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Status report on euro counterfeits seized in 2009


The year 2009 can be characterized as year when euro currency was successfully introduced in the Slovak Republic and euro banknotes and coins became the legal tender. This fact markedly affected the development in the seizure of euro banknote counterfeits, the number of which has increased considerably in comparison to the previous years. While in 2008 overall 258 euro banknote counterfeits were seized on territory of Slovakia, in 2009 their number climbed up to 2093 pieces representing the value of EUR 157 145. With regard to the multiple increase of counterfeits it can be stated, that in Slovakia similarly to other new EMU member states, following euro adoption the number of counterfeits has risen. Compared with other eurozone countries this development is standard and Slovakia belongs to the states having an average or even lower counterfeit incidence.

The attention of the public, cashiers and professional cash handlers underwent the highest pressure just after the introducing of euro, as during the first quarter 40 % of all counterfeits were seized. In cash circulation 1 889 counterfeits were seized, representing more than 90 %. The rest were counterfeits detected by law enforcement agencies before they were put into circulation and thus have not pose a threat to circulation.

Breakdown of counterfeits by denominations


10 €

20 €

50 €

100 €

200 €

500 €










2 093










In the given period EUR 50 was the most counterfeited banknote (39,5 %) that together with the EUR 20 and EUR 100 accounted for almost 90 % of all counterfeits.

Euro is world wide acceptable currency and to this fact corresponds also the quality of counterfeits, which is on considerably higher level in comparison to the quality of Slovak banknotes counterfeits. In spite of this fact, potential counterfeits can be in most cases detected without using special technical equipment provided sufficient attention is paid to the acceptance of money.

Indeed, counterfeits can be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using very simple test based on FEEL (check of the banknote paper and intaglio print – tactile effect), LOOK (watermark, see-through number, security thread, micro-perforations in the hologram stripe or patch) and TILT (check of glossy iridescent stripe and hologram stripe at EUR 5, EUR 10, EUR 20, check of color-changing number and hologram patch at EUR 50, EUR 100,
EUR 200 and EUR 500). Combination of these steps reliably enables to detect a counterfeit banknote. The above described test together with its visual demonstrations can be found in publicity materials of the Eurosystem or on the ECB web site and on web sites of the individual national central banks of the Eurosystem.

If case of doubt about the authenticity of a banknote the easiest way to verify is to compare
a suspect banknote with a genuine one. If case a doubt still remains, you can address the National Bank of Slovakia and to submit a request for checking the authenticity showing the data of the banknote(s) origin.


In 2009 on the territory of the Slovakia 810 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized. In comparison to the previous year when only 17 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents more than forty seven-fold increase. However, this development was expected and is considered to be a standard phenomenon in new eurozone countries.

The most frequently seized counterfeits were 2 € coins the number of which accounted for
82 % of all counterfeits. All counterfeits were seized in the circulation.

Overview of seized counterfeist euro coins by denominations

0,50 €

1 €

2 €












From quality point of view, the counterfeits are of good technical level of preparation. In comparison to the Slovak currency when the coin counterfeits were seldom found and these were produced by the casting technique, the counterfeits of euro coins were produced by stamping. Therefore it is rather difficult for the public to detect counterfeits mainly in cases if it does not pay sufficient attention to the coins during their acceptance.

Owing to this reason it is very important to observe the general appearance, color and the relief sharpness of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. At 2 € coins it is also recommended to pay attention to the edge lettering. The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have the core magnetic, we can test the suspect coin by application of a magnet to a core and subsequently compare its magnetism with magnetism of a genuine coin.

More detailed information about the common and single national sides of circulation coins can be found on web site of ECB or the NBS: