Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Not just printed paper

In the Euro area national central banks together with the ECB are responsible for the printing of Euro banknotes. The ECB identifies first how many and which bills are needed. Then each central bank is instructed to press a few denominations. The ECB determines which printers in Europe are allowed to print the euro banknotes. These printers must meet the highest quality standards. The printing of Euro banknotes is a laborious process.

Like the first series of Euro banknotes the Europe banknotes are printed on pure cotton paper, which gives them their special crispness and more resistance to wear than plain paper. Certain security features, such as watermarks and security threads incorporated into the paper and often also the foil and the gold track are part of the paper itself.

If the paper is completed, the printing process can begin. Different types of plates, special inks and printing techniques are used: among others offset for the front and back side, plate print for the palpable ink, screen printing for the special color-changing ink, book printing for the serial number and hot printing for the hologram.

After printing, the sheets are cut into bills. Subsequently, the final check takes place: is the picture looking good and is there no dirt which came along? If so, the euro banknotes are ready to be issued.

It is really worth to have a look once at Euro banknotes under the microscope and to marvel at the intricate structure and the technical feat of the advanced way of paper making and printing.

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