Old Spanish Banknotes

Exchange Pre-Euro Banknotes

Exchange Pre-Euro Banknotes for CASH

There are lots of people just like you who have got various pre-Euro banknotes that may have been gathered from trips abroad. Unfortunately these obsolete notes can’t be exchanged at banks in the UK. So what do you do with them? You don’t want to just throw them away, so they’ll probably end up sitting in a drawer for years! However, there is now a way to exchange pre-Euro banknotes with Cash4Coins.

We change ALL foreign coins and exchange pre-Euro banknotes for cash. Our service is superfast and we make payment in under 1 hour – this is why we are trusted by banks, hospitals, schools and individuals.

Why should you choose to exchange pre-Euro banknotes with us?

We exchange all pre-Euro banknotes
We also exchange ALL foreign coins and notes
Free and subsidised collection
Instant Payment
Best exchange rates – Guaranteed


If you’d like to see how to send us your notes then go to our page ‘How to send us coins

Pre-Euro banknote information

When the Euro was first introduced in 1999, it replaced the existing currencies in 14 countries, from major European economic powers like France and Germany to smaller states like Monaco and San Marino. Over the years since then, a further six nations have adopted the Euro, mainly smaller nations and former members of the Soviet bloc.

This radical change in European currency led to an equally major change in banknotes. All 20 nations now use Euro banknotes, which entered circulation in 2002. Unlike Euro coins, which vary from issuing country to issuing country, Euro banknotes are identical. This means that a mere seven note designs have replaced the whole wide variety of pre-Euro banknotes.

Some of the nations which adopted the Euro did not have a strong tradition of pre-Euro banknotes. For example, although Monaco minted coins for its own currency, the Monegasque franc, it only issued banknotes once, in 1920. For most uses, inhabitants of Monaco simply used the French franc, which was also legal tender in Monaco. Similarly, the tiny country of San Marino never issued banknotes, using Italian notes alongside its own coinage.

In other nations, however, a rich tradition of banknotes existed. The first French franc banknotes were issued in 1795, over 200 years before the introduction of the Euro. The earliest notes of the Dutch guilder date from 1814. Other currencies were more recent — the Slovak koruna had only been in existence for less than two decades, following the separation of Czechoslovakia into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, when Slovakia adopted the Euro.

The many varieties of pre-Euro banknotes showcase a wide range of designs, from the classic to the cutting-edge. Most featured the likenesses of historical figures, such as scientists, political leaders, writers and artists, together with scenes of the architecture or landscape of the issuing country. For instance, the banknotes of the Finnish markka featured portraits of famous Finns such as composer Jean Sibelius or folklorist and poet Elias Lönnrot. Others showcased natural themes. For example, in 1990, the Netherlands issued new guilder notes replacing the previous series’ portraits of historical figures with pictures of birds native to the Netherlands.

Modern banknote designs could sometimes lead to trouble. In 1993, when the Finnish government introduced its new 20 markkaa banknote, it used a photograph of novelist Väinö Linna on the note, apparently believing that the image was in the public domain. In fact, they had failed to compensate the holder of the rights. With millions of notes already in circulation, it was impossible to change the design; the government paid 100,000 markkaa (around 17,000 euros) in compensation.

For some time after the changeover to the Euro, pre-Euro banknotes could be exchanged for Euros. In most nations, the period in which this was possible is now over. The exact length of time varied from country to country. In some cases, it was only a few years, while in others, such as Finland, it was 10 years — the Finnish markka was exchangeable until February 2012. In Portugal, the period is still ongoing. Escudos can be exchanged for Euros until 2022.

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