Security features

Various sophisticated security features have been incorporated into the euro banknotes, making them easy to distinguish from counterfeits.

These security features include:

  • Paper

  • Raised print

  • Watermark
  • See-through number
  • Security thread
  • Perforations
  • Hologram stripe
  • Portrait hologram
  • Moving hologram
  • Hologram patch
  • Portrait window
  • Colour-changing number
  • Glossy stripe

More than one security features should be checked to verify that banknotes are genuine.

How to recognise genuine banknotes without using any equipment

Genuine euro banknotes can be verified using three simple checks:

  • Feel: Run your finger across the raised print. Special printing methods give banknotes a distinctive feel.
  • Look: Look at the banknote and hold it 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 back of a genuine banknote.
  • Tilt: Tilt the banknote. On the front you can see the hologram image changing. 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).

How to verify euro banknotes using special equipment

Additional security features of the euro banknotes can be checked by using relatively simple equipment:

  • A magnifying glass: On some areas of the banknote you can see tiny writing, e.g. inside the letters comprising the word EURO on the front.
  • Ultraviolet light: Under ultraviolet light, the banknote paper itself does not glow; fibres embedded in the paper appear, coloured red, blue and green; the flag of the EU looks green and has orange stars; the signature of the ECB President turns green; the large stars and the small circles on the front glow; and on the back, the map, bridge and numeral appear in yellow or green .
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