Book Review: Heads You Win

How to identify a pre-2005 fake 500 rupee note?

Ok, I don't have the answer and hence this post.

It was a Sunday morning - the second Sunday of the month.  Our milk supplier had come to collect the money for the previous month.  He was followed by the newspaper supplier.

I did not have change and gave him a Rs.500/-  The newspaper agent looked at the note for a few minutes and said, "Can you give me another note?"

"Why?" asked I.

"It is a fake".

"A fake?  How can it be fake?  I hardly do cash transactions and if at all I get any cash, it is from the ATM machine." thought I.

He showed me the back of the note and pointed to the absence of the year of printing.

"Yes, I see that.  That is because it was printed before 2005", said I, aware of the recent RBI directive to stop honouring pre-2005 notes.

He showed the note against the light and pointed out to the absence of watermark.   I did not know how to counter.

He said he will take the note, but return it to me, if there was "any problem".  He also added that fake notes were in circulation now that the elections were near.

Now my curiosity was aroused?  How do I detect a fake note?   That too one printed before 2005?

RBI website has detailed instructions on how to detect a fake note printed after 2005.  But what about notes before 2005?

I had another Rs.500/- note, which was similar to the one I had given the milk guy. I wanted to know whether it was fake or not.  After considerable googling, I hit upon this link, again from RBI, which details the security features in pre-2005 notes.  I think my note passed, though I could not verify some of them correctly.

I guess it is now important to check notes before taking them, wherever it is.  Or better still, avoid using notes.  One place I still do is petrol bunks (for my two wheeler)!