Spanish peseta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Spanish peseta
Peseta española (Spanish)
100 pesetas.png Spagna 200 pesetas Madrid Capitale Europea della Cultura.JPG
100 Pt200 Pt – Madrid European Capital of Culture – 1992
ISO 4217
1100céntimo (Ctm/Cts)
(because of inflation, céntimos were withdrawn from circulation in 1983)
SymbolPt or Pta/Pts
  • perra chica (5 Cts)
  • perra gorda (10 Cts)
  • pela (1 Pt)
  • duro (5 Pt)
  • talego (1,000 Pt)
  • kilo (1,000,000 Pt)
 Freq. used1,000 Pt, 2,000 Pt, 5,000 Pt, 10,000 Pt
 Rarely used200 Pt, 500 Pt
 Freq. used5 Pt, 25 Pt, 50 Pt, 100 Pt, 500 Pt
 Rarely used1 Pt, 10 Pt, 200 Pt, 1,000 Pt, 2,000 Pt
Central bankBank of Spain
PrinterFábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
MintFábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre
 SourceCámara Guipúzcoa, 1998
 Since19 June 1989
 Fixed rate since31 December 1998
 Replaced by €, non cash1 January 1999
 Replaced by €, cash1 March 2002
=166.386 Pt
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The peseta (/pəˈstə/, Spanish: [peˈseta])[a] was the currency of Spain between 1868 and 2002. Along with the French franc, it was also a de facto currency used in Andorra (which had no national currency with legal tender).[1]


The name of the currency comes from peceta, a Catalan diminutive form of the Catalan word peça (meaning piece) or the Spanish peso (weight, used as a synonym for coin).[2] The word peseta has been known as early as 1737 to colloquially refer to the coin worth 2 reales provincial or 15 of a peso.[3][4] Coins denominated in "pesetas" were briefly issued in 1808 in Barcelona under French occupation; see Catalan peseta.


Traditionally, there was never a single symbol or special character for the Spanish peseta. Common abbreviations were "Pt", "Pta", "Pts" and "Ptas". A common way of representing amounts of pesetas in print was using superior letters: "Pta" and "Pts".

A 1970s AEG Olympia Traveller de Luxe typing machine with the ₧ symbol

Common Spanish models of mechanical typewriters had the expression "Pts" on a single type head, as a shorthand intended to fill a single type space (Pts) in tables instead of three (P+t+s).

Later, Spanish models of IBM electric typewriters also included the same type in its repertoire.

When the first IBM PC was designed in 1980, it included a "peseta symbol" "Pts" in the ROM of the Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA) and Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) video output cards' hardware, with the code number 158. This original character set chart later became the MS-DOS code page 437. Some spreadsheet software for PC under MS-DOS, as Lotus 1-2-3, employed this character as the peseta symbol in their Spanish editions. Subsequent international MS-DOS code pages, like code page 850 and others, deprecated this character in favour of some other national characters.

In order to guarantee the interchange with previous encodings such as code page 437, the international standard Unicode includes this character as U+20A7 PESETA SIGN in its Currency Symbols block. Other than that, the use of the "peseta symbol" standalone is extremely rare, and has been outdated since the adoption of the euro in Spain.[citation needed]

In the version 1.0 of Unicode the character ₧ U+20A7 PESETA SIGN had two reference glyphs: a "Pts" ligature glyph as in IBM code page 437 and an erroneous P with stroke. In Unicode 2.0 the reference glyph P with stroke was erroneously displayed as the only symbol for peseta[5] and was later corrected to the Pts ligature and a separate character code was added for the peso sign.


