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EUR - Euro

Euro Converters

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Currency Facts

ISO 4217 Code EUR
Countries Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Finland, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia Spain
Region Europe
Central Bank European Central Bank
Website of the Central Bank
Sub Unit 1 EUR = 100 cents
Minor Units 1/100 Cent
Inflation 0.8% (January 2014)
Source of Inflation ECB Statistical Data Warehouse
Printers of the EUR Banknotes Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Banco de Portugal, Bank of Greece, Banque de France, Bundesdruckerei, Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland, De La Rue, Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, François-Charles Oberthur, Giesecke and Devrient, Royal Joh. Enschedé, National Bank of Belgium, Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck GmbH, Setec Oy.
Producer of EUR Coins (Mint) Bayerisches Hauptmünzamt - Munich, Currency Centre, Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, Hamburgische Münze(J), Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda SA, Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt, Koninklijke Munt van België/Monnaie Royale de Belgique, Mincovňa Kremnica, Monnaie de Paris, Münze Österreich, Rahapaja Oy/Myntverket i Finland Ab, Staatliche Münze Berlin(A), Staatliche Münze Karlsruhe (G), Staatliche Münze Stuttgart (F).


The Euro is the currency and legal tender of the Eurozone and uses € as its symbol.


The Euro consists out of 100 smaller units called cents.

  • 1 Euro = 100 cents

Countries using EUR

The Eurozone is comprised out of 18 countries, out of the total of 28 countries that are members of the European Union, including

  • Germany
  • France
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Greece
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia and
  • Spain

Apart from these, the euro is used as legal tender in five more countries.

Not all countries that are members of European Union use the euro as their official currency. Some of them opted to keep their own currency. This was the case with Denmark and the United Kingdom. Also countries, which do not meet requirement for the introduction of euro, the last members of the European Union and Sweden are among those, which still use their national currency.

Global Exchange of Euro

334 million people in Europe carry out monetary transactions involving the euro. Also, it is estimated that about 210 million people across the globe exchange and use currencies that are tied or pegged to the euro, including 182 million Africans, according to research.

Looking at the numbers, the euro is right behind the U.S. dollar in terms of how much it is being traded in the world. Also, it is the second largest reserve currency. If you were to add up the value of all the banknotes and coins that are currently in use, the amount would beat the U.S Dollar.

History and Introduction of the Euro

Year Event
1995 The euro was given its name in 1995, but was not used as a means of monetary exchange right away.
1999 Instead, it was a currency that was used for accounting purposed only, and also a successor to the old European Currency Unit (ECU), in 1999, with the rate set as 1:1.
2002 Actual banknotes and coins were introduced in 2002.

Euro Banknotes and Coins

The Euro currently circulates in two different forms: paper and coin. Currently there is a total of 8 coin and 7 paper note denominations.

Currently coins in use are € 0.01, € 0.02, € 0.05, € 0.10, € 0.20, € 0.50, € 1 and € 2. Paper notes are available in € 5, € 10, € 20, € 50, €100, € 200 and € 500.

Current coin denominations

  • € 0.01
  • € 0.02
  • € 0.10
  • € 0.20
  • € 0.50
  • € 1
  • € 2

Current paper notes denominations

  • € 5
  • € 10
  • € 20
  • € 50
  • € 100
  • € 200
  • € 500

Material used to manufacture Euro banknotes

The material used for the Euro banknotes is pure cotton fiber.

Material used to manufacture Euro coins

There are several different metals used for Euro coins including:

  • Copper covered steel,
  • Nordic gold,
  • Nickel brass,
  • Copper-nickel,
  • Nickel and
  • Nickel brass


Every Euro banknote has a different size. The size of the banknote increases with the worth of the banknote. Euro bank notes measure from 120 mm x 62 mm (4.7 in × 2.4 in) to 160 mm x 82 mm (6.3 in × 3.2 in).

Same rule applies to the coins. The smallest Euro coin's diameter is 16.25 mm, compared to the biggest one whichs diameter measures 25.75mm.

