Archive for October, 2012

Modern History of Spanish Pesetas

Posted on: October 2nd, 2012 by Ian Stormnet

Spanish Pesetas – a modern history

Between 1869 and introduction of euro currency in 2002, the government of Spain issued coins and banknotes in its own currency, the peseta. Although the peseta ceased to be legal tender in March 2002, many peseta coins can still be found left over from the transition, while the influence of the peseta can still be seen on the euro.The final series of peseta notes was introduced in 1992. These notes, which came in values of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 pesetas, carried the faces of famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Francisco Pizarro. The 10,000 peseta note carried an image of the King of Spain as well as the Principe de Asturias or crown prince. In addition the 1992 issue, notes from the 1987 issue remained in circulation. These included earlier designs of the 1992 notes as well as lower-value 200- and 500-peseta notes.At the time of the transition to the euro, the coinage of the peseta was composed of eight denominations of coin, ranging in value from one peseta to 500 pesetas. Earlier coinage had included smaller coins, measured in centimos or hundredths of a peseta, but the low value of the peseta during its later period — one peseta exchanged for less than one euro cent in 2002 — brought an end to this.The composition of peseta coins alternated between three alloys. The one-peseta coin was aluminium, while the five, 25-, 100- and 500-peseta coins were aluminium bronze. The ten, 50- and 200-peseta coins were cupronickel. The range of coins was modified continually over time, with the last set of changes coming in 1990.

One of the most notable things about the coinage of the peseta was the distinctive shape of the 50-peseta coin introduced in the 1990s. The edge of the coin was smooth, but with seven evenly-spaced indentations. These were also reflected in the raised rim of both the obverse and reverse sides. This unusual shape is known as the “Spanish Flower” and is a rare characteristic in coins. The best-known modern coin with a “Spanish Flower” design is the 20-cent euro coin. Perhaps coincidentally, this is the euro coin with the closest value to 50 pesetas, which exchanged in 2002 for roughly 30 cents. Another unusual design was the 25-peseta coin, which had a circular hole through its centre. The designs of peseta coins varied greatly, but most bore an image either of the King of Spain or of the national coat of arms.

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