There are seven different denominations of euro banknotes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. Each denomination has its own distinctive size, colour and design. The design was jointly conceived by the European Central Bank (ECB), De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and other national central banks in the euro area.
Europa series now complete
The Europa series of banknotes have been introduced gradually. The new €5 banknote was released in 2013, followed by the €10 note in 2014, the €20 in 2015 and the €50 in 2017. The new €100 and €200 banknotes entered circulation in May 2019, marking the completion of the Europa series. The new €100 and €200 notes are a different size to the old €100 and €200 notes. Both denominations are now the same height as the €50 banknote. You can take a look at them here.
Europa series: security features
The new Europa series offers even stronger protection against counterfeiting. The notes have been given a new look, with stronger colours. Europa is a figure from Greek mythology, and her portrait is shown as a hologram and a watermark, which also function as security features to check whether a note is genuine. Want to know more about the security features? Find out about them here.
Euro banknotes: made to last
Banknotes can become worn and damaged through daily use. De Nederlandsche Bank strives to ensure that banknotes last as long as possible, as this means fewer new banknotes have to printed which is better for the environment and saves on costs. The lifespan of a banknote depends on the quality of the material and its protective coating. Banknotes undergo regular laboratory testing by the ECB. Can the banknote survive getting washed in the washing machine? How about being ironed? See how banknotes are tested in the filmBanknotes made to last.
Designs: ages, styles and colours
The euro banknotes show European architectural styles from various eras. Each banknote has its own colour scheme, to easily distinguish it from the other denominations.
|€100:||Green||Baroque and rococo|
|€200:||Yellow-Brown||Iron and glass architecture|
|€500:||Purple||Modern 20th century architecture|
Designs: bridges, doorways and Europa
Each banknote depicts windows or portals on one side, with a bridge on the reverse side. These windows, bridges and portals symbolise openness, cooperation and communication.Other design elements include:
- The flag of the European Union
- The initials of the European Central Bank in various linguistic variants
- A map of Europe on the reverse side, including the Azores, the Canary Islands, French Guiana, the French Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique) and Réunion
- the name of the currency – euro – in three different alphabets
- The signature of the President of the European Central Bank: Wim Duisenberg (until October 2003), Jean-Claude Trichet (between 2003 and 2011) or Mario Draghi (2011 - date)
- The twelve stars of the European Union.
The first series of euro banknotes was designed by Austrian designer Robert Kalina. An independent banknote designer based in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, was chosen to revamp the design of the euro banknotes.
For further information about the design of the euro banknotes, visitecb.europa.eu.