Since 2013 the countries in the euro area have been gradually introducing the second series of euro banknotes into circulation. What makes this series stand out is the upgraded security features that use the mythological Greek character Europa, after whom the continent is named.

The nominal values of the second series of banknotes are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 euros. The European Central Bank has decided that the 500-euro note will not be issued in the second series. All the banknotes of the first series will continue to be legal tender, meaning that their status as a means of payment or a store of value has not changed. The first of the second series of banknotes to be issued was the five-euro note in 2013, which was followed in 2014 by the new ten-euro note. The second series of the 20-euro note was issued in November 2015 and the date when the second series of 50-euro notes will be issued will be announced on 5 July.

The new notes continue the theme of “ages and styles” from the first series and use the same colours but have been visually modified to accommodate a range of new and enhanced security features. The notes of the second series can easily be differentiated from those of the first. An independent banknote designer based in Berlin, Reinhold Gerstetter, refreshed the design of the euro banknotes.

The new banknotes also take into account the countries which joined the European Union after the launch of the first series. They have the name of the currency, euro, written on them in the Latin (EURO) Greek (EYPΩ) and Cyrillic (EBPO) alphabets, as a result of Bulgaria joining the European Union in 2007. The map of Europe has been revised to include Malta and Cyprus, and the initials of the European Central Bank are shown in ten linguistic variants.

Both series of notes will be used in parallel initially, but the banknotes of the first series will gradually be withdrawn from circulation and the legal tender status of banknotes will be reviewed after a sufficient period of time has passed. The public will be informed well in advance of the date that the first series of euro banknotes will cease to be legal tender. The banknotes of the first series will hold their value permanently, and it will be possible to exchange them at central banks at any time.

So that the new series of notes can enter smoothly into circulation, it is important for companies to update their cash handling equipment in good time. Technical preparedness of cash handling and authentication devices ensures that payments go smoothly once the new banknotes enter circulation. If the cash authentication device is broken or needs updating, it is still possible to check the authenticity of notes using the feel, look, tilt method. For more details see the website of the second series.

The 50-euro banknote

The second series of euro banknotes has been in circulation since 2013. The new banknotes have high technology security features that have been created using the latest technical equipment. The new security features are more effective and offer better protection against counterfeiting.

The new notes continue the theme of “ages and styles” from the first series and use the same colours. The 50-euro note features the Renaissance style of architecture, and its main colour is orange.

The five, ten, 20 and 50-euro notes have the same security features:

  • a series of short raised lines on the left and right edges
  • an emerald-green number in the bottom left corner of the note
  • a watermark of a portrait of Europa and
  • a hologrammic portrait of Europa.

Like the 20-euro note, the 50-euro note has an additional security feature in the form of a transparent portrait window near the top of the hologram. This represents a technological breakthrough in the production of banknotes. Looking at the note against the light reveals a portrait of Europa in the window, which can be seen from both sides of the note. When the note is tilted, the numeral value 50 appears in the portrait window and rainbow-coloured lines appear around it. On the back of the banknote, rainbow-coloured value numerals appear in the window. The authenticity of both the first series banknotes and the new notes can be checked without any equipment being used. It is enough to just feel, look at and tilt the note.