Spanish are holding on to their pesetas

THE Spanish still have almost €1.67 billion worth of pesetas in notes and coins.

According to the Bank of Spain, in November there were €870.3 million worth of pesetas in notes in Spain, almost €1 million less than the previous month. However, there were still the same amount of pesetas out there in coins as the month before, €806.5 million.

Since the euro came into circulation, in January 2002, people have been changing their pesetas for euros. At the time, there were €48.7 billion worth of pesetas in circulation.

Until June 2012, the exchange could be made at any bank, but since then, only with the Bank of Spain. Since January 2011, approximately €1 million worth of pesetas has been exchanged every month.

The peseta became the monetary unit of Spain in October 1868, substituting the Escudo, although the first coin to carry the word was minted in 1808 and was a two-and-a-half peseta coin. The first peseta coin which was not made from a precious metal was in 1937. The coin carried the face of a woman, representing the republic, and was known as the ‘blonde’ due to its colour from the copper-nickel alloy it was made of.

From 1982, peseta coins were made in aluminium to cut costs. It was also when the 100 peseta coin came into circulation, followed later that decade by 10, 200 and 500 peseta coins. In 1983, the peseta piece became the lowest value coin in circulation in Spain.

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