New €100 and €200 banknotes enter circulation

05/27/2019 / Press release

Tomorrow sees the new €100 and €200 banknotes enter circulation. These are the last two banknotes in the Europa series, which aims to offer even better protection against counterfeiting. New and innovative security elements are also being deployed on the two latest banknotes. Like other denominations, they can easily be checked using the feel-look-tilt method. All earlier euro banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender, and will continue to be used in parallel with the new banknotes.

New banknotes have been entering circulation since 2013 as part of the Europa series project. After the release of the new €5, €10, €20 and €50 banknotes, and the ending of the issuance of €500 banknotes, tomorrow will see the entry into circulation of the final two banknotes in the series, the €100 and €200. The banknotes were unveiled at today’s press conference at the Bank of Slovenia.

The new €100 and €200 differ from their predecessors of the same denominations in certain key features. The most obvious difference is size, as the new banknotes are now the same width as the €50. The length of the two banknotes has remained unchanged, sticking to the rule that the longer the banknote is, the higher its value. The new €50, €100 and €200 banknotes being the same width makes them easier to handle, and better suited for processing by various machines. They also fit better in people’s wallets, and will last longer, being less subject to wear and tear.

Another feature of the new banknotes is the satellite hologram at the top of the silvery stripe, which shows the portrait of Europa (the same portrait can be seen in the watermark on both sides of the banknote), an architectural motif and a large € symbol. The new €100 and €200 banknotes also feature an enhanced emerald number. The emerald number itself is present on all the other banknotes of the Europa series.

In addition to the security features that can be seen with the naked eye, euro banknotes also contain machine-readable security features, which have been enhanced. The new banknotes will be even more secure, but easier to process in machines and vending units, and easier to check for authenticity.

The Bank of Slovenia notes that €100 and €200 banknotes are more rarely used to make payments than banknotes of lower denominations, as people prefer to use them as a store of value. There are more than 2.8 billion €100 banknotes in circulation in the euro area, equivalent to 12.7% of all euro banknotes, and just under 270 million €200 banknotes, equivalent to just 1.2% of the total number.

All euro banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender, and will continue to be used in parallel with the new banknotes, although the central banks will gradually withdraw them from circulation.