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On 1 January 2002, exactly three years after the launch of Europe's single currency, euro notes and coins have finally come into circulation.

Banks and many companies have already been dealing in euros for the last three years- as an electronic currency. But now the euro will be a real currency, jingling in the pockets of more than 300 million consumers in the 12-member eurozone.

Since July 1999, printing works and mints have produced 14.5 billion banknotes and more than 56 billion coins.

BBC News Online shows you the new notes and coins, and tells you some of the stories behind the single currency.

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