18th June 2021
Markus Spiske / Unsplash
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Last call to exchange any remaining pesetas in circulation to euros

There are just a few weeks left to exchange any remaining pesetas into euros, as the countdown to the end of life for the Spanish currency looms on 30 June.

Those still in possession of the original Spanish currency have been urged to exchange it into euros over the next couple of months before the deadline, which was extended by six months from its original date of 31 December 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The peseta was replaced by the euro on 1 January 1999 on currency exchange boards, with euro coins and notes introduced into general circulation in January 2002.

On 1 March 2002 the peseta ceased to have legal tender status, with 166.386 pesetas converting to 1 euro at that time. This is the rate that will be used to calculate the value for any pesetas brought in for exchange before the June deadline.

It is estimated that there is still approximately 1.6 billion euros worth of pesetas in circulation, held in coins and notes stored in boxes, purses and attics in Spain and across the world.

Many are likely to be held by tourists who visited Spain during the 66 years between the 1936 versions and the last ones that were minted before the introduction of the euro.

The Bank of Spain is allowing any remaining pesetas to be exchanged for euros at its 15 branches throughout the country, or at its Madrid headquarters.

Markus Spiske / Unsplash
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

There are 16 coins and 50 bills that can be exchanged for euros, which must be dated after 1939.

Any peseta coins or notes brought in for exchange must not be badly damaged to entitle the currency holder to an estimated equivalent value in euros.

A small number of pesetas dated between 1936 and 1939 may also be accepted, if passed by an expert analysis verdict on the currency and whether they are commemorative pieces.

There are also some prominent editions that exist in the post-1939 era, including those issued in the 1940s with a portrait of the first governor of the Bank of Spain and a 5,000 peseta note of 1992, with a portrait of Christopher Columbus.

Guidelines have been issued about how the pesetas must be presented, in terms of quantity, with minimum limits on what will be accepted for exchange in boxes or bags.

  • 500, 200 and 100 pesetas of 1,000 pieces
  • 50 and 25 pesetas of 2,000 pieces
  • 10 pesetas of 2,500 pieces
  • 5 pesetas of 4,000 pieces
  • 1 peseta of 10,000 pieces

Those in possession of pesetas are advised to make an appointment at a Bank of Spain branch as soon as possible, to ensure that any exchange can be completed before the currency becomes worthless.

Owners of the independent Artistic Metropol cinema in the Embajadores district of Madrid will be one beneficiary of the exchange programme, following their recent initiative to give customers the option of paying for tickets in either euros or pesetas.

The inventive scheme ended on 31 March, and the proceeds are being exchanged for euros at the Bank of Spain.

Ángel Mora, executive director of Artisitc Metropol, said that the exchange programme, effectively exchanging pesetas for culture, fitted well with the vintage theme of the cinema, saying that ‘it seemed very appropriate that the last adventure of the peseta was to go to the cinema.’

Any amounts received in pesetas over the actual equivalent cost of the ticket were collected and donated to a charity to help those in financial need during the pandemic.

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