Innovative new holography devices that provide improved protection from counterfeiting for banknotes, have won international awards organised by the industry trade body, the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA*).

Germany’s Louisenthal with its micromirror and hologram LEAD project scooped the top slot in the ‘Best Applied Security Product’ category at the Excellence in Holography Awards 2020, which was presented by the IHMA at this year’s virtual Holography Conference (8 – 9 December).

Winners of the ‘Best Applied Security Product’ category at the Excellence in Holography Awards 2020

Reflecting a ‘significant step forward’ in the continued development of commercial holography for overt security systems, the application integrates a traditional hologram with a micromirror feature incorporating dynamics and 3D technology. This delivers improved levels of protection against currency counterfeiting and is seen a market leader in the banknote field.

SURYS, meanwhile, took the coveted ‘Innovation in Holographic Technology’ award for a second year in a row with its Tristar banknote security thread. Part of a new generation of security threads for international currency applications, Tristar features a combination of technologies to strengthen the security and authentication of banknotes.

Winners of the ‘Best Applied Security Product’ category at the Excellence in Holography Awards 2020

The judges were particularly impressed by the fusion of traditional hologram concepts and magnetics, micro text and UV fluorescence to create a striking security feature which, with its unique three-way colour changing effects, can be quickly and easily checked by the public to confirm the banknote’s authenticity.

The Excellence in Holography awards recognise outstanding achievement, marking success for those at the forefront of the sector who have developed innovative or commercially viable hologram products or techniques over the last 12 months.

Involving sector suppliers, manufacturers and end-users from around the world, the event, held for the first time online due to the pandemic, saw Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the IHMA, commend the standard of entries as extremely high, reflecting a rising industry that continues to innovate, enthral and surprise.

In congratulating Louisenthal, he said: “This has been a difficult year because of the pandemic but once was again it’s been tough for the IHMA board to judge the winners. The awards celebrate the best in holographic achievement and ground-breaking innovations, which keep our industry to the fore in a diverse and growing array of applications around the world.”

And in a new twist, enabled by the online format, conference participants voted for their ‘People’s Choice’, which saw Krypten triumph with its Antarctica 200 3D concept banknote featuring a security stripe combining a volume (3D) hologram with high precision micro-demetallisation.

*  The IHMA ( is made up of more than 90 of the world’s leading hologram companies. Members include the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world, and actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards.

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