Design of Euro banknotes

As opposed to the design of the coins, the euro banknotes feature common design on both the obverse and reverse of the note. Denominations that are in circulation right now (€ 5, € 10, € 20, € 50, € 100, € 200, and the € 500 notes) differ from each other by color and the depiction of a chosen artistic period of European history. Also, the obverse of the bill features motifs of windows and gates, while the reverse shows depictions of bridges, in order to symbolize the connection between the countries that use, as well as to represent a road to the future.

Although the bridges are designed to be generic, with no specific bridge in mind, initial design of the note features some actual bridges, like the Rialto and the Pont de Neuilly. While some of the characteristics of those bridges were kept in the new designs, each bridge is supposed to be non-specific. There were some design changes introduced in 2013. New notes show the obverse on its upper part, while the reverse is shown on the lower part.

Bank note Front side
€ 5 Classical architecture
€ 10 Romanesque architecture
€ 20 Gothic architecture
€ 50 The Renaissance
€ 100 Baroque and Rococo
€ 200 Art Nouveau
€ 500 Modern architecture

Design of Euro coins

The design of the coins that are currently in use is similar on one side, which features the denomination of the coins, with the background depicting a map.

Language on the Euro coin

Because the euro is used in so many countries, there was also the issue of having so many different languages. As a solution, it was decided that Latin inscriptions were to be used, seeing as they were more common that Greek or Cyrillic lettering.

Also, Arabic numbers were used to show the value of coins. Lettering and text in national languages is allowed on the other side of the coin.

Back of the Euro coin

The map in the background, with the exception of the 1, 2 and 5-cent coins, shows the 15 countries which were members of the European Union when the new currency was issued and put into circulation.

Since 2007, most of the coins feature a new map, which also includes some countries that are not members, like Norway. The old 1, 2 and 5-cent coins kept their original design.

Front of the Euro coin

The national side of the coin is country-specific, which means that every county can choose an image representing it and display it on the coin.

Even though these coins differ in design, they are treated the same, and the euro from, for example, Greece, can be used in Spain, and vice versa.

Printing and Minting

Since Euro is used in a bunch of different countries, there are several institutions that print the Euro banknotes and several Mint institutions that produce the euro coins.


  • Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato
  • Banco de Portugal
  • Bank of Greece
  • Banque de France
  • Bundesdruckerei
  • Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland
  • De La Rue
  • Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
  • François-Charles Oberthur
  • Giesecke and Devrient
  • Royal Joh. Enschedé
  • National Bank of Belgium
  • Oesterreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck GmbH
  • Setec Oy


  • Bayerisches Hauptmünzamt, Munich (Mint mark: D)
  • Currency Centre
  • Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
  • Hamburgische Münze(J)
  • Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda SA
  • Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato
  • Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt
  • Koninklijke Munt van België/Monnaie Royale de Belgique
  • Mincovňa Kremnica
  • Monnaie de Paris
  • Münze Österreich
  • Rahapaja Oy/Myntverket i Finland Ab
  • Staatliche Münze Berlin(A)
  • Staatliche Münze Karlsruhe (G)
  • Staatliche Münze Stuttgart (F)

Central Bank

The official entities, which control and manage the Euro are

  • the European Central Bank (ECB), which is located in Frankfurt, Germany,
  • and the Eurosystem, which consists of central banks of all Eurozone states.

However, these two bodies handle the euro in different ways.

While the European Central Bank has the exclusive

  • right to administer the euro,

the Eurosystem is in charge of

  • the printing of notes
  • minting of coins
  • distribution throughout all the European Union member states, which use the euro as their official currency


Euros nickname is “the single currency”. There are also local nicknames within certain countries, which are:

  • Ege (Finnish)
  • Quid (Hiberno-English)
  • Europoulo (Greek)
  • Teuro, Eurone (German)
  • Ouro (Galician)
  • Juró (Hungarian)
  • Eiro (Latvian)
  • Ewro (Maltese)