Europe’s €50 banknote is the most widely used euro banknote. It accounts for 45% of all euros in circulation. In fact, the Central Bank says there are more €50 notes in circulation than the €5, €10 and €20 put together. Therefore, it only makes sense that the security features of €50 banknote increase.
“The introduction of the new €50 will make our currency even safer, its state-of-the-art security features help protect our money,” said Yves Mersch, an executive board member at the European Central Bank.
The new €50 banknote that began circulation April this year has more and better security features that include a secret window on its left side. If you hold the orange banknote against the light, it will reveal portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology.
The new design also has features that will disappear when viewed under ultraviolet and infrared lights, allowing cash handles to immediately verify authenticity.
In the absence of ultraviolet and infrared lights, authenticity can be determined by tilting the banknote. The shiny number on the front of the banknote should change from emerald green to deep blue when tilted. The front side also depicts windows in architectural styles from different periods in Europe’s history. Bridges are featured on the opposite side.
The redesigned €50 note is part of a new Europa series, the second produced by the eurozone. The €50 is the fourth denomination to be introduced, after the €5, €10 and €20.
Euros are used by 338 million people across the 19 countries of the euro area.
The Death of the 500 Euro Bill
The European Central Bank, which is responsible for issuing euro banknotes used by all 19 nations in the eurozone, phased out the 500 euro banknote because of concerns that it is being used for illegal activities.
According to ECB President Mario Draghi, “There is a pervasive and increasing conviction in the world of public opinion that high denomination banknotes are used for criminal purposes.”
Europe’s top law enforcement officials maintain that the 500 euro banknote (worth about $576) makes it easy for criminals to launder money since it’s so easy to move around undetected. A Europol report conducted 2016 also showed that 500 euro notes “instrument of choice” for terrorists.
“The 500 [euro] note alone accounts for over 30% of the value of all banknotes in circulation, despite it not being a common means of payment,” the report said.
Issuance of the 500 euro notes will be stopped by 2018, when a new series of banknotes are introduced.