When examining the authenticity of banknotes it is necessary to pay attention to several security elements – safety features, which can be found on euro banknotes.
This is done by (click the appropriate number to open safety features and examples of counterfeited banknotes):
Euro banknotes are printed on 100% cotton paper which has a unique feel.
1. The initials of the European Central Bank, the central motif, as well as the value numeral from the obverse side feature intaglio “raised” print and will feel rough to the touch.
2. Watermark is located on the white left part of the obverse side of the banknote and shows the central motif of the gate (for the first series of euro banknotes) and the goddess Europa (for the second series), as well as the value numeral.
When looked against the light, the watermark of the value numeral must be always brighter than the main motif. On a dark surface, the watermark of value numeral must be always dark.
3. The security thread is embedded into the paper, and is seen only when held up against the light. It contains the sign of the currency as well as the value numeral.
4. Matching details – see-through register (only in the first series of euro banknotes), is located in the upper left corner of the obverse side of the banknote and the reverse side of the banknote in the upper right corner (partial printing on both sides), and when the banknote is looked against the light, a complete value numeral is shown.
5. Hologram foil stripe can be found on 5, 10 and 20 euro banknotes of the first series.
5a) Hologram foil stripe in new denominations of euro banknotes shows more motifs: euro symbol and denomination, portrait of goddess Europa, gate motif, and the value numeral.
In the new 20 and 50 euro banknotes, the second motif on hologram foil stripe is transparent and shows goddess Europa in the so called “portrait window”.
6. Iridescent stripe located on the reverse side of the banknotes (on €5, €10, €20 banknotes of the first series, as well as in denominations of the second series), when tilted, it displays the euro symbol and value numeral.
7. Hologram foil patch (on €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes) shows a central motif, micro wording with currency markings and nominal values, euro symbol perforations and demetalised area.
8. OVI ink changes colour when tilted, changing the colour from the shades of pink to olive green. This applies to €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes (first series).
9. In the second series of euro banknotes, on the bottom left corner of the obverse side, there is a so-called “emerald number”. When tilted, the emerald green on the navy blue background moves (up and down).
Click to turn 20 euro banknotes
Click to turn 50 euro banknotes
New Europe banknote series
More information on security features of euro banknotes can be found at the European Central Bank website.
The 1- and 2-euro coins use a sophisticated bi-metal technology and have a three-layer core.
The 10-, 20- and 50-cent coins are made of unique “Nordic gold” alloy which is hard to melt and is used exclusively for coins.
The inner part of 1- and 2-euro coins is slightly magnetic, unlike the ring – rim of the coin.
The 50-, 20- and 10-cent coins are not magnetic, while 5-, 2- and 1-cent coins are extremely magnetic.
Counterfeited coins are identified by the external, i.e. visual signs, such as:
- inaccuracy in making reliefs, perforations and alphabetical or numerical characters on the rim;
- deviation in dimensions (diameter, height of the edge of the rim);
- different sound (when the coin is exposed to a fall on a solid surface);
- deviation in colour and shine;
Original 2-euro coins have a precise manufacturing of the rim, numerical and alphabetic characters, which is not the case with counterfeits.
Original 2-euro coins