The peseta was subdivided into 100 céntimos or, informally, 4 reales. The last coin of any value under one peseta was a 50 Cts coin issued in 1980 to celebrate Spain's hosting of the 1982 FIFA World Cup.[6] The last 25-céntimo coin (or real) was dated 1959, the ten céntimos also dated 1959; both coins bore the portrait of Franco. The 1-céntimo coin was last minted in 1913 and featured King Alfonso XIII.[7] The 12-céntimo coin was last minted in 1868 and featured Queen Isabel II.[8]


Currencies used in Spain before the peseta's introduction in 1868 include:

  • The maravedí from the 11th to 15th centuries.
  • The original Spanish real (later, real nacional) introduced in the mid-14th century, which from 1497 was fixed at 34 maravedíes. Eight of these reales nacional were equal to the Spanish dollar, or peso, or duro.
  • The real provincial, used only in Peninsular Spain and not its colonies, and valued at 110 dollar.[9]
  • The real de vellón, another version of the real also exclusive to Peninsular Spain, issued prolifically in the 17th and 18th centuries, and valued much less than the above-mentioned reales. In 1737 it was finally fixed at 120th dollar. In 1850 it was divided decimally into 10 décimos or 100 céntimos.
  • The short-lived silver escudo from 1864 to 1869, worth 12 dollar and divided into 10 reales de vellón or 100 céntimos de escudo.

The peseta, previously not a monetary unit but a colloquial name for the coin worth 15 of a peso, was formally introduced as a currency unit in 1868, at a time when Spain considered joining the Latin Monetary Union (LMU). [10] Spain eventually decided not to formally join the LMU, although it did achieve alignment with the bloc.[11] The Spanish Law of June 26, 1864 decreed that in preparation for joining the Latin Monetary Union (set up in 1865), the peseta became a subdivision of the Spanish peso with 1 peso duro = 5 pesetas. The peseta replaced all previous currencies denominated in silver escudos and reales de vellón at a rate of 5 pesetas = 1 peso duro = 2 silver escudos = 20 reales de vellón.

The peseta was equal to 4.5 grams of silver, or 0.290322 grams of gold, the standard used by all the currencies of the Latin Monetary Union. From 1873, only the gold standard applied.

In 1883 the peseta went off the gold standard and traded below parity with the gold French franc. However, as the free minting of silver was suspended to the general public, the peseta had a floating exchange rate between the value of the gold franc and the silver franc. The Spanish government captured all profits from minting duros (5-peseta coins) out of silver bought for less than 5 ptas. While total issuance was limited to prevent the peseta from falling below the silver franc, the abundance of duros in circulation prevented the peseta from returning to par with the gold franc. Spain's system where the silver duro trades at a premium above its metallic value due to relative scarcity is called the fiduciary standard.[12]

The political turbulence of the early twentieth century (especially during the years after the World War I) caused the monetary union to break up, although it was not until 1927 that it officially ended.[13]

During the Civil War (1936-1939), gold and silver coinage was withdrawn and copper-nickel coins were introduced. In 1959, Spain became part of the Bretton Woods System, pegging the peseta at a value of 60 ₧ = US$1. In 1967, the peseta followed the devaluation of the pound sterling, maintaining the exchange rate of 168 ₧ = £stg.1 and establishing a new rate of 70 ₧ = US$1.

High inflation was constant in Spain from the Civil War until the 1990s. After one century with the 1,000 ₧ being the largest note, the 5,000 ₧ note was introduced in 1976. A series of coins was issued to commemorate the 1982 FIFA World Cup held in Spain. All the fractional coinage was withdrawn in 1983; at the same time, 2,000 ₧ and 10,000 ₧ notes were introduced.

200 ₧ and 500 ₧ notes were withdrawn in 1992 and replaced by coins, leaving 1,000 ₧ as the smallest note. Coins ranged from 1 ₧ to 500 ₧. In that year, a series of coins commemorating 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and Expo '92 in Seville were issued. Spain was hit heavily by the early 1990s recession and the peseta was devalued three times, the first of them being just after Black Wednesday, plummeting from 100 ₧ to 130 ₧ per US$1.[14]

All Franco era coinage was withdrawn in 1997. The peseta linked its value with the euro coin on 1 January 1999, and hit rock bottom that year when 200₧ were required to buy US$1.[15] At the time Euro became a material coin, there were needed 185.29 ₧ to buy US$1, that is, 1.1743 euros.[16]

