The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, announced today that a new 5 euro note is to be introduced in May 2013. Other denominations will follow afterwards.
The new notes, which will be introduced gradually, will have three security features: a watermark with a portrait, a hologram with a portrait and an emerald green number.
"The new series, called Europa, features a portrait of Europa - a figure from Greek mythology after whom the continent was named - in the watermark and in the hologram," explained the ECB in a statement.
"The new notes will be introduced gradually across a number of years, starting with the 5 euro note in May 2013", the statement continued.
The Europa series benefits from numerous advances made in banknote technology since the introduction of the initial series over ten years ago.
The new notes will have the same denominations as before -5 euros, 10 euros, 20 euros, 50 euros, 100 euros, 200 euros y 500 euros - and the same main colours, but with the new features and will be "easy to distinguish from the old ones".
The original series and the new series will be in circulation at the same time, with the old notes being removed gradually from circulation, and, after a time, ceasing to be legal tender. "The date when the old notes will no longer be legal tender will be announced in plenty of time," said the ECB.
Nevertheless, the original notes will maintain their value indefinitely and people will be able to change them at national central banks across the eurozone indefinitely.
The definitive design for the new 5 euro note will be revealed on January 10th 2013 and banks will start to circulate them in May next year.