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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Tien Nguyen
  • Director Lippy
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Did you know that the Secret Service is in charge of investigating currency fraud? Yes, the same Secret Service known for black sunglasses and protecting the President. The Secret Service’s original mandate was to combat the rise of counterfeiting. Thirty years went by before the Secret Service started offering protective services, beginning with President Grover Cleveland in 1894.

Take a look at some money you may have in your pocket. Does it feel like paper? Can you see any lines? Visit the U.S. Currency: Know Your Money and find out the latest measures taken to protect against counterfeit bills. The tips to catch a counterfeiter described in the lesson are most likely to catch only amateur counterfeiters. Think you can detect a counterfeit bill? Find out for sure! Visit these PBS NOVA site: Bogus Bill. Do you pass the Bogus Bill test? Now would you be able to spot a counterfeit bill?

There have been very sophisticated counterfeiting operations, though even they were eventually uncovered. Take for example, the so-called Superdollar. Alleged by the U.S. government to be made by foreign governments, this extremely high quality bill nails the unique cotton/linen recipe (for some information on the unique “recipes” for making money, listen to NPR’s: Where Dollars Are Born). In the early 2000, US agents seized about $4.5 million in Superdollars during two sting jobs. Check out “Operation Smoking Dragon” at the Federal Bureau of Investigation then visit a “Operation Royal Charm.” Another famous case originates in the UK, where counterfeiter Stephen Jory made more than £50 pounds worth of bogus money capable of passing the UV test. It was such a devastating feat that the Bank of England ended up changing the design on their £20 pound note. Visit this Bank of England site and find out some unique security features found on Great Britain’s bills!

Interested in more information on the starch-iodine test from this lesson? Visit this site run by the University of California, Davis. Find fluorescence captivating? This Chemical Education article gives a technical description of fluorescence, including the Jablonski diagram, and an undergraduate college level experiment!