The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002,[17] following the establishment of the euro in 1999. The exchange rate was 1 euro = 166.386 ₧.[18]


From 1868 to 1982, a unique dating system for Spanish coins was employed. This would be adopted and sometimes abandoned intermittently during various times, and continued through to be used through the first years of Juan Carlos I's reign. Although a common "authorization date" will be found on virtually all coins of this period on the obverse (front) of each coin, the actual date for many coins can be found inside a small six pointed star, typically on the reverse (back) of each coin, but sometimes the front. Therefore, the obverse date does not always reflect the actual date of mintage but rather a restriking of older obverse coin die designs. So, if the coin date shows 1959 up front but a tiny "64" is depicted in the six pointed star on the back, then the actual date of issue is in fact 1964 rather than the date depicted in front. This dating system would be abandoned in the early 1980s anticipating a one-by-one redesign of each coin denomination.

Last editions of peseta coins (lacks 500 ₧ coin) and 1-euro coin for size reference.

Decimal coinage of the monarchy[edit]

  • No coins were issued by the short lived First Republic (1873–1874).

In 1869 and 1870, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos, and 1 ₧, 2 ₧ and 5 ₧. The lowest four denominations were struck in copper (replaced by bronze from 1877), with the 20 Cts, 50 Cts, 1 ₧ and 2 ₧ struck in .835 silver and the 5 ₧ struck in .900 silver. 5 Cts and 10 Cts coins were quickly nicknamed perra chica (small dog) and perra gorda (fat dog) respectively, as people then were unable to recognize the shape of the lion in them, mistaking it for a dog.[19] The 5 ₧ coin was nicknamed duro (hard), referencing the old peso duro. 5 ₧ coins were called duros by every generation until the withdrawal of the peseta in 2002, and Spaniards would often informally account in that unit (e.g. using '20 duros' for 100 ₧).

Gold 25 ₧ coins were introduced in 1876, followed by 10 ₧ in 1878. In 1889, 20 ₧ coins were introduced, with production of the 25 ₧ ceasing. In 1897, a single issue of gold 100 ₧ was made. Production of gold coins ceased in 1904, followed by that of silver coins in 1910. The last bronze coins were issued in 1912.

Starting in 1906 a new series of 1c and 2c coins were issued in bronze. Due to a number of economic issues these were the only two coins from this series.

Coin production resumed in 1925 with the introduction of cupronickel 25 Cts. In 1926, a final issue of silver 50 Cts was made, followed by the introduction of a holed version of the 25 Cts in 1927.

The Second Republic and Civil War period[edit]

La Rubia, 1–Pta coin from 1937

In 1934, the Second Spanish Republic issued its first coins in the denomination of 25 Cts and 50 Cts and 1 ₧. The 25 Cts and silver 1 ₧ were the same size and composition as the earlier Royal issues, whilst the 50c was struck in copper. In 1937 a 5 Cts coin was struck in iron and a new 1 ₧ in brass. An iron 10 Cts coin was also produced in 1938 but never issued into circulation, unknown whether due to its close resemblance to the 5c or because the government of issue fell before it could be released. All of these replaced symbols and images related to the monarchy. The brass 1 ₧ was sometimes nicknamed La Rubia (The Blonde), as it featured a woman's face in a golden-colored alloy.[20]

Coins of the Nationalist State and World War II periods[edit]

The Nationalists issued their first official coins in 1937. These were holed 25 Cts featuring a rising sun and a clutch of arrows. These coins were minted in Vienna. A smaller copper 25 Cts followed in 1938. Following the end of the Civil War in 1939, the victorious Nationalist government introduced aluminium 5 Cts and 10 Cts in 1940 featuring a conquistador, followed by reduced size aluminium-bronze 1 ₧ coins in 1944 featuring the state crest and national symbols.

