Detectors in general

Generally about Detectors and Authentification

If you want to be efficient in a field of authentification and crime combat you will need 2 things:
high-quality tools (1. detectors) and knowledge (2. catalogues).

1. Detectors - according to our long-time experiences in counterfeit recognition and detection is our offer oriented on detectors which are the most useful and highly efficient in recognition of the most dangerous counterfeits.

2. Catalogues - about efficient inspection and authentification we can talk only if you have appropriate information about what to look for and where. Our knowledgebase will give you all the necessary information on what to aim for and how to recognize the counterfeits step by step.


Minimum requirements on the professional detector:

  • 10x magnification with the ability to light up the inspected area
  • Oblique/side white light
  • UV light

All optical detectors fundamentally operate in a similar manner:

1. A light source illuminates the sample of interest.
2. The sample interacts with the light through absorption, reflection, transmission.
3. The output from the sample is received at a detector.

Most common professional detectors features:

Magnification + direct white light

For detection of Miniprint and Microprint. They are lines or motifs made up of very small letters, numbers and/or images that are barely perceptible with the naked eye, but become visible at magnification; in traditional documents, they can form the guidelines for writing.

Oblique/Side light

This is light from the side, falling at a shallow angle, which reveals the surface structure of an object through contrasts of light and shade. Oblique light is used especially to inspect embossing stamps, intaglio printing, latent images, and mechanical erasures.

Transmitted light

Transmitted light is light shining through the object being viewed (e.g. banknote). The object to be viewed is placed between the eye (or camera) and the light source. The light source could be just daylight. Usually, it is used for inspection of Watermark.

Ultraviolet light (UV)

UV light belongs to the electromagnetic waves at the lower boundary of visible light (200 - 400 nm) - a source of light that is frequently used in document examination to analyze substrate brightness, fluorescent inks, and other security features as well as tampering. Ultraviolet radiation is divided into 3 areas: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. Most common UV lights we use in detectors: UV-A at 365 nm, UV-B at 313 nm, UV-C at 254 nm.

Co-axial light

Co-axial light is light that passes through an optical system parallel to the optical axis (e.g. retroviewer), for instance where the direction of illumination and direction of observation are in parallel. Co-axial light is used to reveal hidden motifs in retroreflective laminate (e.g. 3M ® Confirm ® laminate).

Anti-Stokes light

Anti-Stokes Light is a high-intensity IR illumination that causes visible emission of security features printed by special inks with anti-Stokes properties. These special security inks contain rare-earth metals and are invisible to the naked eye.

Infrared light (IR)

IR light belongs to the electromagnetic waves above 700nm. It is therefore generally invisible to the human eye but examination under infrared lighting with a video camera can reveal changes to documents that are invisible to the naked eye. Metameric colors are pairs of (chemically) different colors that can barely be distinguished in one type of illumination (usually in normal, broad daylight), but show a noticeable color contrast in another type of light, often infrared light, or through a special optical red filter.

Magnetic Head

The magnetic head is just an additional option for verification without visualization. You have to have the knowledge base to know where to look for magnetism.

What we use detector for?

We live complicated times, many people look for illegal activities to survive in this world, and therefore it is necessary to examine whether the documents and banknotes are genuine or forged.

Documents and banknotes have security features that make counterfeiting or copying more difficult. Some of the security features are clearly visible on the documents, banknotes, while others require professional equipment to determine if they are is genuine.

With the right equipment, it is easy to determine whether an examined object is falsified or it has been modified/corrected. For a quick check, we use small magnifiers and detectors with different lights, for the advanced check, we can use small detectors with LCD, desktop detectors up to forensics laboratory with the spectral scanner.

Who is using detectors and catalogues?

Mainly public authorities like police, embassies, immigration office, banks, and others who want to examine the authenticity of banknotes and public documents.

What we can check with detectors?

Public documents - passports, travel documents, admission documents, identity cards, visas, driving licenses, registration certificates, work permits, birth and death certificates, health insurance cards, marriage certificates. Banknotes, tax stamps, checks, travelers' checks.

Who issues documents and banknotes?

Documents may be issued by police, border control authorities, customs, immigration and/or emigration authorities, different ministries, diplomatic authorities (eg the Embassy), local authorities, other authorities. Banknotes are usually issued by central banks.


© European Union 2007-2019, Council of the European Union, General Secretariat, Directorate-General Justice and Home Affairs, Directorate Home (JAI.1), Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175, 1048 Brussels, Belgium, Europe.


Types of detectors: C2U2 C2W C2-3M C2-3MC
Magnification: 10x 10x 10x 10x
White direct light: X X X X
White sidelight (2x): X X X X
White transmitted light (passive): X X X X
UV-A (365nm): X X X X
UV-C (254nm): X
Anti-Stokes (980nm): X X
Coaxial light 3M: X X

Types of detectors: C2U2 C2-3M C2-Z C2-ZC
Magnification: 10x 10x 15x 15x
White direct light: X X X X
White sidelight (2x): X X X X
White transmitted light (passive): X X X X
UV-A (365nm): X X X X
UV-C (254nm): X
Anti-Stokes (980nm): X X X
Coaxial light 3M: X

Types of detectors: C211 C220 C225 C230
Magnification: 10x 10x 10x 10x
White direct light: X X X X
White sidelight: X X X X
White light - Blink: X X X X
White transmitted light (passive): X X X X
UV-A (365nm): X X X X
UV-C (254nm): X X X X
Anti-Stokes (980nm): X X
Coaxial light 3M: X X

Types of detectors: C8 C12 C12 UVC
Direct white light: X X X
White transmitted light: X X X
White sidelight: X X X
White slant-light 2x: X X X
IR light - 850 nm: X X X
IR light - 940 nm: X X X
IR sidelight: X X X
UV A - 365 nm: X X X
UV C - 254 nm: X
Photo camera: X X
Memory 2GB: X X
LCD screen size: 7' 9' 9'

Types of detectors: C620 C609
Visual field: full 12.5 × 9.4mm
White direct light: X
White transmitted light: X
White sidelight: X
UV A - 365 nm: X X
IR light (850nm): X X
IR light (940nm): X
IR transmitted light: X
Anti-Stokes (980nm): X
Blue light (470nm): X