SPAIN, BILBAO, 25 pesetas, 1.1.1937


SPAIN, BILBAO, Banco de España, 25 pesetas, 1.1.1937, Face: black on tan, utility design, Back: black, modern art, blacksmiths, P-S63, foxed, F

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The Spanish Republic was a coalition of liberals and leftists that took power in the midst of a financial crisis and was unable to implement its programs before the Franco mutiny. Some of the local banknotes were notable for their use of the ideas of contemporary modern art.

For organizational purposes, banknote collectors tend to make a distinction between national issues and local issues. The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money has a volume dedicated to “specialized” issues, where about 20,000 items are listed. A “complete” catalog would likely have at least 10 times that number. The Standard Catalog numbers for “specialized” notes are designated P-S. There are special catalogs for various series such as German and Austrian notgeld, former Soviet Union, etc.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.