Following the conquest of the Papal State and the unification of Italy, the Giori family earned a reputation in printing and engraving with the establishment of Copperplate Engraving & Securities in Milan, Italy in 1876, during a period of rapid political and economic advancement. The company produced high quality printing of stocks, bonds and checks that were needed in greater supply throughout this era of growth and prosperity in the latter part of 19th century Italy.
The company was renamed Calcografia & Cartevalori (C&C). Gualtiero Giori (born in 1913) worked in the family business and contributed to its exponential growth and renowned reputation in the lithographic field. At the age of 26, Gaultiero Giori secured exclusive sales rights for a new polychrome, multi-colour, intaglio printing press in Italy and in 1939, C & C received the first order for banknotes from the government of Spain.
During World War II, Gualtiero Giori reflected on the future of security printing. Convinced that new ideas and techniques were required in order to change the bland single-colour image and design of banknotes, he developed a prototype of a revolutionary 6-colour intaglio printing press. Built by a Milanese company, Fratelli Bonvini S.p.A. under Gualtiero’s guidance, this press was also conceived to change from intaglio printing to a 7-colour letterpress (typographical) print, although the latter was actually never tested in real production.
In 1947, Gualtiero Giori sold his revolutionary 6-colour intaglio printing press to the Government of Argentina and through a series of strategic industry alliances, established the Swiss based “Giori Organization” three years later in 1952. The company became the first in the world to design, produce, and supply machinery and specialized equipment for printing banknotes and security documents.
Through partnerships, the Giori Organization produced a five-color recto- verso dry offset printing press called SIMULTAN, for the simultaneous printing of three back and two front colors of banknotes, and delivered it to customers in 1956.
By 1958, the company had manufactured a two-colour numbering letterpress for banknotes, known as NUMEROTA. Today the Super-Orlof, the Super-Simultan, and the Super-Numerota are the direct descendants of the presses that were built in the 1950s. In 1965, Gualtiero Giori extended the company's relationships with large suppliers as well as both state and private security printers. The arrangement was one of the most successful in the history of the banknote printing industry.
The next five decades represented exponential growth for the Giori Organization. By the 1990s, the organization had morphed into the largest banknote company in the world controlling 90% of production in over 60 countries, representing two-thirds of the world’s population.
In 1992, Gualtiero Giori died at the age of 79 at his home in Lausanne but his contributions to the industry are continually being recognized. In October 2011, he was inducted into the Currency Hall of Fame at the Currency Conference in Singapore.
With a foundation that Gualtiero Giori help lay, of more than fifty years of performance excellence, there is hardly a banknote in the world today that has not been printed with Giori machines and technology.