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There's a new high-security €50 note out tomorrow - here's a sneak peek

There are some interesting security and design features about the new fifty euro note.

Image: TheJournal.ie

THE BRAND NEW €50 notes go into circulation tomorrow – can you spot the difference between the new and old notes?

Today, we got a sneak peek of the new, sturdier fifties. So here’s what to look out for to make sure we’re not getting fake fifties –  or shocked by the real ones.

Look, feel, tilt

“If there’s one thing I want people to take from this it’s the look, feel, tilt,” the Central Bank’s Paul Molumby tells a roundtable of journalists.

They swapped some of our old fifties for a brand new ones (they weren’t handing out free samples, unfortunately) with a warning not to use them before tomorrow.

Molumby pauses to spell his surname, and goes on to demonstrate what he calls the ‘level one’ security features of the note – the basic stuff.

IMAG3253 Source: TheJournal.ie

First of all there’s the look of the note. In the top right corner there’s a ‘window’, or a panel where light gets through.

In the window is the head of the Goddess Europa and in the note itself (on the left side) there’s another image. Away from light, none of those are visible.

IMAG3256 Source: TheJournal.ie

The feel of the note, the tactile edges of the note along the sides, but also if you run your finger over the value – the large 50 – you can feel the lift there, and also over the door.

“Finally, if you tilt the note: either the roll of the emerald-green in the number in the bottom left-hand corner, and also on the silver foil as you roll it, you’ll see the image in the window change.”

They’re just level one. There are other security features known to professional cash handlers so they can identify them – that’s level two.

The level three differences are for Central Bank’s knowledge only.

Molumby twirls the note around his fingers – as the Director of Currency at the Central Bank, he could talk about this all day.

Which is good, because there are questions.

IMAG3247_1 Paul Molumby compares old with new.

And why is all this being done?

For security reasons. Even though the level of counterfeit notes isn’t high or common – out of 19 billion notes in circulation, only 0.0001% of them are fake – he says that’s no reason for complacency.

What’s the note made of?

It’s made of paper and cotton fibres, in contrast with the UK’s new British pound note which raised vegans’ backs when it was revealed that the note was made using animal fat. This new fifty note is vegan-friendly.

So how much does this new rollout of notes cost?

Each note costs 6-10 cents per note to make – that includes the €5, €10, and €20 notes that have already been replaced with more secure notes, and in the case of fivers and tenners, they’ve been given a protective coating to try and stop them tearing easily.

“The new note is a continuation of the Europa series,” he says.

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Source: European Central Bank/YouTube

Are there more notes on the way?

Yes. The €100 and €200 notes are being brought in next year, and the €500 note is out of circulation (meaning they aren’t printing it, and banks won’t hand it out).

Although they’re trying to get the €500 note out of circulation, that’s not the aim of introducing the new €50 note.

How will banks and retailers know about the change?

The Central Bank has been working with the four main partners: Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and An Post to train their staff on what the new notes feel like.

For retailers, brochures and information cards were sent out in advance showing the differences between the new and old notes.

And finally…

Considering Article 50 was recently triggered, we thought we’d ask why they left the UK on the note, as a quick, simple joke.

“The design of the note was decided long before Brexit,” Molumby answers seriously, adding that the UK always used the pound, and that it’s more of a geographical image than a representation of the EU. Let’s remember they’re still in Europe.

Clearly when it comes to the Central Bank, there’s no joking around.

Read: Here’s what the new €20 note looks like

Read: Spot the difference? Here’s what the new €10 note looks like

Read: This is the new €5 banknote which enters circulation today

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