History was made on 1st January 1999 when 11 (this later became 12) countries from the European Union decided to create a monetary union with a single currency, the Euro.
Euro bank notes and coins entered circulation in these 12 countries on 1st January 2002. The 12 countries are Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.
The € symbol is made by the first letter of Europe crossed by two parrell bars to indicate the stability of the euro.
The 7 banknote denominations have a common design in all countries, however the 8 denominations of coins include different national designs on one side and a single European design on the other.
Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro.
Euro coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 Euro.
You can find out more about the Euro at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/our_currency_en.htm