Five euros
(European Union[1])
Value5 euro
Width120 mm
Height62 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 printing1999–2011 (1st series)[4]
Since 2011 (Europa series)[5]
DesignArch in Classical architecture[6]
DesignerRobert Kalina[7]
Design date10 January 2013[8]
DesignBridge in Classical architecture and map of Europe[6]
DesignerRobert Kalina[7]
Design date10 January 2013[8]

The five-euro note (€5) is the lowest value euro banknote. It has been used since the introduction of the euro (in its cash form) in 2002.[9] The note is used in the 25 countries that have it as their sole currency (with 23 legally adopting it), which countries have a total population of about 343 million currently.[10] In July 2023, there were approximately 2,159,000,000 five-euro banknotes in circulation around the eurozone. It is the fifth-most widely circulated denomination, accounting for 7.2% of the total banknotes.[11] Estimates suggest that the average life of a five-euro banknote is less than a year before it is replaced due to wear.[12]

Measuring 120 x 62 mm, it is the smallest of the euro notes, and has a grey colour scheme.[6] The five-euro banknotes depict bridges and arches/doorways in Classical architecture (up to the fifth century). The five-euro note contains several complex security features such as watermarks, invisible ink, holograms and microprinting that document its authenticity.

On 8 November 2012, the European Central Bank announced the first series of notes will be replaced by the Europa series, starting with the five-euro note on 2 May 2013.[6][13]


Main article: History of the euro

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 Irish pound and the Austrian schilling.[4]

Slovenia joined the Eurozone in 2007,[14] Cyprus and Malta in 2008,[15] Slovakia in 2009,[16] Estonia in 2011,[17] Latvia on 1 January 2014,[18] Lithuania on 1 January 2015[19] and Croatia on 1 January 2023.[20]

The changeover period

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][21]


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 to March 2012. Notes issued after March 2012 bear the signature of the third president of the European Central Bank, incumbent Mario Draghi.[6]

Design for the first series of five euro notes
Former 5 euro note (Obverse)
Former 5 euro note (Reverse)
5 euro banknote under fluorescent light (UV-A) (1st series)
5 euro note under UV light (Obverse)
5 euro note under UV light (Reverse)
5 euro banknote under fluorescent light (UV-A) (Europa series)
5 euro note under UV light (Obverse)
5 euro note under UV light (Reverse)

Until May 2013 there was only one series of euro notes, however a new series, similar to the first one, is planned to be released.[22] The bank notes are going to be replaced in ascending order.[23] Therefore, the first new note is the five-euro note that has been in circulation since 2 May 2013. Its new design was made public on 10 January 2013 in the Archaeological Museum of Frankfurt (Germany). While broadly similar to the current notes, minor design changes include an updated map and a hologram of Europa.[24] Moreover, the new notes will reflect the expansion of the European Union; the current issues do not include the recent members Cyprus and Malta (Cyprus is off the map to the east and Malta was too small to be depicted[25]). It will be the first time in which the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet is going to be used on the banknotes as a result of Bulgaria joining the European Union in 2007. Therefore, the new series of Euro banknotes will include "ЕВРО", which is the Bulgarian spelling for EURO as well as the abbreviation "ЕЦБ" (short for Европейска централна банка in Bulgarian).[26] The European Central Bank will, in due time, announce when banknotes from the first series lose legal-tender status.[27]


Close up of the reverse; a map of Europe and a classical era bridge
Holographic band on the five euro note
5 euro banknote under special ultraviolet light (UV-C) (Europa series)
5 euro note under UV light (Obverse)
5 euro note under UV light (Reverse)
5 euro banknote under infrared light (Europa series)
5 euro note under infrared light (Obverse)
5 euro note under UV light (Reverse)

The five-euro note is the smallest at 120 by 62 millimetres (4.7 in × 2.4 in) with a grey colour scheme.[6] All bank notes depict bridges, arches or doorways in a different historical European style; the five euro note shows the Classical era (up to the fifth century).[28] 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.[29]

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.[6]

Security features (first series)

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

Security features (Europa series)

Microprinting on the 5 euro note of the Europa series


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.[35]

In December 2022, there were 2,123,904,445 €5 banknotes in circulation around the Eurozone.[35] for €10,619,522,225.

