10 euro note

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Ten euro
(European Union[1])
Value10 Euro
Width127 mm
Height67 mm
Security featuresFirst series: hologram stripe with perforations, reflective glossy stripe, EURion constellation, watermarks, raised printing, microprinting, ultraviolet ink, security thread, matted surface, see-through number, barcodes and serial number[2]
Europa series: portrait watermark, portrait hologram, emerald number[3]
Material usedCotton fibre[2]
Years of printing1999–2013 (1st series)[4]
Since 2013 (Europa series)[4]
DesignArch in Romanesque architecture[5]
DesignerRobert Kalina[6][7]
Design date13 January 2014[6][7]
DesignBridge in Romanesque architecture and map of Europe[5]
DesignerRobert Kalina[6][7]
Design date13 January 2014[6][7]

The ten euro note (€10) is the second-lowest value euro banknote and has been used since the introduction of the euro (in its cash form) in 2002.[8] The note is used in the 25 countries which have it as their sole currency (with 23 legally adopting it); with a population of about 343 million.[9] In July 2023, there were approximately 3,033,000,000 ten euro banknotes in circulation around the eurozone. It is the fourth most widely circulated denomination, accounting for 10.2% of the total banknotes.[10] Estimates suggest that the average life of a ten euro banknote is about 1.5 years before it is replaced due to wear.[11]

It is the second-smallest note measuring 127 × 67 mm with a pink colour scheme.[5] The ten euro banknotes depict bridges and arches/doorways in Romanesque architecture (between the 11th and 12th centuries). The ten euro note contains several complex security features such as watermarks, invisible ink, holograms and microprinting that document its authenticity.


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 Italian lira and the German mark.[4]

Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007,[12] Cyprus and Malta in 2008,[13] Slovakia in 2009,[14] Estonia in 2011,[15] Latvia on 1 January 2014,[16] Lithuania on 1 January 2015 and Croatia on 1 January 2023.[17]

The changeover period[edit]

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][18]


Design for the first series of ten euro notes
Former 5 euro note (Obverse)
Former 5 euro note (Reverse)

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. Notes issued after March 2012 bear the signature of the third president of the European Central Bank, incumbent Mario Draghi.[5]

A new series, similar to the current one, was released on 23 September 2014.[19] The European Central Bank will, in due time, announce when banknotes from the first series lose legal tender status.[19]

The first series issues do not reflect the expansion of the European Union: Cyprus is not depicted on those notes as the map does not extend far enough east; Malta is also missing as it does not meet the first series' minimum size for depiction.[20]

Since the European Central Bank plans to redesign the notes every seven or eight years after each issue, a second series (Europa series) of banknotes was already in preparation in 2012. New production and anti-counterfeiting techniques are employed on the new notes, but the design is of the same theme and similar colours of the current series; bridges and arches. However, they are recognisable as a new series.[21]


10 euro banknote under fluorescent light (UV-A)
10 euro note under UV light (Obverse)
10 euro note under UV light (Reverse)
Printer code on the 10 euro note.
Close up of the printer code on the 10 euro note, showing micro printing, raised lettering and EURion design.

The ten euro note is the second smallest at 127 millimetres (5.0 in) × 67 millimetres (2.6 in) with a red colour scheme.[5] All bank notes depict bridges and arches/doorways in a different historical European style; the ten euro note shows the Romanesque era (between the 11th and 12th centuries).[22] 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.[23]

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

10 euro note picture by a camera with no IR filter and normal photo for comparison on the right.
Comparison of a note under infrared light (left), and a note under normal light (right).

Security features (first series)[edit]

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

  • A hologram,[2] tilt the note and one should see the hologram image change between the value and a window or doorway, but in the background, one should see rainbow-coloured concentric circles of micro-letters moving from the centre to the edges of the patch.[24]
  • A EURion constellation,[2]
  • Special printing processes give the euro notes their unique feel.
  • A glossy stripe,[2] tilt the note and a glossy stripe showing the value numeral and the euro symbol will appear.
  • Watermarks,[2] it appears when the banknote is against the light.
  • Raised printing,[2] special methods of printing makes the ink feel raised or thicker in the main image, the lettering and the value numerals on the front of the banknotes. To feel the raised print, run your finger over it or scratch it gently with your fingernail.[25]
  • Ultraviolet ink,[2] Under ultraviolet light, the paper itself should not glow, fibres embedded in the paper should appear, and should be coloured red, blue and green, the European Union flag looks green and has orange stars, the ECB President signature turns green, the large stars and small circles on the front glow and the European map, a bridge and the value numeral on the back appear in yellow.[26]
  • Microprinting,[2] On numerous areas of the banknotes you can see microprinting, for example, inside the "ΕΥΡΩ" (EURO in Greek characters) on the front. You will need a magnifying glass to see it. The tiny text is sharp, and not blurred.[26]
  • A security thread,[2] The security thread is embedded in the banknote paper. Hold the banknote against the light - the thread will appear as a dark stripe. The word "EURO" and the value can be seen in tiny letters on the stripe.[27]
  • Perforations,[2] Hold the banknote against the light. You should see perforations in the hologram which will form the € symbol. You should also see small numbers showing the value.[27]
  • A matted surface,[2] the note paper is made out of pure cotton, which feels crisp and firm, but not limp or waxy.[25]
  • Barcodes,[2]
  • A serial number.[2]

