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EURion constellation

EURion constellation

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The EURion constellation is a pattern of symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

s found on a number of banknote
Banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...

 designs worldwide since about 1996. It is added to help software detect the presence of a banknote in a digital image. Such software can then block the user from reproducing banknotes to prevent counterfeiting
Counterfeit money
Counterfeit money is currency that is produced without the legal sanction of the state or government to resemble some official form of currency closely enough that it may be confused for genuine currency. Producing or using counterfeit money is a form of fraud or forgery. Counterfeiting is probably...

 using colour photocopier
Photocopier
A photocopier is a machine that makes paper copies of documents and other visual images quickly and cheaply. Most current photocopiers use a technology called xerography, a dry process using heat...

s. However, recent research shows that the EURion constellation may just be one of many factors used to detect currency, and is not necessarily required.

Description


The name "EURion constellation" was coined by Markus Kuhn
Markus Kuhn
Markus G. Kuhn is a German computer scientist, currently teaching and researching at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. A graduate of the University of Erlangen , he received his MSc at Purdue University and PhD at the University of Cambridge...

, who uncovered the pattern in early 2002 while experimenting with a Xerox
Xerox
Xerox Corporation is an American multinational document management corporation that produced and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies...

 colour photocopier that refused to reproduce banknotes. The word is a portmanteau of EUR, the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

's ISO 4217
ISO 4217
ISO 4217 is a standard published by the International Standards Organization, which delineates currency designators, country codes , and references to minor units in three tables:* Table A.1 – Current currency & funds code list...

 designation, and Orion
Orion (constellation)
Orion, often referred to as The Hunter, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and most recognizable constellations in the night sky...

, a constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

 of similar shape.

The EURion constellation first described by Kuhn consists of a pattern of five small yellow, green or orange circles, which is repeated across areas of the banknote at different orientations. The mere presence of five of these circles on a page is sufficient for some colour photocopiers to refuse processing. Andrew Steer later noted simple integer ratios between the squared distances of nearby circles, which gives further clues as to how the pattern is meant to be detected efficiently by image-processing software.

The EURion constellation is most prominent and was therefore first recognised on the 10 euro 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 fine concentric circles. On the front of former Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

 £20 notes, they appear as green heads of musical notes, however on the Smith
Adam Smith
Adam Smith was a Scottish social philosopher and a pioneer of political economy. One of the key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, Smith is the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations...

 £20 notes of 2007 the circles merely cluster around the '£20' text. On some U.S. bills, they appear as the digit zero
0 (number)
0 is both a numberand the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals.It fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems...

 in small, yellow numbers matching the value of the note.

Technical details regarding the EURion constellation are kept secret by its inventors and users. A patent application suggests that the pattern and detection algorithm were designed at OMRON Corporation, a Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese electronics company. It is also not clear whether the feature has any official name. The term "Omron anti-photocopying feature" appeared in an August 2005 press release by the Reserve Bank of India
Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve Bank of India is the central banking institution of India and controls the monetary policy of the rupee as well as US$300.21 billion of currency reserves. The institution was established on 1 April 1935 during the British Raj in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of...

. In 2007 it was picked up in an award announcement by a banknote collectors society.

Usage



The following table lists the banknotes on which the EURion constellation has been found so far:
Currency Notes with EURion constellation Notes without EURion constellation
Armenian dram
Armenian dram
The dram is the monetary unit of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It is subdivided into 100 luma . The word "dram" translates into English as "money" and is cognate with the Greek drachma...

 
1000 dram (2001 and 2011), 5000 dram (2003), 10,000 dram (2003), 20,000 (2007 and 2009), 100,000 dram (2009) 20,000 and commemorative 50,000 dram
Aruban florin
Aruban florin
The florin is the currency of Aruba. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The florin was introduced in 1986, replacing the Netherlands Antillean guilder at par.-History:...

 
All (2003)
Austrian schilling
Austrian schilling
The schilling was the currency of Austria from 1924 to 1938 and from 1945 to 1999, and the circulating currency until 2002. The euro was introduced at a fixed parity of €1 = 13.7603 schilling to replace it...

 
500 and 1000 schilling (1997) 20, 50, 100, and 5000 schilling
Australian dollar
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

 
Commemorative $5 (2001) Regular banknotes
Belgian franc
Belgian franc
The franc was the currency of Belgium until 2002 when the euro was introduced into circulation. It was subdivided into centimes , 100 centiem or Centime .-History:...

