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'More secure' euro banknotes enter circulation

Today (28 May) marks the launch of what have the European Central Bank (ECB) has described as more secure €100 and €200 banknotes entering circulation.

A satellite hologram and an enhanced emerald number make the banknotes more resistant to counterfeiting, according to the ECB, which says the roll-out of the new style “Europa” series of notes is now complete.

The four first banknotes in the new series, the €5, €10, €20 and €50, started circulating in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 respectively.

All of the new series of banknotes use new and innovative security features and are said to be easy to check using the “feel, look and tilt” method. At the top of the silvery stripe a satellite hologram shows small € symbols that move around the number when the banknote is tilted and become clearer under direct light.

In addition, the silvery stripe shows a portrait of Europa, the architectural motif and a large € symbol. Although the emerald number is present on all the other notes of the Europa series, the higher denominations introduced today also show € symbols inside the number.

New €100 and €200 notes are now the same height as the €50 banknote – a move made to improve general handling and machine processing. It is argued that they fit better in people’s wallets and will last longer because they are expected to be subject to less wear and tear.

The ECB said that the most widely used euro banknotes are the €50, €20, and €100 – in that order. It also suggested the demand for €100 and €200 banknotes is increasing, at an annual rate of 7.6% and 8.6% respectively.

First series €100 and €200 banknotes, like all the other denominations, will remain legal tender, and will continue to circulate alongside the new notes, but will gradually be withdrawn from circulation in due course.

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