Security features (Europa series)[edit]

  • Watermark: When the note is held under a normal light source, a portrait of Europa and an electrotype denomination appear on either side.
  • Portrait Hologram: When the note is tilted, the silver-coloured holographic stripe reveals the portrait of Europa-the same one as in the watermark. The stripe also reveals a window and the value of the banknote.
  • Emerald Number: When the note is tilted, the number on the note displays an effect of light that moves up and down. The number also changes colour from emerald green to deep blue.
  • Raised Printing: On the front of the note, there is a series of short raised lines on the left and right edges. The main edge, the lettering and the large value numeral also feel thicker.
  • Security Thread: When the note is held against the light, the security thread appears as a dark line. The Euro symbol (€) and the value of the banknote can be seen in tiny white lettering in the thread.
  • Microprint: Tiny letters which can be read with a magnifying glass. The letters should be sharp, not blurred.
  • Ultraviolet ink: Some parts of the banknote shine when under UV or UV-C light. These are the stars in the flag, the small circles, the large stars and several other areas on the front. On the back, a quarter of a circle in the centre as well as several other areas glow green. The horizontal serial number and a stripe appear in red.
  • Infrared light: Under infrared light, the emerald number, the right side of the main image and the silvery stripe are visible on the obverse of the banknote, while on the reverse, only the denomination and the horizontal serial number are visible.


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.[28]

In December 2022, there were 3,009,540,842 €10 banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone.[28] for €30,095,408,420.

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, except for this note in 2002.

The figures are as follows (Nov. 3, 2017) :

Date Banknotes € Value Date Banknotes € Value
January 2002 1,999,737,481 19,997,374,810 December 2008 2,029,872,213 20,298,722,130
December 2003 1,684,604,749 16,846,047,490 December 2009 2,042,277,282 20,422,772,820
December 2004 1,700,450,847 17,004,508,470 December 2010 2,039,265,727 20,392,657,270
December 2005 1,761,362,710 17,613,627,100 December 2011 2,072,931,644 20,729,316,440
December 2006 1,900,510,721 19,005,107,210 December 2012 2,170,679,774 21,706,797,740
December 2007 1,965,455,883 19,654,558,830 December 2013 2,155,551,029 21,555,510,290

In September 2014, 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.

Date Banknotes € Value Series '1' remainder € Value Proportion
December 2014 2,244,302,134 22,443,021,340 1,361,256,964 13,612,569,640 60.7%
December 2015 2,325,766,992 23,257,669,920 605,953,384 6,059,533,840 26.1%
December 2016 2,387,340,411 23,873,404,110 435,990,864 4,359,908,640 18.3%
December 2017 2,504,086,915 25,040,869,150 360,166,544 3,601,665,440 14.4%
December 2018 2,629,767,998 26,297,679,980 318,176,885 3,181,768,850 12.1%
December 2019 2,752,030,608 27,520,306,080 305,435,695 3,054,356,950 11.1%
December 2020 2,831,279,179 28,312,791,790 286,827,750 2,868,277,500 10.1%
December 2021 2,899,677,558 28,996,775,580 277,991,976 2,779,919,760 9.6%
December 2022 3,009,540,842 30,095,408,420 261,175,059 2,611,750,590 8.7%

The latest figures provided by the ECB are the following :

Date Banknotes € Value Series '1' remainder € Value Proportion
July 2023 3,033,492,529 30,334,925,290 252,331,889 2,523,318,890 8.3%

Legal information[edit]

Legally, both the European Central Bank and the central banks of the eurozone countries have the right to issue the 7 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,[29] 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.[29] 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.[29] EuroBillTracker has registered over 155 million notes as of May 2016,[30] worth more than €2.897 billion.[30]


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  4. ^ a b c d e f g "ECB: Introduction". ECB. ECB. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
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  7. ^ a b c d First series
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  14. ^ Kubosova, Lucia (31 December 2008). "Slovakia Joins Decade-Old Euro Zone - Businessweek". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Estonia to join euro zone in 2011". RTÉ News. Radió Teilifís Éireann. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Croatia joins the euro area". European Central Bank. January 2023. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
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  19. ^ a b "DISCOVER THE NEW €10 BANKNOTE" (PDF). ECB. ECB. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ The life cycle of a banknote Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine, De Nederlandsche Bank. Accessed 2007-08-17.
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  24. ^ "ECB:Tilt". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
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  26. ^ a b "ECB: Additional features". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-10-23. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  27. ^ a b "ECB: Look". ECB. ecb.int. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-10-23. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  28. ^ a b "ECB: Circulation". ECB. European Central Bank. 7 May 2022.
  29. ^ a b c "EuroBillTracker - About this site". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  30. ^ a b "EuroBillTracker - Statistics". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2011.

External links[edit]