Spain is sitting on a fortune of discarded pesetas and time is running out to exchange them

Spain is sitting on a fortune of discarded pesetas and time is running out to exchange them
Old peseta notes and coins can be exchanged until the end of 2020. Photo: AFP
They haven’t been legal currency in Spain since 2002 but there is still time to change any pesetas you might have hidden away.

Spaniards have been told that they have until December 31st 2020  to exchange their pesetas for euros and that applies for both bank notes and coins.

Any notes produced during the Franco era, which ran from the end of the Civil War in 1939 until the dictator’s death in 1975 can be automatically changed by the Bank of Spain.

Those issued during the conflict can also be exchanged but the process will involve them being analysed by experts to confirm their authenticity.

And any coins still in circulation at the time that euros were brought in on New Year’s Day in 2002 can also be exchanged at Bank of Spain headquarters in Madrid.

The exchange rate offered  by the Bank of Spain is 1 euro = 166,386 pesetas but the bank advised that commemorative coins and notes may be worth more as collectors’ items than for their face value, which is all that will be offered in the exchange scheme.

The Bank of Spain estimates that pesetas worth some €1.61 billion are squirreled away in Spanish homes, cluttering up the drawers of old desks and trunks in dusty old attics.

Many will never see the light of the day and others have become collectors’ items now worth more than their exchangeable value.

Spain adopted the Euro at the start of 2002 but pesetas were still legal currency during a transition period that lasted the first three months of that year.

Exchanges can be made in person at the Banco España building on Madrid's Calle Alcala or via a postal or online service, even available to those abroad.  For more information check out the official webpage of the Banco España HERE. 

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