Be wary of counterfeit notes

Counterfeit Notes

How do I check if my note is a counterfeit?

There are many security features incorporated into euro banknotes that make them difficult to recreate. Many of these features can be checked manually using the Feel-Look-Tilt test.


  • The paper is crisp and firm
  • The paper will have raised ink areas on the front of the note.


Hold the note up to a light and:

  • Hold the note up to the light and look for watermarks (see-through areas of the note):
    • Architectural design similar to the main design of the note.
    • A number watermark underneath.
    • Barcode watermark in the centre (Euro Series 1 notes only).
    • Europa portrait (Euro Series 2 notes only).
  • Security thread down the centre of the note with perforations of denomination.
  • Perforations in the holographic foil showing the denomination, euro symbol and Europa portrait (Euro Series 2 notes only).
  • See through number at the top left of the note (Euro Series 1 notes only).


  • The holographic stripe or patch will change images and colours.
  • The iridescent stripe on the back of the lower denominations will shine and fade (Euro Series 1 notes only).
  • The opti-variable ink covering the numeral on the back of the higher denominations will change colour (Euro Series 1 notes only).
  • The emerald number in the bottom left corner on the banknote’s front side displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. The number also changes colour from emerald green to deep blue (Euro Series 2 notes only).

More information can be found here: Suspect Counterfeits | Central Bank of Ireland