Peseta redemption deadline concludes
- Published: Aug 26, 2021, 11 AM
When the euro replaced the Spanish peseta on Jan. 1, 2002, some €48.75 billion worth of peseta coins and bank notes remained in circulation.
By September 2020, 97% of that amount had been redeemed, leaving some €1.6 billion worth of the old currency still in limbo, waiting to be transformed into spending money.
Those notes and coins remained valid until June 30, 2021, at which point the money simply became collectors’ items.
Crowds flocked to the Bank of Spain during June 2021 to turn their pesetas into euros, at the fixed exchange rate of 166.386 pesetas per euro. Only the final series of coins, as well as commemoratives, could be redeemed, but all bank notes back to 1939 remained valid for redemption, though their collector value in many cases exceeds the face value.
The June deadline was six months after the initial deadline established in 2002, the extension necessary because of restrictions on public access to the bank during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bank of Spain officials have not updated published figures of the amounts of still-outstanding peseta coins and notes.
Spain’s was the last deadline for exchanging coins and paper money among the original 12 eurozone members.
Three of the 12 countries — Austria, Germany, and Ireland — have an unlimited exchange period, though Austria has some restriction as to what notes are accepted; only the final series of notes in circulation at the time of the eurozone’s establishment are valid.
Other original eurozone members, like Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, still redeem bank notes, but rules vary from place to place.
The European Central Bank published a list of deadlines at www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/exchange/html/index.en.html.
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