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Glosario de términos


  • Iridescent stripe

    5€, 10€ and 20€ notes have a vertical band printed on their reverse in iridescent ink which changes colour depending on the viewing angle and the angle of illumination. The iridescent stripe makes it easier for the general public to authenticate their banknotes.

  • Intaglio printing
    A form of raised printing. It is performed with a flat, steel plate which contains an image on which the parts that must have ink are etched by hand or mechanically. The low reliefs are filled with a high viscous ink. The surface is cleaned of ink and the plate is applied to the paper at very high pressure. This transfers the ink from the spaces in the plate to the paper. The image is characterised for its raised nature, produced by a combination of the permanent deformation of the paper and a thick layer of ink. On banknotes, the main motif is printed by intaglio printing. Several elements on the obverse of euro banknotes are printed by intaglio printing.
  • Intaglio scanning and recognition device
    An optical detection system capable of determining the presence of intaglio printing on a banknote.
  • Intaglio printing
    This is the printing of raised images on a print substrate. During calcographic printing, the substrate (which can be paper) is printed at high pressure to produce a relief image on it. On euro banknotes, there are several calcographic elements; for example, the face value of the note.
  • Ink jet printer
    A printer that places droplets of ink onto the paper to create the image to be reproduced.
  • Interpol
    The name by which the International Criminal Police Organisation is known. Its origin dates back to 1923. Its action extends to all kinds of breach of law, particularly those related to drug and gold trafficking, counterfeiting and capturing criminals in a foreign country. Police from most of the countries in the world participate in Interpol. The European Central Bank has signed a collaboration agreement with Interpol to fight against the counterfeiting of euro banknotes.
  • Invalidation
    Process by which a central bank transforms the banknotes it considers unsuitable for circulation into non-valid.
  • Iridescence
    "The brightness of a material, that produces a change of colour depending on the angle of vision and of the illumination. The name comes from the Greek iris which means rainbow. In this context the expression ""optically variable"" is also used. Iridescence is based on light diffraction and interference."
  • Inseparable colour pairs
    Two colours which, individually and at first sight, are different, but on being printed side-by-side cannot be told apart. They are difficult to separate when attempting to reproduce them using conventional photographic techniques. They look identical when photocopied. Some banknotes use inseparable colour pairs as security elements.
  • Infrared properties
    The properties of a material which can only be read under infrared light (long wavelength). Euro banknotes specifically incorporate infrared properties.
  • Iridescent ink

    Ink with fluctuating shine and colour depending on the viewing angle and lighting. In this respect, iridescent inks differ from typical printing inks, which have a shine and colour that is the same regardless of the viewing angle or lighting. Iridescent inks are useful for banknote security because their optical effect cannot be imitated by colour copiers. There are various types of iridescent ink: Metallic ink, pearlescent ink and optically variable ink.