Paper Money

Next €20 note to include a coating of protective varnish

Germany will begin releasing €20 notes that have a coating of varnish, which is intended to improve durability and make the notes feel smoother to the touch.

Images courtesy of European Central Bank.

A change is coming to the €20 note beginning this year. A special varnished coating will make them feel smoother as part of an effort to make them more durable and increase their useful lifespan.

The information was not disclosed by the European Central Bank, but by Johannes Beermann, the German Bundesbank director responsible for cash, in comments made to German media. He said, “From 2021, only coated 20-euro banknotes will be produced, so that uncoated 20-euro banknotes will gradually disappear from the cash cycle.”

He added that the €5 and €10 notes of the Europa Series, or second series, of euro bank notes that were introduced in 2013 already have the coating and that tests have shown that their durability has increased as a result. He added that laboratory tests have proven that coated bank notes are much less susceptible to contamination. Interestingly, the European Central Bank mentions on its website, “The new euro banknotes are also more durable than the first series,” adding, “That’s important, especially for the €5 and €10 banknotes, as they change hands more often than the other notes.”

Beermann said a few other European national banks began putting coated €20 notes into circulation on a trial basis last summer, but Germany will only begin printing them this year and will gradually circulate them. The first letter of the serial number indicates the national central bank responsible for producing the banknote. In the case of Germany, this is “x” for the Europa Series.

In total, 4.3 billion €20 notes, with a total value of 86.1 billion euros, were in circulation in November 2020.

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