A newly designed €20 bank note will enter circulation on Nov. 25,
2015, according to an April 2 announcement by the European Central
Bank. This will be the third replacement of the original Series 2002
notes following the new €5 note, which made its debut in May 2013, and
the €10 note, released last September. New €50, €100, €200 and €500
notes will follow.
The new notes are called the “Europa Series” because the figure from
Greek mythology and the continent’s namesake has a prominent place in
two anti-counterfeiting devices.
Europa’s portrait used here was taken from a 2,000-year-old vase in
the Louvre in Paris. The bank says that the window in the hologram on
the note is a major innovation in bank note technology. Europa is
placed inside a distinct “portrait window” in the hologram. When held
against the light the window becomes transparent, revealing a portrait
of Europa on both sides.
When tilted, rainbow-colored lines appear around the value numeral
on the face and rainbow-colored value numerals appear on the back.
This is said to represent a technological breakthrough and makes
counterfeiting more difficult.
Europa also appears in a more standard watermark along one edge of
Similar to the new €5 and €10 issues, the €20 note also has an
“emerald number.” When the note is tilted the shiny number in the
bottom left corner representing the denomination changes color from
emerald green to deep blue.
Other features on the new €20 note are a series of short raised
lines on the left and right edges, and a security thread that appears
as a dark line upon which the € symbol and the value of the note can
be seen in tiny white lettering when held against the light. The
yellow circles of the “Eurion Constellation,” said to be part of the
Counterfeit Deterrence System, are on both sides.
While the new issue continues the architectural “ages and styles”
theme of the first series and uses the same basic colors, the
adaptations on the new notes are the work of an independent bank note
designer in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, who has reflected the changes
in the Eurozone since 2002.
The map of Europe on the back now also shows Malta and Cyprus.
“Euro” is now also written in Cyrillic along with the Latin and Greek
alphabets, even though Bulgaria, the only EU country using the
Cyrillic alphabet, is not yet a member of the Eurozone.
Unlike U.S. paper currency, the old note will not remain legal
tender forever. The date when the first series of euro notes stops
being legal tender will be announced well in advance.
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