 
500 francs (1998), 1000 francs (1997), 10,000 francs (1997) 100, 200, and 2000 francs
British pound (sterling)
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 
Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 £5 (2002), £10 (2000), £20 (1999 & 2007), £50 (2011)
£50 (old issue)
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark
The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark is the currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is divided into 100 fenings...

 
200 convertible marka (2002) 50 feninga, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 convertible marka
Bulgarian lev
Bulgarian lev
The lev is the currency of Bulgaria. It is divided in 100 stotinki . In archaic Bulgarian the word "lev" meant "lion".It is speculated that Bulgaria, as a member of the European Union will adopt the Euro in 2015 .- First lev, 1881–1952 :...

All (1999)
Canadian dollar
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

 
All (2001), 100 (2011)
CFA franc
CFA franc
The CFA franc is the name of two currencies used in Africa which are guaranteed by the French treasury. The two CFA franc currencies are the West African CFA franc and the Central African CFA franc...

 
All (both West African and Central African, 2003)
Chilean peso
Chilean peso
The peso is the currency of Chile. The current peso has circulated since 1975, with a previous version circulating between 1817 and 1960. The symbol used locally for it is $. The ISO 4217 code for the present peso is CLP. It is subdivided into 100 centavos, although no centavo denominated coins...

 
1000 (2011) 2000 (2010) 5000 (2009), 10,000 (2010), 20,000 (2010) 1000 and 2000 pesos (old version)
Chinese yuan
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

 
¥1 (2004), 2005 revision of ¥5 and above
Comorian franc
Comorian franc
The franc is the official currency of Comoros. It is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes, although no centime denominations have ever been issued.-History:...

 
All (2005-2006) 2500 francs
Croatian kuna
Croatian kuna
The kuna is the currency of Croatia since 1994 . It is subdivided into 100 lipa. The kuna is issued by the Croatian National Bank and the coins are minted by the Croatian Monetary Institute....

 
5, 10, 20 kuna (2001), 50, 100, and 200 kuna (2002) 500 and 1000 kuna
Czech koruna
Czech koruna
The Czech koruna or Czech crown has been the currency of the Czech Republic since 8 February 1993 when, together with its Slovak counterpart, it replaced the Czechoslovak koruna at par....

 
2000 (2007), 1000 (2008), 500 (2009), 5000 (2009) 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000
Danish krone
Danish krone
The krone is the official currency of the Kingdom of Denmark consisting of Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. It is subdivided into 100 øre...

 
All (1997, 2002 and 2009 series)
Djiboutian franc
Djiboutian franc
The franc is the currency of Djibouti. The ISO 4217 currency code is DJF. Historically it was subdivided into 100 centimes.- History :...

 
1000 francs (2005), 2000 francs (2008), 10,000 francs (2009) 2000, 5000, and 10,000 francs (National Bank of Djibouti issue)
Dutch guilder  10 gulden (1997) 25, 50, 100, 250, 1000 gulden
Egyptian pound
Egyptian pound
The Egyptian Pound is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 Qirsh , or 1,000 Milliemes ....

 
LE 5 (2002), LE 10 (2003), LE 20 (2001), LE 50 (2001), LE 100 (2000), LE 200 (2007) 25 piastres, 50 piastres, LE 1
Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 
All (2002)
Faroese króna
Faroese króna
The króna is the currency of the Faroe Islands. It is issued by the Danish National Bank. It is not an independent currency but a version of the Danish krone. Consequently, it does not have an ISO 4217 currency code. The ISO 4217 code for the Danish krone is DKK...

 
All (2001)
French franc
French franc
The franc was a currency of France. Along with the Spanish peseta, it was also a de facto currency used in Andorra . Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money...

 
100 francs (1997) 50, 200, and 500 francs
German mark  50, 100, 200 mark (1996–2002) 5, 10, 20, 500, 1000 mark
Hungarian forint
Hungarian forint
The forint is the currency of Hungary. It is divided into 100 fillér, although fillér coins are no longer in circulation. The introduction of the forint on 1 August 1946 was a crucial step of the post-WWII stabilization of the Hungarian economy, and the currency remained relatively stable until...

All (2010)
Indian rupee
Indian rupee
The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India....

 
50 (2006), 100 (2005) and 500 (2000) rupees (both 2nd edition), 1000 rupees (2000) 5, 10, 20, 50 rupees (Before 2006), 1st edition of 100 (1996) and 500 (1997) rupees
Indonesian rupiah
Indonesian rupiah
The rupiah is the official currency of Indonesia. Issued and controlled by the Bank of Indonesia, the ISO 4217 currency code for the Indonesian rupiah is IDR. Informally, Indonesians also use the word "perak" in referring to rupiah...

