The ECB will release brand new €100 and €200 bank notes this month, the last in a new string of European tender which are supposed to be more difficult to counterfeit and smaller than the current versions. The series has been entitled Europa, but few people might realise the hidden meaning behind this name. Europa has been described in ancient tales as a beautiful young girl and Greek mythological figure who became known as the Grandmother of Europe, indeed she is who the continent of Europe is named after. Unable to resist her incredible beauty and charm, Europa soon caught the eye of the chief of the Gods, Zeus, who went on to abduct and seduce the young girl.
Most stories about Europa detail how Zeus first laid eyes on her while she was playing with her friends on the beach in Phoenicia, an ancient civilisation along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Zeus fell instantly in love with her and transformed into a white bull to approach her.
Europa then became transfixed by the bull and was lured into climbing on his back, only for him to take her from her home in Phoenicia to the island of Crete.
Zeus transformed back into a human once on the island, and Europa would then end up giving birth to three of his sons after being showered with priceless gifts from the chief Greek god.
The ECB has named their new bank note series after Europa, adding that it “adds a human touch to the notes, and of course, is the origin of the name of our continent”.
The new notes will enter circulation on 28 May, 2019, and follow brand new €5, €10, €20 and €50 notes already released.
Printed on pure cotton fibre, the new tender will not contain traces of animal products like the new Bank of England money.
They feature an image of Europa as well as an updated map of Europe on the back, including the islands of Malta and Cyprus.
Both nations were not on the old euro notes as they joined the European Union after the first series were released.
The notes are focused heavy on reducing counterfeit copies with updated security features.
A new hologram of euro symbols, as well as a shiny number on the bottom of the notes which change colour, are all new to the money.
The ECB will also no longer produce the €500 note.
UK banks were asked to stop handling the tender in 2010 over fears the majority of them were being used by crooks.