Euro banknotes and coins are designed to meet a number of technical imperatives. Security features are critical to help detect unauthorised copying. The physical appearance of the currency is pleasing both to the eye and to the touch, with many features built in to help visually impaired people identify different notes and coins and their respective values.
Designers of the euro banknotes and coins consulted the European Blind Association to help develop a currency recognisable to all citizens. Several features were incorporated:
Countering the counterfeiters
Counterfeiting and security were major design considerations for both the notes and coins. Security features in the notes include:
The European Central Bank provides an interactive demonstration of how to recognise a genuine euro banknote on its website.
Anti-forgery details in the coins include:
The fight against counterfeiting is led by the Counterfeit Analysis Centre at the ECB for banknotes, and the Commission’s Antifraud Office (OLAF) for coins. OLAF coordinates the Member States' actions for the technical protection of the euro through the European Technical and Scientific Centre in Paris. It also provides training and technical assistance through the Pericles programme. National mints use their own national analysis centres to detect forgeries, which are then forwarded to the relevant European centre.
|Denomination||Dimensions, composition, features|
|1 cent||16.25 mm (across); 1.67 mm (rim); 2.30 g (weight); round (shape); red (colour); copper-covered steel; smooth (edge)|
|2 cent||18.75 mm; 1.67 mm; 3.06 g; round; red; copper-covered steel; smooth with a groove|
|5 cent||21.25 mm; 1.67 mm; 3.92 g; round; red; copper-covered steel; smooth|
|10 cent||19.75 mm; 1.93 mm; 4.10 g; round; yellow; Nordic gold; shaped edge with fine scallops|
|20 cent||22.25 mm; 2.14 mm; 5.74; Spanish flower; yellow; Nordic gold; plain|
|50 cent||24.25 mm; 2.38 mm; 7.8o g; round; yellow; Nordic gold; shaped edge with fine scallops|
|€1||23.25 mm; 2.33 mm; 7.50 g; round; outer part yellow/inner white; outer nickel-brass/inner three layered: copper-nickel, nickel, copper-nickel; interrupted/milled|
|€2||25.75 mm; 2.20 mm; 8.50 g; round; outer part white/inner yellow; outer copper-nickel/inner three layered: nickel brass, nickel, nickel brass; edge lettering/fine milled|
|€5||120 x 62 mm; grey (colour); Classical (architectural period)|
|€10||127 x 67 mm; red; Romanesque|
|€20||133 x 72 mm; blue; Gothic|
|€50||140 x 77 mm; orange; Renaissance|
|€100||147 x 82 mm; green; Baroque and Rococo|
|€200||153 x 82 mm; yellow-brown; iron and glass architecture|
|€500||160 x 82 mm; purple; modern 20th century architecture|