€100 and €200 banknotes in the Europa series ©Nils Thies

New €100 and €200 banknotes to appear on 28 May

The new 100 and €200 banknotes, the last two denominations in the Europa series, will start circulating in all 19 member states of the euro area on 28 May 2019, joining the previously issued new generation of €5, €10, €20 and €50 banknotes to complete the series. The Europa series no longer features a €500 banknote.

Two new and innovative security features

Both the 100 and €200 banknotes contain two new and innovative security features. The satellite hologram at the top of the silvery stripe shows small € symbols that move around the number and become clearer under direct light. The emerald number has also been enhanced. While the shiny number in the bottom left corner still displays an effect of light that moves up and down when tilted, changing colour from emerald green to deep blue, the numerals in these new banknotes now also show € symbols.

As with all banknotes of the Europa series, the new 100 and €200 banknotes have a portrait hologram and a watermark of Europa’s portrait as well. The two banknotes are also the same height as the €50 banknote to ensure that they can be handled more easily. In addition to the security features that can be seen with the naked eye, the banknotes also contain improved machine-readable security features.

Old banknotes not worthless 

For a time, banknotes from both series will be circulating side by side. The banknotes from the first series will be gradually removed from circulation, meaning that there will be fewer of them over time. The Eurosystem will give advance notice of the date from which banknotes from the first series will cease to be legal tender. However, the old notes will not be worthless. The central banks will exchange them for new Europa series notes indefinitely.

The Europa series 

The new series owes its name to Europa, a figure from Greek mythology. Her portrait can be seen, for example, in the improved security features: the portrait watermark and the portrait hologram. This particular image was taken from a vase displayed in the Louvre in Paris which dates back over 2,000 years and was found in southern Italy. In Greek mythology, Europa – daughter of a Phoenician king – was abducted by the Greek god Zeus, appearing as a bull, and taken to Crete. This saga inspired the ancient Greeks to use the name “Europa” as a geographical term.

Note: Denominations in the Europa series

The Governing Council of the ECB reviewed the denominational structure of the Europa series on 4 May 2016 and decided to exclude the 500 banknote from the Europa series. It ruled to keep the other denominations – from €5 to €200 – in place. In view of the international importance of the euro and the widespread trust in euro banknotes, the €500 banknote of the first series remains legal tender and can therefore continue to be used as a means of payment and store of value. As with the other denominations of euro banknotes, the €500 banknotes will not be worthless. The national central banks of the Eurosystem will exchange them indefinitely.