Counterfeiting is the crime of making false money in the form of paper currency, coins, or government bonds. It is also a crime to possess or exchange counterfeit money knowingly. The most prevalent type of counterfeiting is that of paper currency. However, most counterfeit bills are recognizably different from genuine bills. Some require careful examination and may be discovered only by trained experts.
Counterfeiting has existed since money first replaced barter as a means of trade. In early England, counterfeiting consisted of imitating the king's seal or his gold and silver coinage. The act was considered treason and was punishable by death.