During the Civil War, a number of local coinages were also issued by both Republican and Nationalist forces. In 1936, the following pieces were issued by the Nationalists:

District Denominations
Cazalla de Sierra 10 Cts
Arahal 50 Cts, 1 ₧ & 2 ₧
Lora del Río 25 Cts
Marchena 25 Cts
La Puebla de Cazalla 10 Cts & 25 Cts

The following issues were made by Republican forces in 1937:

District Denominations
Arenys de Mar 50 Cts, 1 ₧
Asturias and León 50 Cts, 1 ₧ & 2 ₧
Euskadi (Basque Country) 1 ₧ & 2 ₧
Ibi 25 Cts, 1 ₧
L'Ametlla del Vallès 25 Cts & 50 Cts, 1 ₧
Menorca 5 Cts, 10 Cts & 25 Cts, 1 ₧ & 2+12
Nulles 5 Cts, 10 Cts, 25 Cts & 50 Cts, 1 ₧
Olot 10 Cts
Santander, Palencia and Burgos 50 Cts, 1 ₧
Segarra de Gaià (currently Santa Coloma de Queralt[21]) 1 ₧

Franco-era coinage[edit]

A 1,000 ₧ banknote from 1957. The obverse shows Catholic Monarchs while the reverse shows the coat of arms of Spain under the Catholic Monarchs' rule.

The first 1 ₧ coins bearing the portrait of Francisco Franco were issued in 1947. Cupro-nickel 5 ₧ followed in 1949. In 1949, holed cupro-nickel 50 Cts were introduced, followed by aluminium-bronze 2+12 ₧ in 1954, cupro-nickel 25 ₧ and 50 ₧ in 1958 and smaller aluminium 10 and 25 céntimos in 1959. Silver 100 ₧ were issued between 1966 and 1969, with aluminium 50 céntimos introduced in 1967. In 1966 Franco's profile was redesigned to depict a more recent representation of the leader.

Following the accession of King Juan Carlos, there were a few changes. The replacement of Franco's portrait with that of Juan Carlos on the 50 Cts and 1 ₧ in 1975 and the addition of a cupro-nickel 100 ₧ in 1976. 10 Cts were discontinued. However, more significant changes occurred to each coin in 1982. Following this redesign the 50 Cts was discontinued, with aluminium replacing aluminum-bronze in the 1 ₧. A 2 ₧ coin was also introduced featuring a map of Spain, though this denomination never became popular. More importantly, nickel brass 100 ₧ were introduced. The redesign centered around the 1982 FIFA World Cup and depicted football-related themes on the 1 ₧, 5 ₧, 25 ₧, 50 ₧, and 100 ₧. Shortly afterwards, the large cupronickel 100 ₧ was replaced by a smaller aluminium bronze coin, which also replaced the 100 ₧ banknote. Cupronickel 10 ₧ was introduced in 1983, a denomination that had previously not been issued for many decades. This preceded a wholesale redesign in all circulating Spanish coins and abandonment of the "star" dating system. Cupronickel 200 ₧ were introduced in 1986, followed by aluminium bronze 500 ₧ in 1987.

In 1989 the biggest changes came; the size of the 1 ₧ coin was significantly reduced. The 2 ₧ coin was discontinued. Smaller aluminum bronze 5 ₧ were introduced, and reduced aluminium bronze 25 ₧ were also introduced which had a hole in the center. Smaller 50 ₧ coins were also issued the same year in cupronickel with the distinct Spanish flower shape that would eventually be used by many countries, most notably the 20-cent coin of the euro. At the same time, the 200 ₧ coin was made larger and included an identifiable edge with incuse lettering. In 1999, a laser-etched hologram was added to the 500 ₧ coin as a security feature to help discourage counterfeiting. During this period, all coins except the 1 ₧ and 500 ₧ went through a commemorative redesign each year, in a similar vein to the U.S. State commemorative quarters program until their discontinuation in 2001 preceding the introduction of the euro common currency.

