewed from the back it appears continuous. The strip has “CENTRAL BANK OF SWAZILAND” printed in it, which can be seen when viewed from the back or front. The colour of the strip changes from bright green to bright pink when tilted in the high denominations of E50, E100 and E200. In the lower denominations the security thread is silver, smaller and does not colour shift.

Watermark - The water mark, which can be viewed more clearly by holding the banknote up to a lit background, is a mould-made three-dimensional watermark that shows the portrait of His Majesty, with a highlighted necklace.

Intaglio Printing (Raised Printing) - Intaglio Printing is used on specific sections of the banknotes as a very effective security feature. The Intaglio print feels rough quite unlike other sections of the note, which are smooth. The following features are printed in Intaglio and have the rough feeling.

Front of the note

  • Kings Portrait
  • Features for the visually impaired
  • Large text printed in the centre of the note, in capital letters reading “CENTRAL BANK OF SWAZILAND” and the small text print in red below it.
  • The banknote value printed in words and in numbers on the far left.

The South African Rand is accepted as legal tender in the country and is pegged 1:1 to the Lilangeni. More details on the ZAR can be obtained on the SARB website.