ColourShift Special

Growing demand for ColourShift

Within just a few years, ColourShift security threads have become one of the best-selling products on the highly competitive market for security features. Louisenthal is highlighting sales success stories and the future potential of the technology at the Currency Conference in Athens this week.

Attractiveness and functionality

ColourShift security threads are characterized by a high level of attractiveness and functionality: The threads change color like a chameleon, e.g. from magenta to green or from green to gold, depending on the viewing angle. Their brilliant colors make the optically variable threads easily identifiable. Security threads are an important security element because of their high awareness level among the population; an intuitive recognition and elegant design integration make the thread even more attractive.

High hurdle for counterfeiters

Since ColourShift threads were first developed almost ten years ago, Louisenthal has incorporated these features in banknotes denominated in 20 different national currencies. ColourShift threads are classified as level-1 security features, in other words they are easily recognizable by the untrained eye, enabling also members of the public to verify the authenticity of banknotes. However, they are complex to manufacture and cannot be produced without special equipment. This poses a high hurdle for counterfeiters. In addition, the ColourShift threads can be supplemented with transparent text areas – Cleartext – and other hidden features, such as features with magnetic properties, in order to be also mechanically checkable. ColourShift and the combined ColourShift/ColourFix solutions allow central banks to implement up to six different color-change options and to integrate the threads seamlessly into their banknote designs.
Global demand for the optically variable security threads has been increasing exponentially since 2008, with a corresponding increase in production output. To meet this demand, Louisenthal has invested in several new production machines and plans to inaugurate the latest extension to its security foil plant in early July 2013.


Security through high-tech

ColourShift security foils are manufactured in several successive stages with different technologies. Main step of the production is the metallization of the thread, when the entire foil is coated with several layers of metal using a vacuum deposition process, which define the later color-changing features (using a special thin film technology). The de-metallization process on defined positions allows the original text or a graphical element to be read when the banknote is held up against the light. The magnetic coding for MultiCode is created in a following step. Louisenthal offers individual coding solutions that enable central banks and private banking institutions for example to distinguish between banknotes of all different denominations.

RollingStar: ColourShift goes dynamic

The latest Louisenthal product, the RollingStar security thread, is also based on ColourShift technology but with the addition of dynamic effects. The industry has shown a great deal of interest in the new security thread, and the first projects are already underway in various countries. More information on these projects will be made public in the coming months. At the Currency Conference in Athens, Louisenthal is showing all the banknotes featuring ColourShift security threads that have been produced so far.

In order to represent and showcase the diversity of issued banknotes equipped with ColourShift, Louisenthal shows genuine banknotes, grouped them according to country and date of issue, and suspended them like leaves hanging from the branches of a tree. Since the best way of appreciating the ColourShift effect is by varying the angle of the light falling on the banknotes, i.e. by turning them in different directions, the tree installation allows each banknote to be detached and examined individually.