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Spanish Paper Money

In 2002 Spain adopted the Euro as its national currency in place of the peseta and stopped issuing its own banknotes. While Spanish paper money is no longer legal tender, their banknotes are still valued by people looking to own a piece of Spain's monetary history.

Which Spanish Banknotes Are Available?

Before adopting the Euro, Spain issued its own banknotes for over a century. During that time, the Banco de Espana produced many different banknotes with different designs and denominations.

  • The Spanish peseta was first adopted in 1869. Initially the currency was only issued in coin form. Paper notes were used from 1874 onwards. Before the peseta was used, Spain relied entirely on coins.
  • The original banknotes produced by the Bank of Spain came in 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 peseta denominations.
  • Inflation over time lead to higher denomination banknotes being required. When the peseta was discontinued, the national bank issued 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 peseta denominations.
  • During the Spanish Civil War, both the Republican and Nationalist sides issued their own paper money. Nationalist banknotes were printed with a special countermark. This was to distinguish them from the money issued by the Republican government.

Why Collect Spanish Banknotes?

Currency collectors usually focus on coins rather than paper money, but Spanish paper money is still a popular option for some currency lovers even though it can no longer be used to make payments. It is especially popular with collectors who have a personal connection to the country.

  • For history lovers, Spanish banknotes typically feature important historical figures from Spain's past. Some of the famous men and women to appear on Spanish notes include King Charles I, the painter Francisco Goya and the author Miguel de Cervantes.
  • The reverse of many of Spain's banknotes featured reproductions of paintings by some of Spain's greatest artists including Goya, El Greco, Julio Romero de Torres, and Joaquin Sorolla.
  • Bank of Spain banknotes are not used as an investment as often as some other currencies. Good examples can still be found much more easily than banknotes that get more attention from investors like historic dollars.

How Do I Check the Note's Condition?

Paper notes are more fragile than coins, so they can come in a variety of conditions. They are most often graded using the International Bank Note Society's guidelines, but other systems are still sometimes used.

  • Uncirculated and About Uncirculated grades are given to the examples in the best condition.
  • Fine, Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades will have some signs of light use.
  • Good and Very Good grades will have some visible damage but no large missing pieces.
  • Fair and Poor paper money has been used hard and may be missing large pieces.

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