The National Mint and Stamp Factory-Real Casa de la Moneda (FNMT) was launched on October 31 a collectible coin Princess Leonor’s 18th birthday. Throughout the last quarter of the year, it will be put into circulation up to one million units made of sterling silver, with a value of 40 euros each one and a specific name: When Her Royal Highness the Princess of Asturias comes of age.
However, this is not the first time that the institution has produced this type of coins and, in fact, it does so every year to commemorate places or events of cultural and historical interest. ¿What types are there in these pieces?? Who can buy it and where do they do it?
A collectible coin
The coin dedicated to the coming of age of Leonor de Borbón y Ortiz is collectible, that is, a piece that seeks save “a fragment of history and the most representative events”, as indicated by the FNMT. “In this case, what it does is promote the monarchy and the coming of age of the future queen,” Jesús Vico, president of the Spanish Association of Professional Numismatists, explained to RTVE.es.
The centenary of the death of the painter Joaquín Sorolla, a tribute to Women’s Day, animals in danger of extinction, capitals of the geography of Spain… The themes shown on the collector’s coins are varied and from from history and art to sports and modes of transportation. It is made of precious metals such as gold and silversome of them also have color, and their face value – the one attributed to them at the time of issuance by ministerial decree – can be from 5 to 2,000 euros per unit, as seen on their website.
What is the process of making it?
To do this, a hundred photos must be taken in one session at the Palacio de la Zarzuela. “We chose a few and, with one as a base, we composed the architectural features of Princess Leonor’s face, the eyes, the nose and the mouth, because the movement is very important,” explained Alfonso Morales of TVE , FNMT coin recording head.
That computer design is passed on to relief modeling. Metal engraving severely limits the volumes of three-dimensional drawings and “the image must be expressed in a volume of a tenth of a millimeter, which corresponds to the thickness of a sheet of paper,” said Luis José Díaz, artistic engraver of the FNMT.
The last step is coina task that starts with the blank, a piece of metal that receives blows on engrave the obverse and back of the coinwhere the color was also added to Princess Leonor’s shield.
Collectors, your target audience
As indicated by its name and clarified by the Bank of Spain, this currency is not intended for circulation. nor used as a form of payment. “It can be used, but it is a matter of the collector. No one goes to an establishment to pay for it,” said the president of the Spanish Association of Professional Numismatists.
In addition, it shows that there is a extensive collectors and he divided them into two levels: those interested in each new piece broadcast by FNMT and another small audience focusing on things with specific themes. Therefore, he says that “there may be people who are very interested in the Royal Family and want to collect them.” In this case, it is also worth noting that this is the first coin where the effigy of Princess Leonor appears alone.
In any case, FNMT sources explain to RTVE.es that it is aimed at the general public and anyone interested can buy it. “We don’t have a clear audience,” they say, although these pieces tend to end up in showcases of people who want to keep them and not do business with them in the future.
Will they increase in value in the future?
“These pieces, in principle, They are not accepted as an investment element”, explains the president of the Spanish Association of Professional Numismatists. As he remembers, “the value of the metal is lower than the value of the face in which it is sold” and, therefore, he estimates that only the 18 gram coin of sterling silver – Excluding other elements, such as a case or box and official certification, it costs about 10 euros, and not the 40 euros set in its sale price.
Therefore, until next December 31, FNMT will do it based on demand, with a maximum draw of one million units. This is a “relatively high” number, according to the expert, because there must be a million people who want to buy it. And will it increase its value? “First it must be consumed and, from there, demand will continue to rise. That will increase its price in secondary markets and auctions,” he clarified.
In any case, he said they might as well play other reasons such as public opinion or the political situation, which may lead to an increase in its “numismatic value”. However, the expert shows that there are only certain coins that increase in value and mentions a recent example, the Centennial piece of the Spanish Legion, of which 6,000 units were produced in 2020 and of which, as as he indicated, there was “a lot of traction” and it was sold in a few days: “I auctioned that coin for almost twice its selling price.”
To improve the valuation, the FNMT has a guide that shows how some extrinsic factors – such as the rarity of the piece and its demand – and other intrinsic factors – the metal or its level of conservation – affect it.
It was bought by banks and the Royal Mint.
One of the characteristics of collector coins is that they can be acquired – exchanged – for banks by their face value, as indicated by the institution. “Anyone who wants can go to the bank to request it and from October 31 they will be available,” FNMT sources explained to RTVE.es. They can also be taken on your website or in your physical store in Madrid.
Actually, these aren’t the only canals and “the Royal Mint has two or three too numismatic dealers at the national level to receive these coins from the FNMT and then sell them to their subscribers,” recalled the president of the Spanish Association of Professional Numismatists.
A list with over 30 years of history
This type of pieces is not something new and, in fact, the FNMT indicates that “in 1989 the mining of the first line of collectible coins began.” “It started with the peseta and then changed to the euro”, as sources from the institution, and since then coin collector different themes, materials and prices. In fact, you can consult the list of collector coins issued in gold and silver issued by FNMT in euro.
However, 1989 was not the first year in which this type of thing was launched, because before that there were some private business who makes commemorative medals in a particular way, as explained by the president of the Spanish Association of Professional Numismatists. “They are not coins because they have no face value,” he clarified.
One of the latest series of collector coins launched by FNMT is the ‘V Centenary of the World’, which lasted from 2019 to 2022 and coincided with the four-year expedition of the explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastián de Elcano (1519-1522). “Normally, we can issue between eight and ten types of collection every year,” explains the institution, some pieces that can be consulted on its website.