Many of us at one time in our lives encountered a fake currency note either showed to us by a friend, a colleague or from a business transaction. The News features a lot of counterfeit note producer arrests almost every year. Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem and it is being tackled on different levels, and Ghana is no exception.

Over the years, there have been so many stories and reports about some unscrupulous people printing out some fake cash and circulating them to the unsuspecting public. One of such examples occurred on May 16 2019, where two people (Ghanaian and Nigerian) were arrested by the Ghana Police for printing and circulating fake Cedis, Euro, and US Dollar notes to the unsuspecting public.

How does counterfeit money affect the economy

On the national scale, the more counterfeit money invade the financial system of a country, the more general hikes in the prices of goods and services would be observed because there would be a lot of money in the system. Moreso, the reputation and the proper functioning of the Central Bank will be adversely affected and there would be a decrease in the acceptability of paper money. On the personal level, there are going to be losses on the part of goods and service providers.

Best methods of identifying fake money

  1. Using Money Counting Machines
  2. Using Desk Top Ultraviolet Light Counterfeit Detection Machines
  3. Manual Identification

The various machines used for identifying genuine and fake currencies have their instructional manuals for use. How do we then detect fake currencies manually? Almost every day, there are new fake currencies being printed out and as a result there are hundreds of variations in counterfeit money. It would however be impractical to learn all the characteristics of all these variations.

Obviously we can use an electronic payment system but anyway our time would be better spent learning about real money so that we are able to tell the real ones from the fakes.

Real Ghana Cedi notes

Features of real Ghana Cedi notes

Security Thread

This is a metallic band that is on the left part of all the notes. It looks like a broken metallic thread on the money. It is very important to note that when the note is turned toward the sunlight or any source of light, it appears unbroken. Any Ghana Cedi note that doesn’t have that is a counterfeit note.


On the left side before the metallic thread, there is a star which has a color that is lighter than the surrounding color. When held towards light, a watermark of Tetteh Quarshie (First person to bring cocoa to Ghana) and a cocoa pod under which the denomination of the currency is written in a white circle. The number written in the white circle is seen partially if it is taken away from light. The four corners of the notes have diagonal lines that have been watermarked.

Big 6

On the right side of the note,, a very visible portrait of the 6 individuals known as the Big 6 (Individuals who helped Ghana gain Independence from the British). One should be careful to note that the number of individuals featured is 6, nothing more, nothing less.

Independence Arch

In the central position of the note, there is the Independence Arch, on which is inscribed ‘Freedom and Justice’ and ‘AD 1957’ (which is the year of Independence)

National Monuments

At the back of the notes, there are a number of Ghanaian monuments/institutions that contribute to the growth of Ghana. The 1 Cedi note has the Akosombo Dam (main source of electricity for the nation), the 2 Cedis, the Ghanaian parliament House. The 10 Cedis has a picture of the Bank of Ghana Building on its reverse side whiles the 20 Cedi note has a picture of the forecourt of the Supreme Court of Ghana. The 50 Cedi note has the Osu Castle which was formerly the seat of Government.

The 5 cedi note

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Bank of Ghana, a new 5 Cedi note was introduced on 7th March 2017, one day after the Independence Day Celebrations. As the new notes were released, they were expected to be used concurrently with the old notes until the old ones were phased out.

So let us take a look at the security features of the new 5 Cedi note.

5-cedi banknote to commemorative

  1. On the right side features he portrait of the Late Dr. James Kwegyir Aggrey (1875-1927) with his name written beside the picture.
  2. There is a watermark which is more pronounced and easier to see. The watermark is of the Late Dr. Aggrey, who was an educationist and also helped a big deal in the development of Ghana. The watermark also has the denomination of the note written.
  3. The security thread runs right after the watermark and appears broken ordinarily, however when exposed to light, it seems unbroken.
  4. In the background, is the image of the current seat of government – The Flagstaff House.
  5. On the reverse side of the 5 Cedi note, the first thing you will see is an image of an Oil Vessel named FPSO Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana’s waters.
  6. Below the image of the vessel, one would see a cocoas pod, some gold bars, cowries and a QR Code which when scanned, will lead you to the Bank of Ghana’s website.
  7. To the far left, one would see the iridescent band which is yellowish in colour and has a number of 5s written in it.

Which this knowledge, it should be almost impossible to get duped with fake notes, especially if you are vigilant. As you enjoy your stay in Green Views Apartments, you have to be vigilant so as to enjoy your stay in Ghana.