Fake Prop Money- How is it different

Fake Prop Money- How is it different

Do you know what prop money is? Do you want to know how you can show large piles of cash in your videos and photos or even other kinds of media? Want to know how it is done in Hollywood? Well, these questions may be addressed another day.

Here in this article, we are going to discuss fake prop money and how it is different from the real world money. Although prop money is made to resemble real world money as close as possible in order to show the same, there are some intentional major and minor differences to distinguish it from the real currency money. After reading this article, you will be able to recognize the difference between real money and prop money by looking at it or feeling it in your hand. But before we begin, let us understand more about the use of prop money.

We obsess over movies and the lavish attires and lifestyle of the heroes and villains carrying large bags filled with cash. Personally, I have always loved watching movies. These heroes versus villains, million-dollar deals, grand theft, and then the drama and chase that followed. I have been a fan of all that ever since my childhood. A mattress made of money, bags, and suitcases full of money being juggled around! Every time I watch such movies, I think to myself where did they get so much money, and why are they blowing it all off like that? Then one day, my father sat me down and introduced me to the world of prop money.

All that money we see on screen is not real but prop money only. Prop money is considered to be an important and integral part of the cinema today.  Earlier when the cinema was just started, filmmakers used to use real money when filming any scene with cash. But as time passed and our movie scripts changed to involve heavy cash transaction scenes and drama. With the increasing risk of theft and lack of security on the sets, producers went on to find alternatives to this newly arising problem. Necessity is the mother of invention, the great Greek philosopher Plato rightly said. From real money to exhausting Mexican currency, the world of cinema went on to using prop money. The film-industry strives to make the scenes look authentic and convincing, prop money proved to be a life-savior for filmmakers and content creators.

How is this better than using real money?

Prop money comes in handy since it is very inconvenient to collect a heavy amount of real money to shoot a movie or television scene and more than that not at all safe to carry such heavy-loaded suitcases filled with real money on sets where there can never be enough security. Prop money is also a cheap option when shooting for high-voltage drama and chase sequences especially if it includes blasts, water, or fire.

There are mainly 4 types of prop money available in the market and on the web which the production houses and their creative teams buy to use in their films, television shows, theatres, etc.

  1. Full Print prop money: These are high-quality double-sided printed notes making them more realistic to be used in scenes of close up. Remember when a character throws cash away or it rains money, these are the perfect choice when filming such a sequence of events.
  2. Blank filler prop money: These are the stack of money with blank paper inside while the first and the last note is printed on one side. Front for the first one and back of the last one, to give an illusion of a stack full of real money. It is used in suitcases and bags when there has to happen a shoot of a massive transaction of money in the movie or show.
  3. Clean prop money: These are stacks of clean looking, perfect, and crisp prop money that could be used to show the robbed money from the bank.
  4. Aged prop money: The weathered and stained stack of the fake denomination to give it a worn-out look. This in-house treated aged looking prop money look more aesthetic and realistic on camera than those clean-cut prop money.

What makes it look uncannily real?

I know I wasn’t the only one deceived by the use of these prop money notes in movies, there are a lot many people in the world like me. But then that’s the magic of art and creativity. It makes you believe in things that aren’t even real. The prop money should look and feel realistic in order to grab attention from the audience to make the film more real. How do the team of designers and manufacturers are able to make the prop money look so similar to the real denomination?

The trick lies in the choices. Choice of paper, colors, type of ink, printing medium, and the most important design. Creative designers do their best to design the prop money in such a way that it looks almost similar to the real money but yet not exactly the same to land them in any legal troubles. Few points that play a big help to let prop money come to life are:

  1. Paper: You want a crisp note bill or crumpled old money found in treasure, you can get it all by choosing the right quality and texture of the paper.
  2. Colors and contrast: Choosing the right colors and contrast for the prop money that matches with the real money to a convincing extent will easily deceive an audience like me in a minute.
  3. Printing: Double-side printing makes the prop money look more real and convincing and gives a tough time for anyone looking for differences.
  4. Versatility: The value mentioned on the prop note and its size and features always resemble the real denomination of that specific value.
  5. Error-free and life-like design: The design of the prop money should match that of the real ones. When using any national face or monument, the image should be clear and easy to identify. Also, the text size and design used on the prop money matches the text on real money to a large extent. Using such standard designs for the prop note gives it a life-like appearance and more acceptance among the audience.

