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Euro cash

Big money

A bridge too far

The counterfeiters

UK euro notes

Tons of money

The Queen's head

Trouble at the mint

A cent is a cent

The launch of EMU

Back to Euro facts

BBC News Online

. Banks and companies are dealing in euros from day one, but consumers have three years to get used to the new currency. Meanwhile across Europe the printing machines are rolling and the mints are pressing, churning out billions of euros.

In fact, to supply the 291 million people living in the eurozone with enough cash for shopping, central banks have to print around 12.5 billion banknotes and 76 billion coins.

The new money will be swelling eurozone pockets not before January 2002, but BBC News Online gives you a sneak preview, and lets you in on the stories behind the new single currency.