History of the EURO Symbol
The official euro sign (€) is based on the Greek letter epsilon (ε), which symbolises the cradle of European civilisation. Also the sign is similar to the letter E, the first letter of the word 'Europe'.
The two parallel lines represent the stability of the euro. It is a graphic symbol used also by other major international currencies such the US dollar ($), the Japanese yen (¥) and the pound sterling (£).
Introduction of the Euro as a currency
The euro was established by the agreements in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. European Union member states are meant to meet strict criteria to participate, such as a budget deficit lower than three per cent of GDP.
On the 1st of January 1999, the currency was introduced in virtual form (banking, electronic transfers etc.). National currencies of participating countries were locked at fixed rates against each other, effectively making them subdivisions of the euro.
Euro's in physical forms (notes and coins) were introduced on January 1st 2002.