Although when making the prop money, it is important to make it look similar to the real money we use every day. But for abiding by the laws, it should not be 100% similar. This is to ensure that the prop money will not be used in the economy. If it is found to be exactly similar, both the user and the manufacturer will have to deal with serious legal issues. To avoid such a sticky situation, manufacturers try to make real looking prop money but with easy to notice differences.

How to tell the money is a mere prop and not the real one?

Every country has defined laws and regulations in place to prohibit the regulation of such prop or fake money in the market. Anyone producing prop money has to abide by laws and not produce the exact look-alike denomination. Like printing only on one side or mentioning the intended use of the currency on it. Failure to create prop money with no noticeable difference from the real ones might land the manufacturers in some serious legal troubles along with the ones found using this prop money in the market. I did some research and based on that here are some of the many key differences that you might want to look for in fake prop money.

  1. Single side printing: To easily differentiate the prop money from the real ones, the manufacturers are obligated to print the currency note on only one side with the other side blank, so anyone can make out the difference without diving into many intricate details.
  2. Security thread: If you hold a real currency in light, you will notice there is a continuous luminescent security thread running through the middle of the currency note with the bill value depicted clearly on it. Whereas the prop money will altogether lack the security thread and even if it is there it would be obliterated with color-changing ink, glowing images, or blurry text that will immediately give their truth away.
  3. Design: In some countries, to use the exact design or modified version of the existing design is illegal. The producers of the prop money then create their own designs from scratch that might look somewhat similar from afar but are completely different, with their brand logos and titles written all over the currency bills.
  4. Serial number: On the real currency, the serial number is written in a uniform and standard size in fluorescent ink. The prop money instead has a more funky looking serial number with uneven font size, design, and colors giving them away easily.
  5. Micro-lettering: A number of countries use the technology of micro-lettering which can only be seen under a magnifying glass. This may include phrases or national agency names. On prop money, no such element can be found since these are simply printed paper money with no high-level technology involved.
  6. Braille mark: Keeping in mind the visually impaired citizens and users of the currency, the real denomination has designated indentation of different shapes as per the different value of a currency. These identification braille marks may not be present on prop money.
  7. Watermark: On real currency, hidden watermarks are printed on some or all sides which can be observed only after placing the currency bill under ultraviolet light. No such watermark is seen on any surface of the prop money under the same ultraviolet light.
  8. Water-resistant ink: Remember how we sometimes mistakenly wash our money with the laundry clothes and yet the value and print do not fade. Well, this is because the ink used to print the normal currency is high-grade water-resistant ink. Whereas the prop money fades or crumples badly when soaked in water.
  9. Raised prints: The real currency notes often feel raised from some parts because of the use of special ink and paints. The prop money however feels plain and flat everywhere on the note since it does not use any specialized ink and neither undergoes modern security printing processes.
  10. Specific alphabet series: Many countries refrain from using a set of alphabets in their serial number of the currency. The prop money however has no such set of rules when it comes to designing serial numbers. Knowing such alphabets for your country specifically will help you identify the real and prop money from their respective serial numbers.
  11. Size difference: As per the legal laws set up by different countries to forfeit the use of fake money, prop money manufacturers have been guided to produce the currency bills either one and a half size larger or three-fourth of the size of the real currency notes for easy distinction. Any prop money of the same size as that of the original currency will be considered for penalty and legal action under the circulation of counterfeit money.

These are the main differences between real money and prop money that you can identify quickly. There are many more differences but these are the main ones to be considered while identification.

Look to Know More About Fake Prop Money

In conclusion, we hope we have now provided you with the best knowledge about the fake prop money. We wanted to highlight the key differences between real and prop money here in this article for you to easily recognize the difference between the two. After reading this article, you can identify prop money just by looking at it or feeling it in your hand. We advise you to spread this information to as many people as possible and educate them about the differences between real money and prop money in real life. In case you have any questions regarding prop money, its uses, and its differences from real money, feel free to reach out to us.

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