New notes put a premium on features against forgery

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 October, 2004, 12:00am

Upgraded $20, $50 and $1,000 bills are going into circulation today

New banknotes in three denominations - $20, $50 and $1,000 - go into circulation today.

The bills will be available at all branches of the three note-issuing banks - Bank of China, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC.

The three denominations complete a new series of notes, with the first two denominations of $100 and $500 having been in circulation since December. All existing banknotes will continue to be legal tender.

The $20 note comes in a standardised blue, the colour of the $50 bill has been changed from violet to green, while the $1,000 note remains yellowish-gold. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the three note-issuing banks earlier rejected concerns that people could be confused by the green colours of the new $50 notes and the old $10 bills, saying they were a different size and design.

The new notes contain both improved and standardised security features to keep ahead of counterfeiters, making them more difficult to forge.

They include a holographic thread, iridescent images of the bauhinia flower and a bar code visible under ultraviolet light.

The new features include a denomination numeral which changes colour between gold and green when viewed from different angles.

These additions bolster existing security measures, which include highlighted watermarks, a security thread and invisible fluorescent fibres.

Leaflets explaining and illustrating the notes' new security features are available from branches of the note-issuing banks and the Monetary Authority.

The information is also available on the authority's website at, and the websites of the issuing banks at, for the Bank of China, www. and