Eurosystem unveils the Europa series €5 banknote

10 January 2013

Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), today unveiled the Europa series €5 banknote. The unveiling was the highlight of the opening of the “New Face of the Euro” exhibition, which is being held at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt am Main from 11 January to 10 March 2013.

The new €5 banknote has benefited from advances in banknote technology since the first series was introduced over ten years ago. It includes some new and enhanced security features. The watermark and hologram display a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology – and hence the name of this series of banknotes. An eye-catching “emerald number” changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. Short raised lines on the left and right edges of the banknote make it easier to identify the banknote, especially for visually impaired people.

These security features are planned to be included in all the new banknotes. They are easy to check using the “feel, look and tilt” method.

The new series has the same “ages and styles” design and dominant colours as the first series. The €5 will be the first banknote to be issued, starting on 2 May 2013. The other denominations, i.e. €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, will be introduced over the next few years, in ascending order.

The first series will initially circulate alongside the new banknotes, but will gradually be withdrawn and eventually cease to be legal tender. The date when this occurs will be announced well in advance. However, the banknotes of the first series will retain their value indefinitely and can be exchanged at euro area national central banks at any time.

Further information is available in a press kit and at This website also includes the “Euro Cash Academy”, a learning module which takes a playful approach to the new €5 and other euro banknotes. In addition, leaflets about the new €5 will be distributed to banks, shops and other businesses across the euro area in April 2013. All these measures should give the public and professional cash handlers an opportunity to learn about the new banknotes in good time and should ensure that the launch of the Europa series goes smoothly.

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