The fourth entry in the European Central Bank’s Europa series — the 50 euro banknote — started circulating this week, according to an announcement from the ECB.
The new note moves a step closer to making euro banknotes more resistant to counterfeiting, the ECB said.
The design includes a portrait window (shown at left) near the top of the hologram that becomes transparent when looked at against the light, and reveals a portrait of the mythical figure Europa, which is visible on both sides of the note.
The same portrait is visible in the watermark, alongside the number, which displays an effect of the light moving up and down when the note is tilted. The note also includes raised print for the visually impaired.
“Even in this digital age, cash remains essential in our economy,” Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, said in the announcement.
A soon-to-be-published survey on cash use, carried out on behalf of the ECB, shows that more than three-quarters of all payments at points of sale in the euro area are made in cash. “In terms of transaction values, that’s slightly more than half,” Drago said.
Full survey results will be made available this summer.
The 50 euro note is the most widely used euro banknote denomination. With over 9 billion of them in circulation, they account for 46% of all euro banknotes. The €50 banknotes of the first series will remain legal tender and continue to circulate alongside the new notes and will be gradually withdrawn from circulation.
New 100 euro and 200 euro banknotes will be issued at the beginning of 2019.