The new €20 bank note being released in all 22 eurozone nations Nov.
25 will join the already issued €5 and €10 notes as members of the
second generation of euros, which are known as the “Europa Series.”
The release comes at an opportune time given reports that in the
first half of 2015 55 percent of counterfeit notes intercepted by
banks in the Eurozone were €20 notes. The new version is said to be
more secure, prompting Carl-Ludwig Thiele, head of the Bundesbank in
Frankfurt to boast, “A milestone in banknote technology has been
achieved.” The bank also said that anyone trying to duplicate the note
on a photocopy machine would “utterly fail.”
A number of obvious differences are visible when comparing the old
note that debuted in 2002 to the new note. The number 20 is more
colorful on the new note and the one at the bottom of the face now
changes color. The denomination is now given in the Cyrillic alphabet
as well as the Greek and Latin ones thanks to the addition of Bulgaria
to the European Union. Nine variations of the initials of the European
Central Bank appear, due to the enlargement of the union in 2004 and 2007.
The most obvious of the security enhancements is the hologram
occupying a transparent portrait window in the note. When held up to
the light from either side, an engraving-style image of the
mythological goddess Europa appears. Also, when the bank note is
tilted, the window shows rainbow-colored lines around the value
numeral. On the back, rainbow-colored value numerals appear in the window.
The new note has been the subject of a massive months-long
information and marketing effort in advance of the launch. On Feb. 6,
2015, a seminar was held at the Bank of Italy in Rome for equipment
manufacturers and suppliers. On Feb. 24, the new note was officially
unveiled at European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt.
To raise awareness of four of the security features, in particular
the portrait window, the bank launched an online game called “Tetris
Next, the new notes were loaned to bank note equipment manufacturers
so they could correctly adapt machines and authentication devices.
Starting on Oct. 13, 2.8 million businesses received information
leaflets and motion cards. The leaflet shows steps needed to adapt
equipment to the new note as well as the time line for the launch. It
also points out that bank notes can be easily checked manually, using
the “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” method.
Businesses were advised to ensure that their handling and
authentication devices were ready. Professional cash handlers were
informed about the design and security features in advance so they, in
turn, could inform their customers.
The old €20 note will remain legal tender, but will gradually be
withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. More information and
descriptions of many of the security features, not all of which have
been disclosed, may be found at http://www.new-euro-banknotes.eu/.
A 100-ruble bank note commemorating Moscow’s “annexation” of Crimea
from Ukraine in 2014 will appear in Russia in December, according to a
report in the Moscow Times of Nov. 12, citing a report in Tass and a
Russian Central Bank official. Twenty million of the new notes will be
printed. They will feature symbols of Crimea and the city of
Sevastopol, and will enter into circulation in December.
The design is not yet finalized, according to the report. Bank
officials are said to be now discussing said design with the governors
of Crimea and Sevastopol, an interesting revelation given that the
scheduled release is only a month away.
This is not the first time Russia has issued commemorative currency
for its Crimean putsch. In October 2014, the Central Bank released two
new 10-ruble coins, one featuring an image of the Swallow’s Nest
castle in the Crimean city of Yalta and the other showing Sevastopol’s
Monument to the Scuttled Ships.