Banknotes and coins

Damaged and defective coins

Euro coins are produced on an industrial scale, using specialised machinery to apply strict quality control measures in the manufacturing process. As a result, they produce coins with a high-quality visual appearance and surface finish in which the engravings are faithfully reproduced and which incorporate security measures in their structure that make counterfeiting difficult.

Although metallic coins are resistant due to the material used in their manufacture (copper, bronze, brass, etc.), their prolonged use or other circumstances (deformation, corrosion, fire, etc.) can cause damage affecting their characteristics, and make them difficult to identify. We would be facing damaged coins.

Metallic coins may also, exceptionally, have a manufacturing defect. They are called defective coins. In these cases, coins are considered legitimate but not suitable for circulation and they are exchanged at the branches of the Banco de España.

Unsuitable coins (damaged and defective) should be withdrawn from circulation to prevent problems in their identification by vending machines, as well as to prevent confusion on their authenticity among users.

The Banco de España puts new euro coins into circulation to maintain their quality, and withdraws from circulation those not suitable, whether or not they are exchanged, pursuant to the provisions of EU Regulation No. 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning authentication of euro coins and handling of euro coins unfit for circulation.

    • How to proceed to exchange damaged euro coins
      • People with damaged coins can present them at the branches of the Banco de España or, when applicable, at their credit institution.
      • The damaged coins that have been received will be processed by the coin processing machines that the Banco de España uses for this purpose.
      • In case of presenting reasonable doubts about their authenticity, the damaged or defective coins will be subjected to a technical analysis. Once done, the result will be communicated to the owner of the coins and, if applicable, the corresponding amount will be paid.
      • If the quantity and status of the coins allow their counting and recognition, the Banco de España will exchange them at the time of presentation. When this is not possible, the presenter of the coins must follow the procedure described below as Presentation of large quantities of damaged euro coins.
    • Solicitud de admisión de moneda deteriorada para su canje File PDF: Opens in a new window (107 KB)
    • Presentation of large amounts of damaged euro coins
      • CWhen the amount of coins presented is over 1,000 pieces, the bearer or presenter of the coins must notify it in advance to the branch of the Banco de España where they want to carry out the operation, in order to agree on a date to organise their reception.
      • Notification will be made by e-mail, by sending the duly fulfilled and signed “Request for admission of damaged currency for exchange” to the Banco de España branch where the operation is to be carried out. By signing this form, the presenter expressly accepts the result of the file and the decision on the final destination of the coins, whether they are exchangeable or not.
      • The email must also include the following information:
        • Information on the origin of the coins and the processes to which they have been subjected, justifying the type and degree of deterioration they present.
        • Identification of the presenter and of any other accompanying person in the delivery (Name and Spanish ID/Foreigner’s ID/Passport). In the event that the owner and the presenter do not coincide, the latter must show the authorisation of the former.
        • The presentation of the coins at the branch of the Banco de España must be accompanied by two copies of the "Request for admission of damaged currency for exchange" form.
        • Coins must be presented according to the following packaging format:
          1. Separated by denominations.
          2. In transparent bags or boxes with the content in the following tables:
            Euro coins
            DenominationNumber of pieces per bag/box
            2€ 500
            1€ 500
            0,50€ 1.000
            0,20€ 1.000
            0,10€ 1.000
            0,05€ 2.000
            0,02€ 2.000
            0,01€ 2.000
          3. Each bag or box must have the identification details of the natural or legal person making the delivery, the amount and the name of the content, the weight, the date of packaging and the number of the bag or box. The natural or legal person making the delivery must provide a list listing the bags or boxes delivered.
          4. If the delivery does not comply with the aforementioned rules, the Banco de España may refuse to accept the coins..
        • In accordance with the provisions of the Banco de España, in operations of an amount equal to or greater than € 1,000, the presenter or owner will be identified, pursuant to the provisions of the regulations on the prevention of money laundering.
        • If the operation exceeds € 10,000, the presenter is reminded of the obligations in the statement of payment movements (Form S1) for the entry of these coins into national territory or € 100,000 if it is movement through national territory.
    • General criteria for reimbursement
      • As a general rule, the Banco de España will reimburse or substitute legitimate euro coins that are damaged and recognised as such by the machines used for this purpose.
      • However, the Banco de España may reject the reimbursement of euro coins not suitable for circulation that have been altered either deliberately or by a process that would be reasonably expected to have the effect of altering them.
      • In general, euro coins that have been subjected to processes such as those applied in waste incineration plants or metal recycling plants can be considered as deliberately altered coins and, therefore, may not be refundable.
      • Other cases in which the coins are considered as deliberately altered and are not refundable are those in which their deterioration has been caused by intentional mechanical damage or by an alteration for decorative, artistic or advertising purposes, among others.
      • In any case, the Banco de España will reject the reimbursement of the € 1 and € 2 coins that have the ring separated from the nucleus or that may appear to have been recomposed.

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