Until 19 June 2001, the following coins were minted by the Spanish Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre:

Value Equivalent in euros (€) Diameter Weight Composition
1 ₧ 0.006 (0.01) 14 mm 0.55 g Aluminium
5 ₧ 0.03 17.5 mm 3 g Aluminum-bronze
10 ₧ 0.06 18.5 mm 4 g Copper-nickel
25 ₧ 0.15 19.5 mm 4.25 g Aluminum-bronze
50 ₧ 0.30 20.5 mm 5.60 g Copper-nickel
100 ₧ 0.60 24.5 mm 9.25 g Aluminum-bronze
200 ₧ 1.20 25.5 mm 10.5 g Copper-nickel
500 ₧ 3.01 28 mm 12 gr Aluminum-bronze

The 50 ₧ coins issued between 1990 and 2000 were the first[citation needed] that featured the Spanish flower shape.

Spanish flower
50 pesetas 1992 barcelona 92 pedrera.png 50 pesetas 1992 barcelona 92 sagrada familia.png

Spanish euro coins[edit]

Like all member nations, these coins come in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 cents in copper plated brass, 10, 20, and 50 cents in Nordic gold, and bimetallic 1 and 2 euros with a common reverse design. The obverse of the first three denominations feature Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the 10, 20, and 50 cents depict Spanish poet-writer Miguel de Cervantes, and the 1 and 2 euros depict the effigy of King Juan Carlos I or King Felipe VI.


In 1874, the Bank of Spain (Banco de España in Spanish) introduced notes for 25 ₧, 50 ₧, 100 ₧, 500 ₧ and 1,000 ₧. Except for the 250 ₧ notes only issued in 1878, the denominations produced by the Central Bank of Spain did not change until the Civil War, when both the Republicans and Nationalists issued Bank of Spain notes.

In 1936, the Republicans issued 5 ₧ and 10 ₧ notes. The Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) introduced notes for 50 Cts, 1 ₧ and 2 ₧ in 1938, as well as issuing stamp money (consisting of postage or revenue stamps affixed to cardboard discs) in denominations of 5 Cts, 10 Cts, 15 Cts, 20 Cts, 25 Cts, 30 Cts, 40 Cts, 45 Cts, 50 Cts and 60 Cts.

The first Nationalist Bank of Spain issues were made in 1936, in denominations of 5 ₧, 10 ₧, 25 ₧, 50 ₧, 100 ₧, 500 ₧ and 1,000 ₧. 1 ₧ and 2 ₧ notes were added in 1937. From the mid-1940s, denominations issued were 1 ₧, 5 ₧, 25 ₧, 50 ₧, 100 ₧, 500 ₧ and 1,000 ₧. The 1 ₧, 5 ₧, 25 ₧ and 50 ₧ were all replaced by coins by the late 1950s.

La Fuensanta on the reverse of 100 ₧, 1953

In 1978, 5,000 ₧ notes were introduced. The 100 ₧ note was replaced by a coin in 1982, with 1,000 ₧ notes introduced in 1983, 200 ₧ in 1984 and 10,000 ₧ in 1987. The 200 ₧ and 500 ₧ notes were replaced by coins in 1986 and 1987.

The final series of banknotes were introduced between 1982 and 1987 and remained legal tender until the introduction of the Euro.

Image Value Equivalent in euros (€) Dimensions Main colour Portrait
[1] 200 ₧ 1.20 120 × 65 mm Orange Leopoldo Alas
[2] 500 ₧ 3.01 129 × 70 mm Dark blue Rosalía de Castro
[3] 1,000 ₧ 6.01 138 × 75 mm Green Benito Pérez Galdós
[4] 2,000 ₧ 12.02 147 × 80 mm Red Juan Ramón Jiménez
[5] 5,000 ₧ 30.05 156 × 85 mm Brown Juan Carlos I of Spain
[6] 10,000 ₧ 60.10 165 × 85 mm Gray Juan Carlos I of Spain and Felipe, Prince of Asturias

The last banknotes series (1992) was:

