why are 20 euro bills different sizes

why are 20 euro bills

Euro banknotes are a major part of daily life in Europe, with over EUR1 trillion worth of them in circulation. As a result, they are subject to intense security testing and must meet a high standard of quality established by the Eurosystem.


The design of euro banknotes has evolved gradually over time, so that the different denominations now follow a uniform pattern. The obverse of every euro bill shows windows or doorways symbolising European openness to the rest of the world, and the twelve stars of the European Union represent dynamism and harmony among European nations. The reverse of the banknotes shows bridges to symbolize the close ties that unite Europeans.

A variety of colours are used in the euro banknotes to differentiate them from each other and to help the visually impaired recognise their value. The banknotes are also printed in large print, which makes it easier for the blind to see them. The euro banknotes are printed in seven different colours: grey, red, blue, orange, green and purple. These colours are arranged in a geometric pattern to give the euro banknotes their distinctive look.

why are 20 euro bills different sizes

The euro banknotes feature various architectural features such as doors, windows and bridges, representing the different ages and styles of Europe. These elements are drawn from the motifs of ancient Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and are designed by Robert Kalina or Reinhold Gerstetter.

They are also accompanied by the initials of the European Central Bank, which appear on all euro banknotes written in all European languages (BCE, ECB, ETsB, EZB, EKP, EKT, EKB and BCE). Each banknote is printed on specially designed paper that is made of pure cotton and passes through several stages to give it a crisp and firm feel. These features make it harder for counterfeiters to imitate the note.

The front of the euro banknotes are protected by a transparent hologram designed to defeat fakes. The hologram can be seen in two forms, a stripe on the EUR5, EUR10 and EUR20 notes, and a patch on the EUR50, EUR100, EUR200 and EUR500 notes.

It is easy to recognise the hologram by tilting the banknote – it appears as a ring of stars or the word “EUR” on a rainbow-coloured background. At the edges, tiny letters show the value of the note. These holograms are visible in near-infrared light and ultraviolet light, which helps to strengthen the security of the euro banknotes. In addition, some areas of the banknotes are printed with fluorescent fibres that are only visible in this light.

Other security features include the presence of a black magnetic thread, and some areas are magnetically ink-printed. All of these security features were developed to make the euro banknotes harder to counterfeit and more easily recognised by people.

In May 2016, the European Central Bank announced that it would stop issuing 500-euro banknotes in 2018. Experts say that the large-denomination notes are often used to hide criminal activity, and the EU wants to keep counterfeiting at a minimum. It is therefore advisable to avoid using them for payments or to accept them only at banks and other financial institutions.

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