New Issue: Europe’s latest €50 note features portrait of Europa

Earlier this month, a new €50 banknote—the fourth note of the new Europa series issued by the European Central Bank (ECB)—began circulating in the 19 countries of the euro area.

The note’s security features include a portrait window near the top of the hologram, which becomes transparent when looked at against light. The window reveals a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology, which is visible on both sides of the note. The same portrait is also visible in the watermark, alongside the emerald 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,” said ECB President Mario Draghi. “A soon-to-be-published survey on cash use, carried out on behalf of the ECB, shows that over 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.”

The survey is based on a daily diary completed by 65,281 respondents between October 2015 and July 2016. Respondents were asked to note all payments made at points-of-sale, such as supermarkets, shops for durable goods, bars, restaurants and street markets. The ECB survey covered 17 countries. National studies with similar methodology were conducted by the national central banks in Germany and the Netherlands.

The older €50 notes (shown above) will remain in circulation.

According to the bank, the survey results will be available this summer


Accounting for nearly half of all the euro banknotes in circulation, the €50 note is the most widely used denomination with more than nine billion in circulation. These older €50 notes continue to circulate alongside the new notes before being gradually withdrawn from circulation.

In 2019, the ECB will also issue new €100 and €200 banknotes.


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