Security features of New Zealand banknotes
This page explores the security features of New Zealand banknotes using the $10 banknote as an example.
In New Zealand, there are two series of banknotes seen in circulation—Series 6 and the newer Series 7. We added some new features to the Series 7 and enhanced some existing ones:
- A larger window features a more detailed metallic element.
- The native bird icon changes colour as the banknote is tilted, and a bar can be seen moving through the space.
- A small ‘puzzle number' lines up when the banknote is held up to the light.
- Raised ink is still used on the large denomination number.
How to check Series 7 banknotes are genuine
The security features of the $10 banknote are the same as for all the banknotes.
Look, feel, tilt to check its real
The quick way to check your banknote is genuine is to look, feel and tilt it. See more information below.
Look at the large transparent window next to the portrait. There are many intricate details such as the value of the banknote at the top and bottom and a detailed border showing ferns and kowhai patterns.
Look at the metallic feature in the window. It has many details such as the bird’s silhouette, a map of New Zealand, a 3D feature showing the value of the banknote and delicate silver ferns.
Look at the banknote when held up to the light. The small puzzle pieces on the front and back of the banknote form a complete number.
Colour changing bird and fern
Look at the silhouette of the bird and hold the note up to the light. You will see the fern window from the back of the note shining through. As you move the note, the colour inside the bird changes and a bar rolls diagonally across the bird shape.
Feel the note
Feel the banknotes as they have a distinct polymer feel. The banknotes are smooth and made of one piece of plastic and they shouldn’t tear easily.
Feel the raised ink on the front and back of the banknote.
On the front of the banknote the large number, the portrait and the words ‘Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua’ will feel raised.
On the back, the raised ink is on the large number, the featured bird and the words ‘New Zealand’ and ‘Aotearoa’. It’s a unique texture that should feel familiar from the previous banknote.
Tilt the banknote and see the colours reflect and move through the detailed metallic imagery in the large window. You can see the colour changing effects on the front and the back of the note.
Colour changing bird/fern
Tilt the banknote and a bright, shining bar will move within the bird silhouette on the front of the banknote. On the back of the banknote, the shining bar moves within the fern window.
Tilt the banknote and see the fine lines within the emboss feature move and reflect the denomination of the banknote.
“01, 10” in bright colours as you tilt the note.
The featured bird is included.
Map of New Zealand
The map of New Zealand has bright colours when tilted.
Tilt the note left to right – the number will flip around.
Behind the map of New Zealand are two silver ferns that shine in bright colours when tilted.
This clever number looks 3D, but should feel flat
Below the holographic features the denomination of the note is embossed
Explore the details
Colour changing bird
When you tilt the note, the colour of the bird’s silhouette changes and a shining bar rolls up and down the bird’s body. The same effect can be seen in the fern on the back of the note.
If you tilt the note – either sideways or up and down – the metallic feature in the window shows many colour changing effects. In particular, the value of the note flips in the North Island of the map when tilting the note from left to right.
Using a magnifying glass, look closely around the portrait. You can see the value of the note printed repeatedly.
Using a magnifying glass, look at the numeral on the front and back of the banknote. There is microtext saying “RBNZ” on the front and “NZD10” on the back repeatedly.
There is a fluorescent square on the front of the note that illuminates bright green under ultra-violet light while the rest of the note remains dull in contrast. Shine an ultra-violet light over the front of the note to see the feature.
This factsheet provides an overview of the main security features of the Series 7 banknotes.
How to check Series 6 banknotes are genuine
The security features of the older Series 6 $10 banknote are the same as all the Series 6 notes.
Each note has an individual serial number printed horizontally and vertically.
The banknotes have raised printing, which can be felt when you run your fingers over it.
Shadow image of the Queen
You should be able to see a shadow image of the Queen when you hold the note to the light.
Framed window with embossed number
There is an oval window that has the denomination of the note embossed in it. Make sure the window is present, properly embedded in the note and you can read the number clearly.
Tiny micro-printed letters “RBNZ” should be visible on the note with a magnifying glass.
There is a small window in the shape of a curved fern leaf. Make sure the window is there and properly embedded in the note.
Look at the note when held up to a source of light. The fern above the window on the front matches with the fern on the back.
This factsheet provides an overview of the security features of the Series 6 banknotes.