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Five hundred euro (European Union[1])
Value: 500 euro
Width: 160 mm
Height: 82 mm
Security Features: Hologram, EURion, watermarks, raised printing, colour changing ink
Paper Type: 100% pure cotton fibre
Years of Printing: 2002–present
Obverse
Obverse
Design: Window in a modern design
Designer: Robert Kalina
Design Date: 3 December 1996
Reverse
Reverse
Design: Bridge in a modern design and map of Europe
Designer: Robert Kalina
Design Date: 3 December 1996

The five hundred euro (€500 or 500€) note is the highest-value euro banknote and has been used since the introduction of the euro (in its cash form) in 2002.

Contents

Design

The five hundred euro note measures at 160x82mm and has a purple colour scheme. All bank notes depict bridges and arches/doorways in a different historical European style; the hundred euro note shows modern architecture (between the twentieth and twenty first century CE). Although Robert Kalina's original designs were intended to show real monuments, in the case of the 500 euro note the Pont de Normandie in northern France, for political reasons the bridge and art are merely hypothetical examples of the architectural era.[2]

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 various security features as described below.

Security features

The five hundred euro note has the highest-quality security features of all notes due to its value. It is protected by a hologram stripe, reflective glossy stripe, a EURion constellation, watermarks, microprinting, ultraviolet ink, raised printing, a security thread, matted surface, perforations, see through number, colour changing ink, barcodes and a serial number. The printer code is located in the 9 o'clock star.

Crime

One quarter of all 500 euro notes are recorded in Spain

Due to its high value, the 500 note has a reputation for usage in organised crime. Spain in particular, although not initially authorised to issue five hundred euro notes, now has a quarter of all these high-value bills within its borders. This is far more for than expected for an economy of its size and they are rarely seen in every-day commerce and to the populous they are nicknamed "bin Ladens" (as everyone knows they are there and what they look like but they have never seen them). Spanish police are using the bills to track money laundering and there are some calls to withdraw the note.[3][4]

The euro's high-value notes, particularly the 500, has made the currency more attractive to money launderers, drug dealers and tax evaders, as it allows for easier concentration of funds.[5] Though it was desired, as some of the former currencies used high-value notes, such as the 1,000-Deutsche Mark note, which accounted for a third of all cash in circulation.[6]

Changes

There has so far only been one series of euro notes, however a new series similar to the current one is to be issued from 2011. The initial issue of notes bears 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 subsequent issues.

Notes

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