20 euro note

Twenty euro
(Eurozone and Institutions)
Value 20 euro
Width 133 mm
Height 72 mm
Security features

First series: hologram stripe with perforations, reflective glossy stripe, EURion constellation, watermarks, microprinting, ultraviolet ink, raised printing, security thread, matted surface, see-through number, barcodes and serial number[1]

Europa series: portrait watermark, portrait hologram, portrait window, emerald number[2]
Paper type 100% pure cotton fibre[3]
Years of printing 1999 - 2013 (1st series)[4]
Since 2014 (Europa series)[4]
Design Window in Gothic architecture[5]
Designer Robert Kalina[6]
Design date 24 February 2015[6]
Design Bridge in Gothic architecture and map of Europe[5]
Designer Robert Kalina[6]
Design date 24 February 2015[6]

The twenty euro note (€20) is the third-lowest value euro banknote and has been used since the introduction of the euro (in its cash form) in 2002.[7] The note is used in the 23 countries which have it as their sole currency (with 22 legally adopting it); with a population of about 332 million.[8]

It is the third-smallest note, measuring 133 x 72 mm with a blue colour scheme.[5] The twenty euro banknotes depict bridges and arches/doorways in Gothic architecture (between the 13th and 14th century CE).

The twenty euro note contains several complex security features such as watermarks, invisible ink, holograms and microprinting that document its authenticity. In October 2011, there were approximately 2,755,346,800 twenty euro banknotes in circulation around the eurozone.

The full design of the Europa series 20 euro banknote was revealed on 24 February 2015 [9][10] and launched on 25 November 2015.[9]


Main article: History of the euro

The euro was founded on 1 January 1999, when it became the currency of over 300 million people in Europe.[4] For the first three years of its existence it was an invisible currency, only used in accountancy. Euro cash was not introduced until 1 January 2002, when it replaced the national banknotes and coins of the countries in eurozone 12, such as the Belgian franc and the Greek drachma.[4]

Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007,[11] Cyprus and Malta in 2008,[12] Slovakia in 2009,[13] Estonia in 2011,[14] Latvia in 2014,[15] and Lithuania in 2015.

20 € (2002 issue) obverse side.
20 € (2002 issue) reverse side.

The changeover period

The changeover period during which the former currencies' notes and coins were exchanged for those of the euro lasted about two months, going from 1 January 2002 until 28 February 2002. The official date on which the national currencies ceased to be legal tender varied from member state to member state.[4] The earliest date was in Germany, where the mark officially ceased to be legal tender on 31 December 2001, though the exchange period lasted for two months more. Even after the old currencies ceased to be legal tender, they continued to be accepted by national central banks for periods ranging from ten years to forever.[4][16]


Notes printed before November 2003 bear the signature of the first president of the European Central Bank, Wim Duisenberg, who was replaced on 1 November 2003 by Jean-Claude Trichet, whose signature appears on issues from November 2003 to March 2012. Notes issued after March 2012 bear the signature of the third president of the European Central Bank, incumbent Mario Draghi.[5]

Until now there has been only one complete series of euro notes; however a new series, similar to the current one, is being released.[17] The European Central Bank will, in due time, announce when banknotes from the first series lose legal tender status.[17]

As of June 2012, current issues do not reflect the expansion of the European Union to 27 member states as Cyprus is not depicted on current notes as the map does not extend far enough east and Malta is also missing as it does not meet the current series' minimum size for depiction.[18] Since the European Central Bank plans to redesign the notes every seven or eight years after each issue, a second series of banknotes is already in preparation. New production and anti-counterfeiting techniques will be employed on the new notes, but the design will be of the same theme and colours identical of the current series; bridges and arches. However, they would still be recognisable as a new series.[19]


20 euro banknote under fluorescent light (UV-A)
20 euro note under UV light (Obverse)
20 euro note under UV light (Reverse)

The twenty euro note is the third smallest euro note at 133 millimetres (5.2 in) × 72 millimetres (2.8 in) with a blue colour scheme.[5] All bank notes depict bridges and arches/doorways in a different historical European style; the twenty euro note shows the gothic era (between the 13th and 14th century CE).[20] Although Robert Kalina's original designs were intended to show real monuments, for political reasons the bridge and art are merely hypothetical examples of the architectural era.[21]

Like all euro notes, it contains the denomination, the EU flag, the signature of the president of the ECB[5] and the initials of said bank in different EU languages, a depiction of EU territories overseas, the stars from the EU flag and thirteen security features as listed below.[5]

The ECB released a game on 5 February 2015 to discover some of the new security features embedded in the new €20 note.[22] The most significant new anti-counterfeit measure is a transparent window, containing a hologram which shows a portrait of Europa and the number 20.[23] The Europa series design of the 20 euro note was officially revealed on 24 February 2015.[24]

Security features (First Series)

The watermark on the 20 euro note

As a lower value note, the security features of the twenty euro note are not as high as the other denominations, however, it is protected by:

Security Features (Europa Series)


The European Central Bank is closely monitoring the circulation and stock of the euro coins and banknotes. It is a task of the Eurosystem to ensure an efficient and smooth supply of euro notes and to maintain their integrity throughout the euro area.[30]

On January 1, 2016, there are 3,226,014,544 €20 banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone.[30] That is €64,520,290,880 worth of €20 banknotes.[30] This is a net number, i.e. the number of banknotes issued by the Eurosystem central banks, without further distinction as to who is holding the currency issued, thus also including the stocks held by credit institutions.

