Unique serial numbers?

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followtheloot
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Unique serial numbers?

Postby followtheloot » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Does anyone know if Euro bills have unique serial numbers? That is, is it possible to have a 5 euro and a 10 euro bill with the exact same serial number?

I know its possible with US bills, but not Canadian bills. I'm just curious if it is with euro's.

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avij
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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby avij » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:18 pm

The serial numbers are unique only for each denomination. For example, there are E001/L 5e notes and D001/L 10e notes that are in the same L0* serial number space and there can be collisions.

EBT does not allow entering the same serial number for multiple denominations, because that is usually an error. However, there have been cases where someone has really found two different notes that have had the same serial number. These entries are handled on a case by case basis via support.
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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby followtheloot » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:43 pm

That's too bad. It would simplify things a bit if the web site could automatically identify the denomination from the serial number.

Thanks for your reply!

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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby followtheloot » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:38 pm

Sorry for the followup questions.

To clarify, each serial number is unique in that denomination. If this is the case, what is the use of the 'Printer Code' in tracking? I realize that the printer code tells you where it was printed, but it seems to be an extra (sometimes very difficult to see) data entry that doesn't buy us anything.

Also, is there any way to enter notes by gps location rather than city/country/postal code?

Thanks!

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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby avij » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:51 pm

In the first series Euro notes the printer code told us where the note was printed. With the second series (Europa) the same information is included in the first letter of the serial number, so the printer code is less useful (and less interesting) nowadays.

The next three digits in the printer code are used primarily for numismatic purposes. If you go to our diffusion page and click some slice in the pie, you will see a breakdown of the plate numbers used at the bottom of the page. The last two characters in the printer code (a letter and a number) signify the location of the note on the printing plate. This information isn't really used at EBT, but it provides a valuable data point for verifying the note entry. The printer code can be derived from the serial number, and if there's a mismatch, something is not right.

There is currently no way to enter notes by coordinates alone. Some phone apps might be able to figure out the coordinates and then look up the city name and postal codes using that information, though.
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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby followtheloot » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:13 pm

Thanks avij,

You say that the printer code can be derived from the serial number, could you explain more how to do that? I have found a way to convert the gps coordinates to city name & postal code, so this is the last thing I need to be able to post to EuroBillTracker from my app.

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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby avij » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:30 pm

It is not that straightforward, but it can be done given enough comparison data. It also varies between different note printers. Also, you can't necessarily predict when the plate number (the three numbers in the printer code) change. The Italians are currently using more than 100 different plate numbers.

Quite frankly, I would hope that your application would not try to guess the printer code by calculating it, but that the users would fill in the printer code by themselves.
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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby followtheloot » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:47 pm

Well, I was hoping to be able to accurately calculate the whole thing. I don't want to guess, that's for sure. No data is better than bad data.

Maybe I'm getting old, I just find trying to read those tiny numbers very difficult. And it seems a shame that the scanning of the serial number takes a split second, the location is automatically determined, but then you have to ask the user to try to find and manually type in the tiny printer code.

I don't suppose there's any chance of making the printer code optional, eh?

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Re: Unique serial numbers?

Postby avij » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:55 pm

Sorry, we didn't design the printer code system and neither did we pick the font size. Please file your complaint to the ECB.

Sadly one of the reasons for requiring the printer code is abuse detection. Generating valid serial numbers is trivial (well, there are some restrictions which might not be obvious to everyone at first sight), but coming up with a matching printer code is trickier. The printer code is one of the methods that our abuse detection people use to spot invalid entries. Therefore I'm not fond of the idea of making the printer code optional.
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