coinsbygary's Blog

13 Nov 2019

The Last Silver Peseta

Coins-World | coinsbygary

The 1933(34) Second Spanish Republic 1-peseta struck in Madrid has a mintage of 2,000,000. The 1933(34) weighs 5 grams with a silver fineness of .835 and is 23mm in diameter. The obverse features an image of Hispania seated on a plinth holding an olive branch. The legend reads The Republic of Spain. The reverse features the same coat of arms used by the Spanish Provisional Government and the denomination of the coin is 1-peseta. The engraver of the coin is José Eusebio Espinós Gisbert.

Over time the intrinsic value of coins worldwide became more valuable than the face value of the coin and the peseta was no exception. There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon including inflation, government devaluation, and the gold standard. The United States has not issued circulating gold coins since 1933 and silver coins since 1964 (1970 for half-dollars). In Spain, there was a token striking of the 20-pesetas gold coin in 1904. The silver 5-pesetas as the highest denomination silver coin saw its final mintage in 1899. Many of these coins were demonetized by 1939 after the Spanish Civil War.

Except for a select number of 2000-pesetas coins, the last day to day circulating silver coin was the 100-pesetas coin of 1970. Comparing apples to apples, the 1897 .900 fine gold 100-pesetas weighs 32 grams while the 1970 .800 fine silver 100-pesetas weighs 19 grams. The AGW of the gold 100-pesetas is .9334 oz. and the ASW of the silver 100-pesetas is .4887 oz. On December 31, 1970, the 1897 100-pesetas gold coin in U.S. dollars is intrinsically worth $34.89 and the 100-pesetas silver coin is worth 80 cents. This represents a 97.7% loss in the intrinsic value of the peseta from 1897 to 1970. This was not unusual to Spain as now practically every country in the world works on the fiat money system or in other words the “full faith” of government.

The Second Spanish Republic 1-peseta coin authorized in 1933 and minted in 1934 is the last coin to be struck using the 1869 Spanish Provisional Government specifications and denominations for precious metal coins. For 65 years this standard has stood the test of time and now there was no turning back. The first peseta struck after 1934 also under the Second Spanish Republic is the 1937 peseta struck in brass with the same size and weight of the 1934 coin. Both the 1934 and 1937 pesetas were demonetized by the Nationalist Franco Government after the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

Granted, the striking by the Second Spanish Republic of the 1934 silver peseta was probably politically timed to instill public confidence in the government. However, while the peseta may have been stable, the government was not and a bloody civil war could not be averted.


It's Mokie

Level 6

Always a great numismatic Journey, Gary. You really should consider sending this series to the Clarion for publication. I think PAN members would find it fascinating.


Level 6

Another fantastic blog. you never let us down. I love the reverse. The twin pillars remind me of the Mexican coins that use the design. Thanks..


Level 6

Every coin has a story. the way you bring the story out is great.


Level 7

Gary this is one of the nicest designs I have seen. I have liked them all this I like allot the history speaks for itself. Great pick up. I enjoy all your blogs. Keep them coming.

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