Citizens Leave Pesetas Worth 1,575 Million Euros Unchanged

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The period for exchanging pesetas for euros ended on June 30 and on that date there were still notes and coins left unchanged, which accounted for 3.2% of the value of the old Spanish currency in circulation in December 2001, that is, the equivalent of 1,575 million euros . Of this figure, 793 million correspond to banknotes and 782 million to coins , which represents 1.7% and 31%, respectively, of the amount in circulation at the time of the introduction of the euro

The Bank of Spain has reported this Thursday that citizens, therefore, exchanged 96.8% of the value of the pesetas that were in circulation in December 2001, which amounted to 48,750 million euros . The largest volume of pesetas was exchanged in the first six months after the euro was put into circulation: until June 30, 2002, the date on which the banknotes and coins in pesetas could be exchanged both at the Bank of Spain and at the credit institutions, 94.5% of the amount of pesetas circulating at the end of 2001 was changed .

In September of last year, there were 1,599 million euros of coins and pesetas unchanged , and last April the figure had dropped to 1,586 million. The government extended in November last year the deadline for redemption on December 31, 2020 on June 30, 2021 and this facilitated to be exchanged 24 million euros compared to September 2020. The Bank of Spain, in fact, It registered long queues of citizens to make the change, but also estimated that 45% of the coins that were before the entry of the euro would never be exchanged because they are for collections, they are deteriorated or will have been lost.

Over a century
The peseta was born on October 19, 1868 by a government decree that established it as the basic unit of the Spanish monetary system. The first coins were minted in 1869 and the first banknote was issued in July 1874. On January 1, 2002 , euro banknotes and coins came into circulation , coexisting with pesetas until February 28 of that year, at which time from which the euro became the only legal tender.

In order to facilitate the replacement of pesetas, a period was established so that citizens could exchange their pesetas for euros. Until June 30, 2002, the exchange could be carried out both at the Bank of Spain and at credit institutions, and from that moment only at the different offices of the Bank of Spain.

All peseta banknotes after 1939 were exchangeable, while those issued between 1936 and 1939 had to be analyzed by experts because during the civil war there were numerous banknote issuers on each side and not all of them are valid. In the case of coins, only those that were in circulation since 2002 could be exchanged. Both bills and coins will be exchanged for their face value, that is, one euro for every 166,386 pesetas, although many of those coins or bills may have a higher collector value.