Paper Money

New high-denomination euro notes due in 2019

The European Central Bank unveiled its new €100 and €200 bank notes on Sept. 17, and said they will enter circulation on May 28, 2019. These are the final two denominations of the second or “Europa” series. The €5, €10, €20 and €50 notes were issued at intervals beginning in May 2013.

The new notes are a different size than their predecessors. Both are now the same 77-millimeter (3.03-inch) height as the €50 bank note, but their length is unchanged, at 147 and 153 millimeters (5.79 and 6.02 inches), getting longer as the value gets higher. The ECB says that since the three denominations are the same height, they can be more easily handled and processed, will fit better in people’s wallets, and will last longer, since there will be less wear and tear.


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As for nearly all bank note redesigns, the focus is on updated security features. The European Central Bank’s announcement mentioned some of them: The new notes are easy to check with the “feel, look and tilt” method common to all euro notes. At the top of the silvery stripe, a satellite hologram has small € symbols that move around the number and become clearer under direct light. The stripe also shows a portrait of Europa, as well as the architectural motif characteristic to the note (baroque and rococo for the green €100 note and 19th century iron and glass architecture for the yellow-brown €200 issue), and a large € symbol. They also have an enhanced emerald number that has € symbols inside the numerals. The notes have other features that are only readable by machines.

The European Central Bank says that at the end of June 2018, 2.7 billion €100 bank notes were in circulation, comprising 13 percent of all euro notes. This makes it the second most important denomination after the €50. The €200 note accounts for 1 percent of the notes in circulation.

The first series of euro notes was issued in 2002 and is still legal tender. First series notes are gradually being replaced by the Europa series. 

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