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Protection of the euro

Various sophisticated security features have been incorporated into the euro banknotes, ensuring that genuine euro banknotes are easily recognised by citizens and protected against counterfeiting.

The euro banknotes security features are the following:

  • the paper;
  • the raised print;
  • the watermark;
  • the see-through number;
  • the security thread;
  • the perforations
  • the hologram stripe;
  • the hologram patch;
  • the colour-changing number;
  • the glossy stripe.

When conducting authenticity checks, always check several security features.

Authenticity checks without equipment

The authenticity of euro banknotes can be verified by three simple tests:

  • Feel:

Feel the raised print; special printing methods give banknotes a unique feel.

  • Look:

Hold the banknote against the light to see the watermark, the security thread and the see-through number.

All three features can be seen from the front and the back of a genuine banknote. 

  •  Tilt:

Tilt the banknote. On the front, you can see the shifting image on the hologram. On the back, you can see the glossy stripe on the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes or the colour-changing number on the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes.

For more information, click here.

Authenticity checks with equipment

You can check certain additional security features by using relatively simple equipment:

  • Check with a magnifying glass:

On some areas of the banknote you can see tiny writing (microprinting), e.g. inside the "EYPΩ" (EURO in Greek characters) on the front.

  • Check with an ultraviolet lamp:
Under UV light, the paper itself does not glow, but fibres embedded in the paper appear coloured red, blue and green. On the front, the flag of the European Union looks green and has orange stars; the signature of the ECB President turns green; the large stars and small circles glow. On the back, the map, bridge and value numeral appear in yellow.