According to the European Commission, the Euro, which is the legal currency of 18 countries of the European Union, consists of bank notes that are identical for each nation and coins that have a common design on one side and a nation-specific theme on the other. The seven banknotes range from five to five hundred euros, while the eight coins go from one cent to two euros.
Depending on denomination, Euro banknotes illustrate architectural styles from various historical periods in Europe and are printed in varied hues. One side of coins depicts Europe or the EU, while the other features a country-specific design encircled by the 12 stars of the EU. Commemorative coins may consist of two-euro coins bearing a distinctive design on the national side. According to the European Central Bank, Euro banknotes are issued by a central bank, whereas coins are the responsibility of each national nation. The EU aims to control inflation by limiting the maximum number of coins that may be struck and by authorising the volume and issue of banknotes. Since 2002, Euro banknotes and coins have been legal tender in 18 of the EU’s 28 member states.