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Monday, February 18, 2013

Genuine 500 rupee notes mistaken for fake

All five hundred rupee notes do not look the same! This seems obvious, considering that some are old and some new, but because of the panic over fake notes, genuine notes can be mistaken for fake. The 500 rupee notes in this post are all genuine, but you can see the difference between an older note of the nineties and the newer ones.

This is a sample of the front of the newer 500 rupee note. It matches with the critieria of all genuine notes as put out by the RBI  the see through number in the left margin, the watermark, the thick shiny security thread and so on. By clicking on the link you can check the points.

genuine and new 500 rupee note

The note below can be mistaken for fake by an over zealous person trying to check for genuine notes. It is the front of a 500 rupee note and it looks quite different from the one above. However, this note, signed by the RBI Governer Bimal Jalan is absolutely genuine. The note has a thinner shiny vertical band (security thread) unlike the newer note which has a thicker one, and it does not have the see through number (register). Instead it has a flower design in the left margin. These notes were printed between November 22nd 1997 to Sep 6th 2003. Why was their design changed? The attempt was to make the 500 rupee notes difficult to copy.

Does this mean that cheats and forgers can make fake notes of this type easily? Perhaps, but now it is difficult because the genuine notes will look old as they are used notes. You can find that out by just looking at them. They will never be crisp and new.

older 500 rupee note

This is the back of the new 500 rupee note. The main difference between this new one and the one below this one is that this new note below has the date of printing (2010) on it. Look at the bottom of the note, right in the centre.  

new and genuine 500 rupee note

The one below is the older 500 rupee note. No date of printing there, but it is a genuine note so no need to worry. As mentioned above, such notes will have a used look and that is how you can be sure they are genuine.

old 500 rupee note

Related Images: Indian Coins - Paise or Rupee Notes Images or check out all images filed under the label of Currency, which will have photos of currency notes from the U.K, U.S and other countries.

NOTE on 1st Jan 2015: The Indian government is soon discontinuing with the older notes. So anyone who has the older notes, the ones without the date of printing on them, please turn them over to your bank. Today they are legal tender, but they are being phased out so best return them.

Note on 13th of  November 2016:  On the 8th of November the Prime Minister announced that all ₹500 and ₹1000 notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight. New notes will be issued.



  1. i got a same 500 note which i thought was fake. thanks a lot for your information

  2. if the intalglio print cannot be felt because the note is old and used. what should we do in that case. Among all the signs which one is the most reliable ?

  3. subaira, the reliability depends on whether the note has all the required points. That is what makes the note reliable. if the note is old and used, it is unlikely to be a fake note in any case, but still check that all the points are there.

  4. Thank you. I have a 500 rupee note looks like the old one as shown, but instead of Bimal jalan, it has the signature of the next Governor Y.V.reddy., is it genuine..?

  5. Karthikeyan, if it is an old used note then it is genuine. All the new looking notes have the new design.

  6. Today I faced the same problem, even banks were rejecting this note assuming it as fake :( , but this article says it as genuine.

    1. Even though these notes I genuine, I read in the newspaper that they are now withdrawing these notes. I am not sure whether this has happened already.


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