Euro coins


Meeting of euro anti-counterfeiting experts: “11th Euro South East Conference” organised by OLAF

OLAF gathered experts in the fight against euro counterfeiting in one of the most sensitive regions for this crime – the Balkans. Read more…

OLAF experts train Colombian investigators on euro protection

The euro is one of the most counterfeited currencies and the target of criminals all over the world. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which plays in important role in the protection of the single European currency, together with the National Public Prosecutor’s Office of Colombia organised a joint training seminar for members of Colombian law enforcement bodies. Read more ...

Three Arrested in Italian Counterfeit Coin Raid

An illegal mint was discovered during a late night raid of a garage in a secluded villa near Rome.  Read more...

Euro Coins

Euro coins are well protected against counterfeiting by several security features. Overall levels of counterfeiting have been relatively low.

However because each country's euro coins – with distinctive designs – are legal tender across the eurozone, common rules and coordination are needed to ensure anti-counterfeiting measures are equally effective in all countries. OLAF has a particular role in coordinating national measures.

Coordination – European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)

OLAF's European technical and scientific centre supports national efforts to combat counterfeiting of coins by:

  • coordinating technical measures, in particular the analysis and classification of the major categories of counterfeit euro coins (common classes)
  • providing Coin National Analysis Centres and police authorities with direct technical assistance
  • contributing to the development of the European Central Bank's counterfeits database
  • establishing a register of coin-like objects that could be misused as euro coins
  • working with the coin-operated industry.

Commission Decision 2005/37/EC establishing the ETSC pdf

Contact ETSC at or by fax  on +32 2 292 18 84.

Coin authentication rules

Regulation 1210/2010 on euro-coin authentication & handling of coins unfit for circulation pdf - 734 KB [734 KB] introduces specific obligations for national authorities, banks and other credit institutions to ensure equal standards are applied throughout the eurozone. It also includes rules on the handling of coins that are unfit for circulation, as a result of long use, accident or damage.

Coin-processing machines

Coin authentication relies mainly on coin-processing machines used in cash-sorting centres.

The ETSC and Coin National Analysis Centres test these machines and produce a list of approved coin-processing machines pdf - 144 KB [144 KB] that pass the tests.

Manufacturers of coin-processing machines can obtain more information on detection tests, test sites and standard declarations of conformity from the ETSC (see above).

Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Regulation 2182/2004 on medals and tokens similar to euro coins pdf and Amending Regulation 46/2009 pdf prohibits the production and sale of medals and tokens bearing a strong similarity to euro coins, based on size, appearance and material. It aims to:

  • minimise the risk of confusion between euro coins and similar-looking objects
  • prevent other objects from being used unlawfully in the place of euro coins.

Regulation 2183/2004 pdf and Amending regulation 47/2009 pdf apply the same ban in EU countries outside the eurozone



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Last update: 19/09/2014