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Status report on euro counterfeits seized in 2012


In 2012 a total of 1 444 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation representing the value of EUR 155 000.

In cash circulation 1 249 counterfeits were seized. The rest was detected by law enforcement agencies before putting into circulation and thus have not threatened circulation.

Breakdown of counterfeits by denominations

€5 €10 €20 €50 €100 €200 €500 Total
pieces 16 28 400 359 289 254 98 1 444
% 1.1 1.9 27.7 24.9 20 17.6 6.8 100

In 2012 the most counterfeited banknote was EUR 20 (27.7 %) and EUR 50 (24.9 %) that together with the EUR 100 accounted for almost 75% of all counterfeits.

From the quality point of view the reproduction level of counterfeits is mostly good. There are various security features imitated on the counterfeits, however, this imitation is imperfect. Potential counterfeits can be 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.

In case of doubt, the easiest way to verify the authenticity of a banknote, is to compare a suspect banknote with one we undoubtedly know it is genuine.


In 2012 on the territory of Slovakia 3 007 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized.
In comparison with the previous year when 1 628 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents increase of 84.7 %. The most frequently seized coin counterfeits were those
of denomination 2 €, which represent share of 76 %. Despite increase of number of counterfeits it is possible to state, that compared with the total number of genuine euro coins in circulation, their share remains very low.

Overview of seized euro coin counterfeits by denominations

50 cent €1 €2 Total
pieces 476 245 2 286 3 007
% 15.8 8.2 76.0 100.0

As regards the quality of fabrication, the counterfeits are mostly of good or very good technical level. Therefore it might not be easy for the public to detect counterfeits especially if accepted coins are not paid sufficient attention

The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have magnetic core, it is possible to test the suspect coin by application
of a magnet to a core and subsequently compare its magnetism level with magnetism level of
a genuine coin. It is also important to observe the general appearance and color of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. In case of suspicion of 2 € coins it is also recommended to pay attention to the edge lettering.

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