 
Rp10,000 (2010); Rp20,000, Rp50,000 and Rp 10,0000 (2011) Rp1000, Rp2000, Rp5000; Rp10,000 (issued before 21-Jul-2010); Rp20,000, Rp50,000 and Rp100,000 (issued before 31-Oct-2011)
Japanese yen
Japanese yen
The is the official currency of Japan. It is the third most traded currency in the foreign exchange market after the United States dollar and the euro. It is also widely used as a reserve currency after the U.S. dollar, the euro and the pound sterling...

 
Commemorative ¥2000 (series D, 2000), series E (2004)
Kyrgyzstani som
Kyrgyzstani som
The som is the currency of the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia. The ISO 4217 currency code is KGS. The som is sub-divided into 100 tyiyn...

 
All (2009-2010)
Macanese pataca
Macanese pataca
The pataca is the currency of Macau. It is subdivided into 100 avos , with 10 avos called ho in Cantonese. The abbreviation MOP$ is commonly used....

 
Banco Da China: All (8.12.2003)
Malagasy ariary
Malagasy ariary
The ariary is the currency of Madagascar. It is subdivided into 5 iraimbilanja and is one of only two non-decimal currencies currently circulating . The names ariary and iraimbilanja derive from the pre-colonial currency, with ariary being the name for a silver dollar...

 
100, 200, 500, 1000 (2004), 2000, 5000, 10,000 (2008) 2000, 5000, 10,000 ariary
Mexican peso
Mexican peso
The peso is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 12th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded in the Americas, and by far the most...

 
All (2006–2010) $20 (2002–2007), $50 (1996–2006), $100 (1996–2010), $200 (1996–2008), $500 (1996–2010)
Moroccan dirham
Moroccan dirham
The dirham is the currency of Morocco. The plural form is pronounced darahim, although in French and English "dirhams" is commonly used. Its ISO 4217 code is "MAD". It is subdivided into 100 santimat . The dirham is issued by the Bank Al-Maghrib, the central bank of Morocco...

 
All (2002)
Netherlands Antillean gulden
Netherlands Antillean gulden
The guilder is presently the currency of two of the five islands which until 2010 formed the Netherlands Antilles. It is subdivided into 100 cents . The guilder was replaced by the US dollar on 1 January 2011 on the other former islands of the Netherlands Antilles: Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius...

 
10, 25, 50, 100 gulden (1998) 250 gulden (1985)
Norwegian krone
Norwegian krone
The krone is the currency of Norway and its dependent territories. The plural form is kroner . It is subdivided into 100 øre. The ISO 4217 code is NOK, although the common local abbreviation is kr. The name translates into English as "crown"...

 
All (1999)
Romanian leu
Romanian leu
The leu is the currency of Romania. It is subdivided into 100 bani . The name of the currency means "lion". On 1 July 2005, Romania underwent a currency reform, switching from the previous leu to a new leu . 1 RON is equal to 10,000 ROL...

 
All (2005)
Saudi riyal
Saudi riyal
The Riyal is the currency of Saudi Arabia. It is abbreviated as ر.س or SR . It is subdivided into 100 Halalas . The Saudi Ghirsh is 5 Halalas.-History:...

 
All (2007)
Singapore dollar
Singapore dollar
The Singapore dollar or Dollar is the official currency of Singapore. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively S$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

 
All (1999)
South African rand
South African rand
The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand , the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand has the symbol "R" and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol "c"...

 
All (2005)
South Korean won
South Korean won
The won is the currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. The jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions, and appears only in foreign exchange rates...

 
All (2006/2007/2009)
Slovak koruna
Slovak koruna
In 1993, coins were introduced in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 haliers, 1, 2, 5 and 10 korunas. The 10 and 20 halier coins were taken out of circulation on 31 December 2003....

 
SKK 200, SKK 500, SKK 1000, SKK 5000 SKK 100, SKK 50, SKK 20
Swazi lilangeni
Swazi lilangeni
The lilangeni is the currency of Swaziland and is subdivided into 100 cents. The South African rand is also accepted in Swaziland and it is issued by the Central Bank of Swaziland...

 
All (2010)
Swedish krona
Swedish krona
The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code "SEK" and currency sign "kr" are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it, but especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value...

