Scan modern notes without CDS problems


Recently more and more collectors have reported problems attempting to scan modern banknotes. The problem is caused by newer hardware and software that contains built-in Counterfeit Deterrence System (CDS) technology foisted upon the public by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG), a group of 31 central banks and note-printing authorities. Attempts to scan some modern notes using most newer scanners results in an error message like the one shown above.

We sympathize with the desire to reduce counterfeiting, but limiting the capabilities of new consumer devices punishes everyone while doing nothing to discourage determined counterfeiters. Anyone wishing to scan banknotes can easily do so simply by avoiding the latest generation in computer equipment. Instead of buying a cheap new scanner that performs poorly and is likely hobbled by CDS, buy an older used scanner that works on everything you throw at it. We highly recommend the Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO which cost $400 when it was brand new, but now routinely sells for around $50 on eBay. This scanner is fast, has excellent color fidelity, and can even scan watermarks and security threads when used in film/slide mode.

If you already have a scanner that you like, but which refuses to scan some modern notes, you can likely replace the manufacturer’s provided scanning software with VueScan. This third-party scanning program works with almost all scanners and doesn’t prevent you from scanning troublesome notes. It costs $40, but you can try before you buy to ensure it meets your needs.

For several years now, Photoshop refuses to open images it thinks are banknotes, so you can’t even view them, much less edit. We’ve been using the free open-source alternative GIMP to get around this limitation when working with modern banknote images, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of user interface. Fortunately, Pixelmator Pro, a Mac-only alternative image editing program, allows opening and editing of all images. It costs $40, but you can try before you buy to ensure it meets your needs.

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