Euro banknotes exist in seven different denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. They are legal tender throughout the euro area. They feature architectural styles from different periods in Europe's history.
The second series of euro banknotes
On the front of both series of euro banknotes, windows and doorways are shown. They symbolise the European spirit of openness and cooperation. The bridges on the back symbolise communication between the people of Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world.
The windows, doorways and bridges shown on the banknotes are stylised illustrations, not images of, or from, actual constructions.
Other design elements are:
Each banknote bears the signature of either Willem F. Duisenberg, Jean-Claude Trichet or Mario Draghi – the first, second and third Presidents of the European Central Bank respectively. These banknotes are all equally valid.
Willem F. Duisenberg
The banknotes show a geographical representation of Europe. It excludes islands of less than 400 square kilometres because high-volume offset printing does not permit the accurate reproduction of small design elements. The Europa series has a revised map of Europe, including Malta and Cyprus.
The tiny boxes near the bottom of the banknote show the Canary Islands and some overseas territories of France where the euro is also used.
The serial number on the Europa series comprises two numbers printed on the back of the banknote: a horizontal number printed in black and a vertical number printed in the colour of the respective denomination.
The horizontal number comprises two letters and ten digits. The first letter denotes the printing works, and the second letter simply goes up sequentially, as do the numbers. The vertical number comprises the last six digits of the horizontal number.
More information on the printing works identifier letter in the horizontal number will be provided once the €5 banknote of the Europa series is circulating, i.e. as from 2 May 2013.
The central bank that commissioned the printing of a banknote (but not necessarily the country of printing) is indicated by a letter or country code preceding the serial number, as shown here:
This particular banknote, bearing the letter 'S', was printed for the Banca d'Italia. The country codes are listed below.
|Luxembourg||( 1 )|
|(1) Uncirculated euro banknotes issued by the Banque centrale du Luxembourg bear the code of the central banks of the countries where the banknotes for Luxembourg are produced.|