EU unveils more secure €10 note

new €10 noteThe EU has continued the launch of banknotes with improved anti-counterfeit features, unveiling the design of the new €10 note this week.

Last year the European Central Bank unveiled the first major revision of its banknotes since the currency was launch in 1992, starting off with a replacement for the €5 note which started to appear in May  2013.

The new €10 note was unveiled at a press conference in Frankfurt yesterday by ECB board member Yves Mersch, although some of the security features had previously been revealed via a video (see below) and online competition last month.

At the launch, Mersch said: "One of the main reasons for introducing a new series of notes is to ensure that everyone who uses them can continue to do so with complete confidence."

"That's why we have drawn on a number of new technologies to modernise the security features, making the notes even more resistant to counterfeiting."

The new features include an "emerald number" that changes colour from emerald green to deep blue depending on its orientation, while other technologies include holograms, watermarks, security threads, infrared properties, microprint and markings that are revealed under ultraviolet light. The new banknotes also have a coating to make them more durable than the first series.

There are now around 15 billion euro notes in circulation around the world - worth some €900bn - which is "broadly comparable to the total value of the US dollar bills," added Mersch.  The flipside of that success, however, is that the currency is increasingly being targeted by counterfeiters.

The ECB identified and withdrew 670,000 counterfeit euro notes in the first half of 2013 - up from 531,000 in 2012 and 606,000 in 2011 - although the overall number remains low given the number in circulation at any time.

More than three quarters of the counterfeits are €20 and €50 banknotes. The number of €10 counterfeits increased in the second half of 2013, but only represented around 6 per cent of the total, said the bank.

The new €10 banknote will start circulating on September 23.

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