Fast on the heels of its May announcement that it is discontinuing
the €500 note, at the July 5 unveiling of the new €50 bank note, the
European Central Bank made sure to mention that the new note
“underlines the Eurosystem’s commitment to cash as a trusted and
efficient means of payment.”
The updated €50 note will start circulating on April 4, 2017, and is
the fourth denomination in the second or “Europa” series of euro bank
notes. As with nearly all paper money revisions, the impetus for the
change was security. Yves Mersch, ECB Executive Board member, said,
“The introduction of the new €50 will make our currency even safer.
Its state-of-the-art security features help protect our money.”
Among those features are a portrait window — a new device first used
on the Europa series €20 note. When the orange note is held up to the
light, a transparent window near the top of the hologram reveals a
portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology, which is visible on
both sides of the note. The same portrait also appears in the watermark.
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The face of the banknote features an “emerald number,” a shiny
number that, when tilted, changes color from emerald green to deep
blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down.
Raised printing makes the main image, the lettering and the large
value numeral feel thicker than before. The note also has
microprinting that can only be read with a magnifying glass and cannot
Parts of the note glow yellow or orange under ultra-violet light,
including the stars in the E.U. flag and the circles of the Eurion
Constellation. Under infrared light, on the face, the emerald number,
part of the large value numeral, the right side of the main image and
the silvery stripe are visible, while on the back, besides the window,
only the value numeral and the horizontal serial number are visible.
For the 338 million people that use the euro every day, the €50
denomination is the most widely used note, accounting for 45 percent
of all bank notes in circulation. More €50 notes are in circulation
than the €5, €10 and €20 issues combined.
More information and an online game of Tetris that reveals four of
the security features are here.