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New €50 aims to beat counterfeits

Banknote will make up 45% of all euro notes in circulation and can be checked with 'look, tilt and feel' method

A new €50 note is brought into circulation in Europe today with improved security features to prevent counterfeiting that saw 350,000 €20 and €50 notes seized last year.

The new €50 follows new €5, €10 and €20 notes launched since 2013 and is said to make up 45% of all euro notes circulating in Europe (although just 20% in France, where the €20 is preferred).

Security features on the new note can be checked with the 'look, feel and tilt' method as there is a portrait watermark of the Greek figure Europa and a transparent portrait window, with a hologram of the same image that becomes see-through against light.

The main image, letter and value numeral are all thicker and there are raised lines along the side of the note plus raised print.

Tilting the note also makes the colour of the number 50 change from emerald green to deep blue.

One billion of the 6.5bn notes put into circulation today were printed in the Banque de France printworks at Chamalières, near Clermont-Ferrand. The bank said the euro is one of the least counterfeited currencies in the world, with just 0.003%.

In the UK, the new ‘impossible to counterfeit’ threepenny-bit £1 has just been introduced to combat counterfeiting. 3% of the round £1 coins are fake – possibly 30million coins.

Both the round and the new 12-sided coins are in circulation but the old round coin will be demonetised on October 16 so will no longer be valid in shops, but can still be returned to banks.

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