Image Value Equivalent in euros (€) Dimensions Main colour Portrait
[7] 1,000 ₧ 6.01 130 × 65 mm Green Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro
[8] 2,000 ₧ 12.02 138 × 68 mm Red José Celestino Mutis
[9] 5,000 ₧ 30.05 146 × 71 mm Brown Christopher Columbus
[10] 10,000 ₧ 60.10 154 × 74 mm Gray Juan Carlos I of Spain and Jorge Juan y Santacilia

Andorran peseta[edit]

The Andorran peseta (ADP) (pesseta in Catalan) was pegged at 1:1 to the Spanish peseta. Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War on 17 July 1936, the Andorran General Council issued Decree No. 112 of 19 December 1936, authorizing the issuance of paper money backed by Spanish banknotes.[22]

Replacement by the euro[edit]

Última peseta - 2,000 ₧ circulating commemorative coin

The peseta was replaced by the euro on 1 January 1999 on currency exchange boards. Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002, and on 1 March 2002 the peseta lost its legal tender status in Spain, and also in Andorra. The conversion rate was 1 euro = 166.386 ₧.

Peseta notes issued since 1939 and coins that were legal tender on 31 December 2001 remained exchangeable at any branch of the Spanish Central Bank until 30 June 2021.[23][24] According to that entity, as of March 2011 pesetas to a value estimated at €1.7 billion had not been converted to euros.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Name in other languages of Spain:
  1. ^ 1999 by law (on financial markets and business transactions only), two currency units were used (the Spanish peseta still had legal tender on all banknotes, coins and personal bank accounts) until 2002.


  1. ^ Brendan D. Brown (1979). The Dollar-Mark Axis: On Currency Power. Springer. p. 79. ISBN 9781349042456.
  2. ^ "Etimología de PESETA". Etimologías de Chile (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. ^ Royal Spanish Academy, ed. (1737). Diccionario de autoridades (in Spanish).
  4. ^ Real provincial is 1/10 peso as per #History
  5. ^ Sato, Takayuki K. (2000-01-06). "Peso sign and Peseta sign (U-20A7)" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  6. ^ 50 céntimos (1980). World Coin Gallery.
  7. ^ 1 céntimo (1911-1913). World Coin Gallery.
  8. ^ 1/2 céntimo (1866-1868). World Coin Gallery.
  9. ^ As discussed in Spanish real#history and in and in page 613: the real de plata provincial was double the (real de) vellon.
  10. ^ "Peseta". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  11. ^ Charles P. Kindleberger (2005). A Financial History of Western Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 150. ISBN 9780415378673.
  12. ^ "European Currency and Finance, ..., Pursuant to S. Res. 469, 67-4, ... Foreign Currency and Exchange Investigation". 1925.
  13. ^ "A Point of View: Making friends the shared currency way". BBC News. 2 March 2012.
  14. ^ El paro y la devaluación de la peseta le explotan al PSOE en plena campaña. El País
  15. ^ El dólar supera las 200 pesetas. El País
  16. ^ "Initial changeover (2002)". European Central Bank. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Euro becomes a reality". BBC News. 1 January 2002.
  18. ^ "E-Day: The euro is born". BBC News. 1 January 1999.
  19. ^ Jabalquinto School. Regional Government of Andalusia.
  20. ^ Ten years without the Peseta, Muy Interesante magazine.
  21. ^ Ajuntament de Santa Coloma de Queralt. "Una mica d'història". Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  22. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (20 January 2012). "Andorra". The Banknote Book (1 ed.). San Francisco, CA. p. 10. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  23. ^ Peseta Exchanges. Archived 2014-02-21 at the Wayback Machine Banco de España (Bank of Spain).
  24. ^ "Banco de España - Banknotes and coins - Public - History of peseta coins and notes".
  25. ^ Rainsford, Sarah (March 5, 2011). "Spain town reintroduces peseta to boost economy". BBC News. Retrieved March 5, 2011.


External links[edit]

Preceded by Spanish currency
Succeeded by