How to spot a counterfeit 50 euro banknote

50 euro fake Money

The European Central Bank issues denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 euros. Large banknotes are less common in circulation: they are transferred during major financial transactions. Printing small denominations is impractical. Production costs exceed income. In the case of 50 euros, fakes are most common: these are quite valuable banknotes, at the same time they often pay for services, purchases in stores, etc. For this reason, such banknotes must be carefully examined before being accepted from someone.

50 euro fake
Fake 50 euros are very common.

The appearance of the 50 euro banknote

It is customary to depict arches and windows on the front side of euro banknotes. Bridges are depicted on the reverse side. Architectural buildings symbolize European openness, willingness to cooperate, the desire to interact with the outside world.

The 50 euro banknote depicts abstract Renaissance buildings. Initially, the design was supposed to include existing buildings, but for political reasons, schematic examples were preferred.

Orange hues predominate on the banknote. The name of the currency is indicated on the banknote. The denomination is printed in large numbers in several parts at once. The obverse has the flag of the European Union. Each banknote bears the signature of the President of the European Central Bank. The image is embellished with EU stars. The banknotes bear the year of issue and the serial number. The design of banknotes varies slightly depending on the series: since 2017, 50 euros of a new sample have been put into circulation.

Read also: 100 dollar bill how to spot a fake

How to distinguish an original from a fake: what to look for

The European Central Bank has taken care to make copying banknotes as difficult as possible. For this reason, for example, special paper is used for production. It cannot be purchased or found anywhere, making it difficult for counterfeiters. Additionally, unique serial numbers, UV ink, security threads, etc. are used for protection.

How to distinguish the original
To distinguish the original, you need to check the watermarks.

Read also: what does 100 euros look like

To distinguish the original from the fake, you need to pay attention to the following factors:

  • tactile sensations when touched;
  • the presence of a watermark;
  • security thread;
  • paint quality;
  • the presence of holographic elements;
  • portrait window.

If you find it difficult to determine the authenticity of banknotes yourself, you can use a special automatic detector or sorter. This is especially convenient in cases where a person often works with large batches. If there are several banknotes, you can quickly check the main features from the table. Most often, fakes can be detected almost immediately.

sign Genuine banknote Counterfeit banknote
Paper Paper for banknotes is made from a special material. It is durable, resistant to damage, does not lose its properties over time. The original has a slightly rough relief. Banknotes are thin, emit a characteristic crunch with sudden movements Made from plain paper. It is easily deformed, after bending a deep crease remains on it. The relief is smooth. Banknotes are dense, thick
Protective elements There are iridescent holograms, a security thread and fibers woven into banknotes. Some elements change color depending on the angle of inclination Elements are only partially present or completely absent. They can be roughly copied. For example, security fibers are not woven into the material of the banknote, but are printed over the paper. The hologram does not shimmer. Portrait window doesn't change when tilted
Appearance The size is slightly inferior to 100 euros, although the height may be the same if these are banknotes of a new design. All details and contours are clear, microprinting is well read when enlarged. Watermarks are visible A fake may differ in size from the original. Some small details are blurred. The inscriptions and images are displaced


The material for banknotes contains cotton, so the tactile sensations resemble canvas. It is slightly embossed, not smooth, all images, inscriptions and figures are thickened.

The 50 euro banknote paper is made of cotton.

Water marks

Security marks on banknotes of different series are different. There are 2 elements on old banknotes. The first one is located on a special light field on the left under the EU flag. It repeats the main image on the front side of the bill. Additionally, the denomination of the banknote is duplicated under the watermark. The second element is located on the left side of the bill next to the star. The new banknotes of the Europa series depict the heroine of the Greek myth of the same name. The watermark is on a light field under the EU flag.

Manufacturers of low-quality fakes neglect the protective element or apply a blurry image.

However, high-end fakes are difficult to distinguish from the original. The contours of watermarks in their case can be even clearer and smoother than on genuine banknotes. For this reason, it is better to familiarize yourself with the samples. When analyzing water images, you need to pay attention to the texture of the paper: on genuine banknotes, the picture turns out to be more “pixelated” due to intertwining threads. Fakes are smooth, so their watermarks often have more detail.


Holograms are present on the banknotes of both series, but differ greatly. On old banknotes, when the viewing angle is changed, images in the form of EU stars, the euro symbol, microtext and the number "50" appear on the foil area. The hologram was introduced into the new banknotes in the form of a strip of 4 fragments. Here the protection is more complicated: the extreme parts of the element are supplemented with microtexts. Inner fragments are windows. In one, a portrait of the goddess Europe is visible to the light, the other shimmers colorfully.

The hologram is made in the form of a strip with 4 fragments.

