Author Topic: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes  (Read 7585 times)

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Offline a3v1

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Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« on: April 13, 2007, 12:40:35 AM »
Please note that the information in this initial post applies to the first (2002) series of euro banknotes only. As for the codes on "Europa" notes (2013), see replies #7 and #8 below.

Each euro banknote has a printer's mark. Any printer's mark consists of successively:
1 letter - 3 digits - 1 letter - 1 digit.
The meaning of the first letter is widely known. For those who don't know yet: The first letter tells us which printer printed this note:
D = Setec Oy, Vantaa, Finland
E = F.C. Oberthur, Rennes, France
F = OeBS, Vienna, Austria
G = Joh. Enschedé, Haarlem, Netherlands
H = De La Rue, Gateshead, UK
J = Banca d'Italia, Rome, Italy
K = Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
L = Banque de France, Chamaličres, France
M = FNMT, Madrid, Spain
N = Bank of Greece, Halandri, Greece
P = Giesecke & Devrient, Leipzig/München, Germany
R = Bundesdruckerei, Berlin, Germany 
T = Banque Nationale de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
U = Valora SA, Carregado, Portugal

But the meaning of the other letters and digits is less commonly known and thus a mystery to most. So here is some more information on the printer's mark.
The three digits following the first letter are the reference number of the printing plate. Each printer has started with plate 001 for each value. When this plate is worn out or damaged it will be replaced by plate 002. And so on.
The highest plate-numbers found so far:
022 for the €5 and the €10 (both French notes with printer's letter L)
046 for the €20 (also French notes with printer's letter L)
035 for the €50 (Italian notes with printer's letter J)
013 for the €100 (also Italian notes with printer's letter J)
006 for the €200 (German notes with printer's letter R)
012 for the €500 (also German notes with printer's letter R)

Not all interjacent plate-numbers can be found circulating. As it happens, some plates are condemned before they are put into use.
The highest plate-numbers as a rule will be found on notes with the signature of Jean-Claude Trichet. Except for the €200 which so far has not been printed with this signature.
(In all euro-countries the €200 is the least used note. The number of the €500 notes circulating is nearly twice that of the number of the €200 notes printed).

The last part of the printer's mark (a letter and a digit) indicates the position of a note in the printed sheet
The letter indicates the column, and the digit indicates the row.
There are a great many different sizes of note-sheets. Firstly, of course, because the different values have different dimensions. But printers also are using a huge variety of printing-presses, urging them to often adjust the size of the sheets to be printed to what is most practically.

The smallest and the largest sizes of printing-sheets known are:
€5: 8x4 (32 notes) and 10x6 (60 notes)
€10: 7x4 (28 notes) and 9x6 (54 notes)
€20: ditto
€50: 5x4 (20 notes) and 8x5 (40 notes)
€100: ditto
€200: 6x4 (24 notes) and 8x5 (40 notes)
€500: 6x4 (24 notes) and 7x5 (35 notes).
But for each and every value some other sizes of printing-sheets also are existing.
The letter indicating the column thus can vary from A to (maximal) J.
The digit indicating the row thus can vary from 1 to (maximal) 6.
This, of course, depending on the size of the printing-sheet.
a3v1
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 11:26:18 AM by chrisild »
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007, 01:10:29 PM »
Great contribution indeed a3v1. Thanks very much. I made the topic sticky, so it'll stay on top.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline tonyclayton

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 12:53:48 PM »
I have always wondered what those marks meant.  Thank-you for an informative article

BC Numismatics

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Printer's marks on the Euro banknotes.
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 10:50:25 PM »
A3v1,that is a very interesting study that you have done in relation to the Euro banknotes.You should submit it for adding into the 2009 edition of the Pick catalogue.

Aidan.

Offline arneman

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 01:24:18 AM »
I was just about to ask where I could find the printer mark, good thing I gave the forum a quick search!

BC Numismatics

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Printer's marks on Euro banknotes.
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 09:54:44 PM »
Perhaps the Cypriot,Maltese,Slovenian,& Slovakian Euro notes have now been issued.

If they have,then that would be more printers' marks to examine & study.

Aidan.

Offline a3v1

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes.
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 01:11:26 PM »
Perhaps the Cypriot,Maltese,Slovenian,& Slovakian Euro notes have now been issued.
If they have,then that would be more printers' marks to examine & study.
So far only Slovenian € 20 notes (printed by Oberthur in France, prnter's mark E) showing the serial letter H have been issued.
All other Euro notes issued by the Cypriot, Maltese, Slovakian and Slovenian authorities are taken from the Euro banknote pool of the European Central Bank, and are showing both the serial letters and printer's marks as mentioned in the first posting of this thread.
Regards,
a3v1   
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 12:25:35 AM »
The Europa notes (2013) have different codes. This year the €5 denomination is new; the €10 will follow next year, and so on. This new series uses the same initial character in the short code and the serial number, and that letter refers to the printing facility. These are the ones that show on the first new notes:

N - Österreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck (Vienna, AT)
S - Banca d'Italia (Rome, IT)
U - Banque de France (Chamaličres, FR) - see the attached "sample" -
V - Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (Madrid, ES)
Z - Nationale Bank van België / Banque Nationale de Belgique (Brussels, BE)

(Edit) As mentioned in this topic before, the new notes do not indicate the national central bank any more. (After all, the production of the notes is a "shared job" - further info can be found here.) On the other hand, the first letter of the short code and serial number will, from what I have read, now provide more detailed information: If a printer makes euro notes at more than one location/facility, each location will have its own letter on a Europa note. That would affect Giesecke & Devrient (production in Munich and Leipzig), and also De La Rue (Gateshead and Loughton) ...

Christian
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 05:20:57 AM by chrisild »

Offline chrisild

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Re: Printer's marks on Euro banknotes
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 04:21:40 PM »
The European Central Bank has published a list of the new codes mentioned in the previous post. The first character (in both the serial number and the short code) indicates where a "Europa" note - 2013/2014 series - was made:

D = Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych
E = Oberthur Fiduciaire
H = De La Rue Currency (Loughton)
J = De La Rue Currency (Gateshead)
M = Valora SA
N = Österreichische Banknoten- und Sicherheitsdruck
P = Joh. Enschedé Security Printing BV
R = Bundesdruckerei GmbH
S = Banca d'Italia
T = Central Bank of Ireland
U = Banque de France
V = Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
W = Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (Leipzig)
X = Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (Munich*)
Y = Bank of Greece
Z = Nationale Bank van België / Banque Nationale de Belgique

Source: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/banknotes/html/index.en.html
(Banknotes > "Design Elements" tab, scroll to the bottom)

* G&D plans to produce all notes in Leipzig as from 2015, so "X" would no longer appear on euro paper money.

Christian
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 10:17:29 PM by chrisild »