The European Central Bank today launched their latest banknote which has undergone significant design change as well as security upgrades, the €20 note joins both the €5 and €10 which themselves underwent similar upgrade in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
In a ceremony presided over by ECB President Mario Draghi who welcomed the world’s media and invited guests, the unveiling was held in the media room of the European Central Bank’s new headquarters, which themselves were only inaugurated at the end of last year.
During his opening comments, the ECB President spoke about the need for the European Central Bank – and all Central Banks to upgrade their notes periodically in order to deter and prevent counterfeiting to which the ECB is not immune from. The denomination in focus today, the €20 note is by far the most popular and utilized denomination within the Euro-zone.
As of December 2014, the total value of Euro notes currently in circulation has reached one trillion Euros, the first time this has occurred and it is only slated to increase over the years. The amount of physical notes having been placed into circulation has reached over 17.5 billion in varying denominations.
Mr. Draghi also highlighted the €20 note’s unique security feature, that of a “portrait Window” a real innovation in technology and will be unique to Euro notes which integrates a polymer film embedded into the paper of the note and incorporating a portrait of the goddess Europa which is shown when light is filtered through. The “portrait window” is positioned along with the hologram and is designed to be integrated within this strip positioned to the right side.
After a short video in which the assembled media and audience guests actually got their first glimpse of the note, a larger representation of the note was unveiled by Mr. Draghi who, then duly affixed his signature to a throng of photos from assembled journalists and international media.
The note, still in production, retains its initial color and theme of “ages & styles” architecture on the obverse and bridges on the reverse will be released for circulation within the entire Euro-zone area – now comprising nineteen countries, on the 25h November after a thorough public awareness campaign is launched by both the ECB and individual Euro-zone member states. By this time, it is estimated that more than 4.3 billion notes will have been produced to ensure a safe, swift and thorough transition from the first series to the new “Europa” series initially introduced in 2013 with the revision of the Euro-zone’s smallest banknote in circulation, the €5 note, the €10 followed in 2014. Independent banknote designer Reinhold Gerstetter who is based in Berlin was commissioned to revise the first series of notes originally introduced on the 1st January 2002.
The time between the unveiling today and the actual date of issue, the 25th November will be used to ensure that electronic machines which recognize banknotes for automation, will be able to do so such as ATM’s and transit ticketing systems. For more information on this and all notes issued by the European Central Bank, please visit their dedicated webpage at: www.new-euro-banknotes.eu Information is offered in all recognized and official languages spoken within the European Union.
All images courtesy of Michael Alexander – LBMRC UK