Read also: 200 rubles how to spot a fake

Color changing paint

Special inks are present on the surface of both new and old banknotes. However, the appearance of the protective elements is slightly different. On the banknotes of the first series, the number denoting the denomination changes its hue from purple to brown and olive. On the new banknotes, the emerald inscription acquires a dark blue color. Genuine color-shifting paint, when magnified, looks like it has shiny blotches. In the case of fakes, this effect is not observed.

iridescent paint

There is an additional security element on the Europa series banknotes. On the reverse side in the middle of the image there is an area covered with iridescent paint.

When tilted, it acquires a slight golden sheen, the euro symbol and the denomination figure become visible.

Security thread

The element is almost identical in both series, but has slight differences. In old-style banknotes, the strip is magnetic, it has the inscription “50 EURO” and separately the number “50” in a smaller version. In the "Europe" series, the ribbon contains the euro symbol and the denomination in direct and mirror versions. Regardless of the year of issue, the thread looks like a solid dark stripe in the light.

Security thread
The security thread varies slightly depending on the series.

Serial number

Each banknote has its own identification number. It should not coincide with the inscriptions on other banknotes. To check the authenticity of the banknote, replace the letter in the identification code with the corresponding serial number in the alphabet. To the resulting number, add all the other digits present in the sequence of characters. You will get a 2 digit number. Break it down into 2 numbers and add them up. The result of the sum should be the number 8. This method does not give an exact result, but it is taken into account in the verification.

Read also: $50 how to spot a fake


When the image is magnified by 10-20 times, you can see microtexts on the surface of banknotes. Most often it is the euro symbol and the denomination symbol. Microprinting is difficult to reproduce, so in most cases counterfeiters neglect it. Even if they manage to copy the text, it becomes fuzzy.


Protection with micropatterns is similar to the microprinting option. They look like stars, stripes, waves, etc. The signs of a fake are the same: the complete absence of patterns or their fuzziness, vagueness.

Micro patterns look like stars, stripes, waves.

Overlapping images

There are lines in the corners on the front and back of the banknotes. Their purpose can be understood when viewed through the light: they are combined into a denomination designation. In the banknotes of the new sample, the images are combined into a geometric figure located at the bottom of the banknote.

On fakes, this security element is missing or copied carelessly. Images do not match, gaps are visible in the resulting picture.

Other signs of a counterfeit banknote

After Bulgaria's accession to the EU, banknotes are additionally inscribed in Cyrillic. If the fake is new, but there is no EURO mark on it, the banknote should be handed over for examination. The weight of 1 banknote is 0.92 g. Small deviations are acceptable, but a difference exceeding 10% may indicate a fake.

Authentication Methods

High-quality fakes are difficult to identify on your own at home. For the examination, you will need special equipment. You can check banknotes using ultraviolet radiation and infrared or magnetic sensors.

Read also: banknote 500 rubles

Under ultraviolet

The backing of the banknote does not luminesce. Individual elements light up. For example, stars. On old banknotes, they take on shades from light blue to red and orange. Additionally, the image of the map and the bridge, the area with the EU flag and the denomination are highlighted, depending on the series. Fakes are made of a different material, so their substrate luminesces.

Under ultraviolet
Under ultraviolet light, individual elements glow.

Using a currency detector with infrared sensors

When checking with infrared sensors on banknotes, you can see empty or lightened areas. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the samples in advance, since the very presence of white areas does not yet indicate the authenticity of the banknotes. The location of the empty lots should match the example. A slight displacement of 2-3 mm is allowed.

Using magnetic sensors

Ferromagnetic components are added to the paint, which can be detected using sensors. On banknotes of the first series, magnetic sputtering is present on the right side of the front side. On Europa banknotes, sensors check the central part of the plot pattern on the obverse. Additionally, magnetic elements are applied to the protective strip.

Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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  1. Alla

    I used to identify banknotes by touch, but nowadays there are a lot of high-quality fakes, right there are a lot of blue stripes and a lot of watermarks, be careful ...

  2. Dionysus

    at one time I had to work at the bank’s cash desk, and I’m more than familiar with the euro) so whatever the fake is, I somehow instinctively recognize it, mechanically)) but a very useful article, informative!

  3. Vitaly

    This currency is probably one of the most fake and which has already deceived the most number of people who have suffered from scammers. Now, in our time, this currency is better fashionable to determine than 20 years ago. I think the future will be even better.

  4. Christina Milevich

    this is exactly what cannot but cause me delight, it is these things that must always be checked for authenticity, it is also good that now I will know that money in euro bills is also worth checking, you fortunately told how to right

  5. Sasha

    Of course, now it is very easy to make fakes for experienced scammers who make fakes of different banknotes. I think that it is 50 euros that are most counterfeited and of course you need to be careful, since getting into the trick of scammers is not a problem now.

  6. Dmitry

    Сейчас наверное многие подумали – вообще бы увидеть большую купюру, тем более евро! Но я считаю надо быть подготовленным ко всему и всегда если есть возможность, я вот тоже доллары нашел и не ждал что найду )