Rupee one notes are issued with the signature of the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The notes of Rs. 2 and above denominations are bank notes and are issued with the signature of the Governor, Reserve Bank of India. The details of design, etc., of these notes are notified in the Gazette of India from time to time. It is not possible to lay down hard and fast rules as to the differences noticeable between genuine and forged notes. However, some salient features of genuine notes are described below.


The paper of all genuine notes is superior rag paper and when new, has a distinct crackle. The crackle, however, is reduced in humid atmosphere and as the note becomes soiled due to circulation.


All genuine notes must have watermark of the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the left hand window. Watermark is one of the important features which decides the genuineness of notes. If the watermark impression appears crude and without light and shade effect, the notes should be viewed with suspicion. A close examination of the watermark on a suspect note in comparison with that on a genuine note will help to decide whether the suspect note is genuine or not. Slight variations in the position of the watermark in the left hand window of the note can occur even in genuine notes and should not alone cause suspicion.


Thread: All genuine notes of Rs. 5 denomination and above have a security thread embedded vertically which should not only be discernible as a dark line when held against light but also when the note is held slantingly. The security thread can also be generally felt by fingers. The security thread may sometimes have a small gap in some genuine notes, i.e. may appear broken, and need not cause suspicion.

Quality of Printing and Graphics

Genuine notes are printed in distinctive body colors over rainbow tints consisting of fine lines. The printing is neat and clean and free from broken lines and smudges. Register between front and back (i.e. between the design / graphics on the front and that on the back) when held against light is also almost perfect on genuine notes. Notes with crude appearance, broken lines, spelling mistakes, imperfect blending of tints and colors and bad front and back register have to be viewed with suspicion.

Intaglio Printing

Genuine notes are printed using advanced printing techniques, both dry offset (flat printing) and intaglio security feature on certain denominations of notes. This printing feature can be felt as raised printing on paper by passing the fingers on the notes. Presently, denominations of Rs. 10 and above are printed with this feature of intaglio printing. In these denominations of notes, the figures of the denomination of the notes, name of the Reserve Bank of India, the guarantee clause, the promise clause, the signature of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, the language panel and the seal of Reserve Bank of India are in intaglio printing. Notes of denominations of Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 have intaglio printing on both the sides. However, there is no intaglio print features on notes of Rs. 1, Rs. 2, Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 (bearing yacht motif on the reverse). The intaglio print may however be less sharp on notes which have become soiled due to circulation.


Genuine notes will bear a distinctive serial number along with prefix. The numerals and the alphabets of genuine notes will be in perfect alignment. Any change in the shape of individual numbers or non-alignment of numbers should be viewed with suspicion.