The new 100 and 200 euro notes entered circulation on Tuesday, completing the European Central Bank’s Europa series of bank notes following the introduction of the new 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro notes.
The notes incorporate new security elements including a satellite hologram showing small € symbols that move around the number when the banknote is tilted and become clearer under direct light. The silvery stripe also shows a portrait of Europa, the architectural motif and a large € symbol.
The changes are designed to make it easier to verify the authenticity of the notes by means of the so-called ‘touch, look, turn’ system.
In addition to the components visible to the naked eye, they incorporate other elements that are only recognisable with specialised machines and equipment. To make this possible, the 19 central banks of the euro zone collaborated with manufacturers and owners of authentication devices to carry out tests on their equipment.
The classic emerald colour number that indicates the value of money has also been improved. Another novelty is the size of these bills. The new ones have been made larger to match the height of the 50 euros, already in circulation. However, the length will remain the same as that of the 100 and 200 euro bills that are already in the pockets of Europeans.
According to the European Central Bank, these changes will make the notes easier to handle and process by machines, fit better in people’s wallets and last longer, as they will be subject to less wear and tear.
The 100 euro bill is the third most used denomination after the 50 and 20 euros, but according to the ECB demand for the both the 100 and the 200 euro notes is increasing at an annual rate of 7.6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.
The old bills will continue to be legal tender and used along side the new ones until they are gradually withdrawn from circulation.