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EURion constellation

The EURion constellation is most prominent, and was

therefore rst recognised, on the 10 Euro (10) banknote.
Some banks integrate the constellation tightly with the
remaining design of the note. On 50 DM German banknotes, the EURion circles formed the innermost circles
in a background pattern of ne concentric circles. On the
front of former Bank of England Elgar 20 notes, they
appear as green heads of musical notes, however on the
Smith 20 notes of 2007 the circles merely cluster around
the '20' text. On some U.S. bills, they appear as the digit
zero in small, yellow numbers matching the value of the
note. On Japanese Yen, these circles sometimes appear
as owers.
Technical details regarding the EURion constellation
are kept secret by its inventors and users.[2] A patent
application[6] suggests that the pattern and detection algorithm were designed at Omron Corporation, a Japanese
electronics company. It is also not clear whether the
feature has any ocial name. The term Omron antiphotocopying feature appeared in an August 2005 press
release by the Reserve Bank of India.[7] In 2007 it was
picked up in an award announcement by a banknote collectors society.[8]

The EURion constellation is made up of ve rings.

The EURion constellation (also known as Omron

rings[1] or doughnuts[2] ) is a pattern of symbols incorporated into a number of banknote designs worldwide since
about 1996. It is added to help imaging software detect
the presence of a banknote in a digital image. Such software can then block the user from reproducing banknotes
to prevent counterfeiting using color photocopiers. Research shows that the EURion constellation is used for 2 Usage
color photocopiers but probably not used in computer
software.[3] However, there have been reported incidents The following table lists the banknotes on which the EUwhere Adobe Photoshop doesn't allow the editing of ban- Rion constellation has been found so far. Countries where
all recent banknotes use the constellation are in bold.
knotes upon detection of the EURion constellation.[4]

3 Other banknote detection mechanisms


The name EURion constellation was coined by Markus

Kuhn, who uncovered the pattern in early 2002 while experimenting with a Xerox colour photocopier that refused
to reproduce banknotes.[5] The word is a portmanteau
of EUR, the euro's ISO 4217 designation, and Orion, a
constellation of similar shape.

3.1 Counterfeit Deterrence System

Recent versions of image editors such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro refuse to print banknotes. According to, the banknote detection code in
these applications, called the Counterfeit Deterrence System (CDS), was designed by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group and supplied to companies such as
Adobe as a binary module.[9] However, experiments by
Steven J. Murdoch and others showed that this banknote
detection code does not rely on the EURion pattern.[10]

The EURion constellation rst described by Kuhn consists of a pattern of ve small yellow, green or orange
circles, which is repeated across areas of the banknote
at dierent orientations. The mere presence of ve of
these circles on a page is sucient for some colour photocopiers to refuse processing.


as a forensic identier to identify the source of illegal


5 References
[1] Glossary of banknotes.
2009-01-01. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
[2] Baraniuk, Chris (2015-06-25). The secret codes of
British banknotes. BBC future. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
[3] Software Detection of Currency :: Projects :: Steven J.
Murdoch. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 201405-20.
[4] Heres What Happens When You Try to Edit Photos of
Money in Photoshop. PetaPixel. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
[5] Markus Kuhn: The EURion constellation. Security
Group presentation, Computer Laboratory, University of
Cambridge, 8 February 2002.
[6] Mitsutaka Katoh, et al.: Image processing device and
method for identifying an input image, and copier scanner and printer including same. Omron Corporation, U.S.
Patent 5,845,008.
EURion constellations made by circular zeroes on a US $20 bill
(marked in blue).

[7] Issue of Rs.50 denomination banknotes in Mahatma

Gandhi Series with additional/new security features without inset letter in numbering panel bearing the signature
of Dr. Y. V. Reddy, Governor, Press Release: 2005
2006/245, G. Raghuraj, Deputy General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, 24 August 2005
[8] 2007 Bank Note of the Year award: 1,000-franc note from
Comoros. International Bank Note Society, 15 October
[9] Ulbrich, Chris, "Currency Detector Easy to Defeat, 14
January 2004.
[10] Steven J. Murdoch: Software Detection of Currency,
[11] Digimarc: SEC Filing, Form S-1/A, Exhibit 10.9,
Counterfeit Deterrence System Development and License
Agreement, 24 November 1999.

Example of CDS anti-counterfeit measures operating on image

editing software.

It instead detects a digital watermark embedded in the

images, developed by Digimarc.[11]

See also
Printer steganography, used by colour laser printers
to add hidden encoded information to printouts
Coded Anti-Piracy, an anti-copyright infringement
technology which marks each lm print of a motion
picture with a distinguishing patterns of dots, used

6 Further reading
Photoshop and CDS (Press release). Adobe Systems Incorporated.

7 External links
The rules for currency image use
Nieves, J.; Ruiz-Agundez, I. & Bringas, P. (2010),
'Recognizing Banknote Patterns for Protecting Economic TransactionsDatabase and Expert Systems
Applications (DEXA), 2010 Workshop on', IEEE,

Data Genetics, Anti Counterfeit Measures


Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses



EURion constellation Source: Contributors: The Anome, Pnm,

Ixfd64, Arwel Parry, Ventura, Timwi, Colin Marquardt, Ed g2s, Radagast, Akersmc, Centrx, Seabhcan, Markus Kuhn, Rick Block,
T0pem0, Zoney, Chowbok, Gdr, Evertype, Kusunose, Kubieziel, Ropers, Niux, Richie, FT2, Dewet, NeilTarrant, Tgies, Swid, Torindkt, Kalleboo, Mlessard, Gpvos, De Guerre, Nightstallion, SJMurdoch, TSP, Mindmatrix, Mu301, Jonathan de Boyne Pollard, Joeyconnick, Pol098, Chochopk, Astanhope, SDC, Coemgenus, PHenry, Feco, SLi, Thecurran, Jobin~enwiki, Hairy Dude, John Quincy
Adding Machine, Taejo, Erielhonan, Retired username, VinceBowdren, Ospalh, Morcheeba, CapitalLetterBeginning, SmackBot, Estoy
Aqu, McGeddon, Deon Steyn, D'n, Kintetsubualo, Aij, Quadratic, Nbarth, Euim, Zazpot, Mnw2000, Kenohori, JzG, Fuzzy510, STL
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File:Ambox_important.svg Source: License: Public domain Contributors: Own work, based o of Image:Ambox scales.svg Original artist: Dsmurat (talk contribs)
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work derived from w:en:File:EURion.png Original artist: Ed g2s, simplied by Metrnomo
File:EURion_twenty.jpg Source: License: Public domain
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