How Counterfeit Money Pens Work

Though real money comes with various security features to prove its authenticity, one of the most reliable methods to tell if a bill is real or fake is with counterfeit detection tools. Counterfeit money pens are an affordable and simple way to check if a banknote is authentic, and since it is small and easy to store, employees who work front of house, like cashiers, can use them without slowing down business.

The science behind a counterfeit money pen is simple. Authentic bills are made of fiber-based paper. Because today’s counterfeiters are just trying to create passable copies of money, they usually use normal paper, which is made of wood. A counterfeit money pen contains an iodine solution that reacts with the starch in wood-based paper to create a black stain. When applied to authentic bills, the solution does not discolor the note.