When numismatists think of intaglio printing and security paper, U.S. Currency, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Crane
company come to mind. But there are other important uses for these. George Petrulakis forwarded this article from his local newspaper
(The Modesto Bee) about the closure of an Ohio intaglio printing firm that is having ripple effects cross the state of California.
Birth, marriage and death, and generally in that order.
They all require certificates of authenticity, which are available at the clerk-recorder’s office in the county of origin.
But for a limited time only, people wanting copies of these vital documents from the Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder’s office will be
limited to just one of each. Seriously.
The Ohio-based company that produced the etched and embossed anti-counterfeit security imprints intended to keep thieves from creating
an imaginary person to steal real money recently closed without warning. There are no others in the United States currently licensed or
capable of making the so-called Intaglio printed security features that meet California’s standards. One distributor considers Intaglio the
“gold standard for security printing.”
“It’s not a paper shortage,” said Lee Lundrigan, Stanislaus County’s clerk-recorder and registrar of voters. “It’s the printing on the
Only recently did Lundrigan and other government officials around the state learn of the company’s closure and the headache it will
cause. Hence, the one-per-family limit until either a new supplier can be found or the state Legislature amends the Health and Safety Code
to allow security measures that don’t require the highly specialized Intaglio printing method.
The printed borders are raised and obvious to the touch. Each is – or was – produced individually on a hand-cranked press by Sekuworks
in Cincinnati and sold to state agencies through distributors including Pacific Bancnote or Northern Bank Note. The Intaglio printing
technique is mandated by California Health and Safety Code 103526.5, which dictates the security measures for birth, death and marriage
certificates. The state also requires light-sensitive images, fluorescent numbering and matching bar codes, microprint lines, watermarks,
fluorescent security threads and fibers and anything else the state registrar can think of to make it tough on counterfeiters to, well,
New suppliers? If the only California-approved Intaglio printer in America is out of the business, and no domestic replacement can be
found, distributors will look outside of the country to find an engraver and then that engraver must be licensed by the state. Getting
supposedly secure documents from hacker-happy countries like China or Russia certainly doesn’t wow anyone here.
To read the complete article, see:
Stanislaus County insecure when it comes to
supply of secure document paper (www.modbee.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/jeff-jardine/article29469508.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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