Besides the date of the introduction of the first set to January 2002, the publication of figures is more significant through the maximum number of banknotes raised each year. The number is higher the end of the year.

On November 2015, a new 'Europe' series was issued. The first series of notes were issued in conjunction with those for a few weeks in the series 'Europe' until existing stocks are exhausted, then gradually withdrawn from circulation. Both series thus run parallel but the proportion tends inevitably to a sharp decrease in the first series.

The figures are as follows (September 6, 2016) :

Key date Banknotes Amount Series '1' remainder Amount Proportion
January 1, 2002 1,961,761,089 39,235,221,780
December 1, 2002 1,974,764,476 39,495,289,520
December 1, 2003 2,053,751,069 41,075,021,380
December 1, 2004 2,079,431,718 41,588,634,360
December 1, 2005 2,159,677,359 43,193,547,180
December 1, 2006 2,336,568,793 46,731,375,860
December 1, 2007 2,467,676,850 49,353,537,000
December 1, 2008 2,617,914,839 52,358,296,780
December 1, 2009 2,690,208,898 53,804,177,960
December 1, 2010 2,751,808,438 55,036,168,760
December 1, 2011 2,853,452,345 57,069,046,900
December 1, 2012 2,988,384,283 59,767,685,660
December 1, 2013 3,088,833,405 61,776,668,100
December 1, 2014 3,233,284,025 64,665,680,500
December 1, 2015 3,439,563,088 68,791,261,760 2,814,523,557 56,290,471,140 81,8 %

Legal information

Legally, both the European Central Bank and the central banks of the eurozone countries have the right to issue the seven different euro banknotes. In practice, only the national central banks of the zone physically issue and withdraw euro banknotes. The European Central Bank does not have a cash office and is not involved in any cash operations.[4]


There are several communities of people at European level, most of which is EuroBillTracker,[31] that, as a hobby, it keeps track of the euro banknotes that pass through their hands, to keep track and know where they travel or have travelled.[31] The aim is to record as many notes as possible to know details about its spread, like from where and to where they travel in general, follow it up, like where a ticket has been seen in particular, and generate statistics and rankings, for example, in which countries there are more tickets.[31] EuroBillTracker has registered over 155 million notes as of May 2016,[32] worth more than €2.897 billion.[32]


  1. "ECB: Security Features". European Central Bank. European Central Bank. 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  2. "ECB: Security features". European Central Bank. ecb.int. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  3. "ECB: Feel". European Central Bank. European Central Bank. 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "ECB: Introduction". ECB. ECB. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "ECB: Banknotes". European Central Bank. European Central Bank. 2002. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "ECB: Banknotes design". ECB. ECB. February 1996. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  7. "Witnessing a milestone in European history". The Herald. Back Issue. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  8. 1 2 PRESS RELEASE 24 February 2015 - New €20 banknote unveiled in Frankfurt today
  9. http://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2014/html/pr141219.en.html
  10. "Slovenia joins the euro area - European Commission". European Commission. 16 June 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  11. "Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro - BBC NEWS". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 January 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  12. Kubosova, Lucia (31 December 2008). "Slovakia Joins Decade-Old Euro Zone - Businessweek". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  13. "Estonia to join euro zone in 2011". RTÉ News. Radió Teilifís Éireann. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  14. Van Tartwijk, Maarten; Kaza, Juris (9 July 2013). "Latvia Gets Green Light to Join Euro Zone -WSJ.com". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  15. "Press kit - tenth anniversary of the euro banknotes and coins" (PDF). ECB. Central Bank of Ireland. 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  16. 1 2 "ECB Monthly bulletin- August 2005 - THE EURO BANKNOTES: DEVELOPMENTS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES" (PDF). ECB. ecb.int. August 2005. p. 43. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  17. European Central Bank. "The Euro: Banknotes: Design elements". Retrieved 2009-07-05. The banknotes show a geographical representation of Europe. It excludes islands of less than 400 square kilometres because high-volume offset printing does not permit the accurate reproduction of small design elements.
  18. The life cycle of a banknote Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine., De Nederlandsche Bank. Accessed 2007-08-17.
  19. "ECB: Security Features". ECB. ECB.
  20. "Money talks - the new Euro cash". BBC News. BBC News. December 1996. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  21. http://www.new-euro-banknotes.eu/
  22. http://game-20.new-euro-banknotes.eu/?slang=EN
  23. New €20 banknote unveiled in Frankfurt today
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "ECB: Security Features" (Adobe Flash). European Central Bank. ecb.int. 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  25. "ECB:Tilt". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  26. 1 2 "ECB: Feel". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  27. 1 2 "ECB: Additional features". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  28. 1 2 "ECB: Look". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  29. 1 2 3 "ECB: Circulation". ECB. European Central Bank.
  30. 1 2 3 "EuroBillTracker - About this site". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2013-06-27. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  31. 1 2 "EuroBillTracker - Statistics". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2011.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.