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 at 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 1,919,890,327 9,599,451,635 December 2008 1,475,610,499 7,378,052,495
December 2003 1,218,288,843 6,091,444,215 December 2009 1,497,585,692 7,487,928,460
December 2004 1,246,528,720 6,232,643,600 December 2010 1,522,271,959 7,611,359,795
December 2005 1,284,662,576 6,423,312,880 December 2011 1,545,677,368 7,728,386,840
December 2006 1,345,643,994 6,728,219,970 December 2012 1,613,104,679 8,065,523,395
December 2007 1,421,089,850 7,105,449,250

In May 2013, 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 2013 1,672,391,858 8,361,959,290 829,305,109 4,146,525,545 49.6%
December 2014 1,715,872,011 8,579,360,055 500,770,403 2,503,852,015 29.2%
December 2015 1,766,164,560 8,830,822,800 397,807,951 1,989,039,755 22.5%
December 2016 1,805,152,448 9,025,762,240 342,245,848 1,711,229,240 19.0%
December 2017 1,863,194,983 9,315,974,915 311,560,798 1,557,803,990 16.7%
December 2018 1,935,901,993 9,679,509,965 292,374,602 1,461,873,010 15.1%
December 2019 1,988,757,004 9,943,785,020 278,152,931 1,390,764,655 14.0%
December 2020 1,989,596,386 9,947,981,930 267,275,834 1,336,379,170 13.4%
December 2021 2,042,748,557 10,213,742,785 266,983,450 1,334,917,250 13.1%
December 2022 2,123,904,445 10,619,522,225 259,150,725 1,295,753,625 12.2%

The latest figures provided by the ECB are the following :

Date Banknotes € Value Series '1' remainder € Value Proportion
July 2023 2,158,535,464 10,792,677,320 252,331,889 1,261,659,445 11.7%

Legal information

Legally, both the European Central Bank and the central banks of the eurozone countries have the right to issue the seven 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,[36] 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.[36] 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.[36] EuroBillTracker has registered over 155 million notes as of May 2016,[37] worth more than €2.897 billion.[37]


  1. ^ Institutions and the members of the Eurozone
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "ECB: Security Features". European Central Bank. 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-08-30. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  3. ^ "ECB: Security features". European Central Bank. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "ECB: Introduction". ECB. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  5. ^ "New €5 note to be circulated from Thursday - RTÉ News". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "ECB: Banknotes". European Central Bank. 2002. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Europa series design - ECB - Our Money". 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "ECB: Europa series". ECB. 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Witnessing a milestone in European history". The Herald. Back Issue. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  10. ^ * "Andorran Euro Coins". 2003. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  11. ^ "ECB Statistical Data Warehouse,Reports>ECB/Eurosystem policy>Banknotes and coins statistics>1.Euro banknotes>1.1 Quantities". ECB. European Central Bank.
  12. ^ "Eurozone's new 5-euro note: Coming to a wallet near you". Deutsche Welle.
  13. ^ "European Central Bank unveils new 5-euro note due 02.05.2013". Banknote News. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Slovenia joins the euro area - European Commission". European Commission. 16 June 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro - BBC NEWS". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 January 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Estonia to join euro zone in 2011". RTÉ News. Radió Teilifís Éireann. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  18. ^ Van Tartwijk, Maarten; Kaza, Juris (9 July 2013). "Latvia Gets Green Light to Join Euro Zone". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Lithuania joins the euro area". European Central Bank. January 2015. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  20. ^ "Croatia joins the euro area". European Central Bank. January 2023. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  21. ^ "Press kit - tenth anniversary of the euro banknotes and coins" (PDF). ECB. Central Bank of Ireland. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  22. ^ "ECB Monthly bulletin- August 2005 - THE EURO BANKNOTES: DEVELOPMENTS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES" (PDF). ECB. August 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2012. p.43, section 'THE SECOND SERIES OF EURO BANKNOTES'
  23. ^ "Euro Series Introduction". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  24. ^ Randow, Jana (1 September 2012). "ECB Said to Use Greek Myth for Security on New Euro Notes". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Superimpose - ECB - Our Money". Our Money. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-02-13. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  27. ^ "MONTHLY BULLETIN - 10th anniversary OF THE ECB" (PDF). European Central Bank. 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  28. ^ "ECB: Banknotes". European Central Bank. 2002. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  29. ^ "Money talks — the new Euro cash". BBC News. December 1996. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  30. ^ "ECB:Tilt". ECB. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  31. ^ a b "ECB: Feel". ECB. 1 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-21. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  32. ^ a b "ECB: Additional features". ECB. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-10-23. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  33. ^ a b "ECB: Look". ECB. 1 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-10-23. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h "THE NEW €5 - ECB - Our Money". ECB. Our Money. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  35. ^ a b "ECB: Circulation". ECB. European Central Bank. 7 May 2022.
  36. ^ a b c "EuroBillTracker - About this site". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  37. ^ a b "EuroBillTracker - Statistics". Philippe Girolami, Anssi Johansson, Marko Schilde. EuroBillTracker. 1 January 2002. Retrieved 21 October 2011.