 
Kr 50 (2006), Kr 100 (2001), Kr 500 (2001), Kr 1000 (2006) Kr 20
Thai baht
Thai baht
The baht is the currency of Thailand. It is subdivided into 100 satang . The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Bank of Thailand.-History:The baht, like the pound, originated from a traditional unit of mass...

 
฿100, ฿1000 ฿20, ฿50, ฿500
Tunisian dinar
Tunisian dinar
The dinar is the currency of Tunisia. It is subdivided into 1000 milim or millimes . The abbreviation DT is often used in Tunisia, although writing "dinar" after the amount is also acceptable ; the abbreviation TD is also mentioned in a few places, but is less frequently used, given the common use...

 
10 dinars (2005), 5 dinars (2008), 50 dinars (2008) 5, 20, and commemorative 30 dinars
Turkish lira
Turkish lira
The Turkish lira is the currency of Turkey and the de facto independent state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The lira is subdivided into 100 kuruş...

 
20000000 TL 2001, 2005 and 2009 series
Ugandan shilling
Ugandan shilling
The Shilling is the currency of Uganda. Technically, the shilling is subdivided into 100 cents but no subdivisions have been issued since the revaluation of the shilling in 1987.-History:...

 
All (2010)
United States dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 
$5
United States five-dollar bill
The United States five-dollar bill or fiver is a denomination of United States currency. The $5 bill currently features U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. All $5 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes...

 (Series 2006), $10
United States ten-dollar bill
The United States ten-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. The first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is currently featured on the obverse of the bill, while the U.S. Treasury is featured on the reverse. The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a...

 (Series 2004A), $20
United States twenty-dollar bill
The United States twenty-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. U.S. President Andrew Jackson is currently featured on the front side of the bill, which is why the twenty-dollar bill is often called a "Jackson," while the White House is featured on the reverse side.The...

 (Series 2004), $50
United States fifty-dollar bill
The United States fifty-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. Ulysses S. Grant is currently featured on the obverse, while the U.S. Capitol is featured on the reverse. All current-issue $50 bills are Federal Reserve Notes....

 (Series 2004 A), $100
United States one hundred-dollar bill
The United States one hundred-dollar bill is a denomination of United States currency. U.S. statesman, inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin is currently featured on the obverse of the bill. On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall. The time on the clock according to the...

 (Series 2009)
$1
United States one-dollar bill
The United States one-dollar bill is the most common denomination of US currency. The first president, George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart, is currently featured on the obverse, while the Great Seal of the United States is featured on the reverse. The one-dollar bill has the oldest...

, $2
United States two-dollar bill
The United States two-dollar bill is a current denomination of US currency. President Thomas Jefferson is featured on the obverse of the note...




Counterfeit Deterrence System


Recent versions of image editors such as Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated.Adobe's 2003 "Creative Suite" rebranding led to Adobe Photoshop 8's renaming to Adobe Photoshop CS. Thus, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of Adobe Photoshop...

 or Paint Shop Pro refuse to print banknotes. According to Wired.com, the banknote detection code in these applications, called the Counterfeit Deterrence System (CDS), was designed by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group
Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group
The mission of the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group is to investigate emerging threats to the security of banknotes and to propose solutions for implementation by issuing authorities...

 and supplied to companies such as Adobe
Adobe Systems
Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American computer software company founded in 1982 and headquartered in San Jose, California, United States...

 as a binary module. However, experiments by Steven J. Murdoch and others showed that this banknote detection code does not rely on the EURion pattern. It instead detects a digital watermark embedded in the images, developed by Digimarc
Digimarc
Digimarc is a digital watermarking technology provider enabling the invisible embedding of information into many forms of content, including audio, video, imagery, and certain objects...

.

See also

  • Printer steganography
    Printer steganography
    Printer steganography is a type of steganography produced by color printers, including Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, IBM, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lanier, Lexmark, Ricoh, Toshiba and Xerox brand color laser printers, where tiny yellow dots are added to each page...

    , used by colour laser printers to add hidden encoded information to printouts
  • Coded Anti-Piracy
    Coded Anti-Piracy
    Coded Anti-Piracy is an anti-copyright infringement technology which marks each film print of a motion picture with a distinguishing patterns of dots, used as a forensic identifier to identify the source of illegal copies....

    , an anti-copyright infringement technology which marks each film print of a motion picture with a distinguishing patterns of dots, used as a forensic identifier to identify the source of illegal copies

External links