The Fabrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre – Casa Real de la Moneda has released new collector coins which are in celebration of the country’s constitution that was ratified in December 1978. Following the death of Spain’s head of state Generalissimo Francisco Franco in November 1975, the country underwent fundamental and societal changes which for many had brought Spain closer to a more democratic path. With the accession of Juan Carlos, Prince of the Asturias, this finalised the restoration of the monarchy which had been upheld by Franco in 1947, but he had retained the position of head of state for himself for the remainder of his life. For the new king, he set forth to restore greater democratic freedoms to Spain, which included relegating the powers of the monarch and giving greater authority to the Cortes and judiciary. In order to enshrine this into law, the country would need a constitution to replace draconian laws put into place by the dictatorship. Within three years of the king’s accession, a new constitution was presented to the Cortes for ratification in October and voted on by the Spanish people on the 6th December 1978. In total, the constitution was favoured by 91.8% of voters with King Juan Carlos giving it royal ascent on the 27th December. For many, the act of voting for and ratifying a constitution represented the final steps to a fully democratic country and putting to rest some of the ghosts which had gripped Spanish society since the civil war in 1936.
The constitutional history of Spain dates back to their first Constitution of 1812 which was signed into law by the Cortes itself in the absence of the king. This progressive work would later serve as a model for liberal constitutions of several Mediterranean and Latin American nations, including the Mexican Constitution of 1824. Its influence was also realised in other European states, including the Norwegian Constitution of 1814 and the Portuguese Constitution of 1822. Despite the work becoming an example to other countries, it was repealed by King Ferdinand VII upon his restoration to the Spanish throne in 1814.
With the rise of Francisco Franco after the conclusion of the civil war in 1936, the country’s Constitution of 1931, which described Spain as a parliamentary republic, was rescinded in 1938 and replaced with the series of codes known as the Fundamental Laws of the Realm. This set of laws served as Spain’s constitution and upheld the military dictatorship until a general election in 1977 convened the Constituent Cortes for the purpose of drafting and approving the constitution. A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the constitution to be submitted to the body. They came to be known as the Padres de la Constitución, or “Fathers of the Constitution.” These seven people were chosen to represent the wide, though often deeply divided political spectrum within the Spanish Parliament, with the leading role being given to the ruling party. As per the new constitution, the Fundamental Laws of the Realm were ultimately revoked and replaced with a greater emphasis on the rule of law:
“Spain is established as a social and democratic State, subject to the rule of law, which advocates as the highest values of its legal order the following: liberty, justice, equality, and political pluralism.”
The Constitution is organised into 10 parts (Títulos) and includes an additional introduction (Título Preliminar), as well as a preamble, several additional and interim provisions, and a series of repeals. It ends with a final provision. The document’s last part, X (10), refers to constitutional amendments, of which there have been only two since 1978: The first occurred in 1995 and the second in 2011.
The reverse side of the coin shows an image of an open copy of the Spanish Constitution. Above the primary design and along the rim are the legend CONSTITUCIÓN ESPAÑOLA and the dates 1978 and 2018.
Placed above the open book of the constitution is the image of one of the lions sculpted by Ponciano Ponzano, which has been in the custody of the Palace of the Congress since 1872. The denomination of 10 EURO is seen below the constitution and the mintmark of the Real Casa de la Moneda is seen to the right.
The obverse includes an effigy of His Majesty King Felipe VI wearing the badges of Captain General. The year of issue 2018 is seen below the king’s likeness.
|10 euro||.925 Silver||27 g||40 mm||Proof||5,000|
The coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom, branded Real Casa de la Moneda case and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin and others available from the FNMT — Real Casa de la Moneda, please visit their website.