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Security Features

Modern printing technologies are used in the euro banknotes production. Various security features have been incorporated into the euro banknotes. They will help you to recognize a genuine banknote at a glance without special equipment, thus deterring from counterfeiting.

Banknotes security features

Various security features have been incorporated into the euro banknotes.

The banknote paper consists of pure cotton, which feels crisp and firm (not limp or waxy). back to Special printing makes the ink feel raised or thicker in the main image, the lettering and the value numerals on the front of the banknotes. To feel the raised print, run your finger over it or scratch it gently with your fingernail.

Additional tactile marks for the visually impaired are included on the €200 banknote and on the €500.

Look at the banknote and hold it against the light: the watermark, the security thread and the see-through number will then be visible. All three features can be seen from the front and back of genuine banknotes.

The watermark is produced by varying the thickness of the paper. It appears when you hold the banknote against the light. If you put the banknote on a dark surface the light areas become darker. This effect is very easy to see in the value watermark.

The security thread is embedded in the banknote paper. Hold the banknote against the light - the thread will appear as a dark stripe. The word "EURO" and the value can be seen in tiny letters on the stripe.

Marks printed in the top corner of the banknote, on both sides, combine perfectly to form the value numeral. You can see the complete number when holding the banknote against the light.

Tilt the banknote: on the front, you can see the shifting image on the hologram. On the back, you can see the glossy stripe (on the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes) or the colour-changing number (on the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes).

In addition to the above mentioned security features there is also microprinting used and elements that you can see under UV light.

On some areas of the banknote you can see tiny writing, e.g. inside the "EYPΩ" (EURO in Greek characters) on the front. You will need a magnifying glass to see it. The microprinting is sharp (not blurred).

Under UV light you can see:

  • the paper itself does not glow.
  • fibres embedded in the paper appear, coloured red, blue and green.
  • the flag of the European Union looks green and has orange stars.
  • the signature of the ECB President turns green.
  • the large stars and small circles on the front glow. The map, bridge and value numeral on the back appear in yellow.

Security figures in images - home page of the ECB

Coins security features

Euro coins incorporate high-security machine-readable characteristics. They can be used in vending machines throughout the euro area - no matter where they were issued.

Sophisticated bi-metal and sandwich technologies have been incorporated into the €1 and €2 coins.

The material of the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins is a unique alloy (Nordic gold), which is difficult to melt and used exclusively for coins.

Lettering around the edge of the €2 coin and the use of a unique metal composition for the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins protects them against counterfeiting.