Coins of Early Ecuador

Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and main declared its independence from Spain on 9 October, 1820.
In 1822 an act signed in Quito, incorporated the former Royal Audiencia into the Republic of Colombia.

Historical, geographical and ethnic differences in Gran Colombia led to increasing strife and Bolivar, who was sick, resigned the Presidency in 1830. He died later that year.
On 19 & 20, May, 1830, the Departments declared themselves to be the "State of Ecuador"

paraphased from "A Numismatic History of Ecuador", by Michael Anderson.

click on the coin for a pix showing obverse &reverse

Latin America Map
Back to Home
coin pix coin history country history

Ecuador, 2 Hills Design
4 reales, 1841

Daniel Sedwick Auction
October 2011, lot# 1107

This is the Republic of Ecuador's 1st coin design.

Known as the "Two Hills Design" it was issued on 1/2 - 2 reales starting in 1833.

Due to the large number of counterfeit "Two Hills" 2 reales, their production was halted on 11 Oct, 1841. All of the other 2 Hills minors were also discontinued. The 4 reales of this design was then authorized on Nov 2nd, 1841 to remove them from circulation. Mintage commenced on 30 Nov and to discourage counterfeiting the 4R's had a very crude raised lettered edge: "MORAL INDUSTRIA".

They were well received by the public and were issued 1841 thru 1843.

fineness = .666 silver, 13.3 gr.
assayer: Miguel Vergara hence the "M.V."

"For some time everyone has complained that no money circulates in this place other than counterfeit. The green and red pesetas [a peseta is the Spanish equivalent of 2 reales] which appear to have been made of old copper which has been used for the lining of ships are those which go into and come out of the Treasury, with which employees' salaries are paid, with which the government liquidates its debts,... with which merchants settle their accounts" Correo Semanal de Guayaquil, 24 Oct, 1841.

This coin is also a Moneda Feble issue.

Ecuador 2 Hills Design
4 reales, 1842, NGC-53

Daniel Sedwick Auction# 33
May 4th 2023, lot# 920

Ecuador 2 Hills Design
4 reales, 1843, NGC-55

Stack's World Collectors Choice Online Auction
May 17th 2023, lot# 71350

I believe there was also an imaginary 2 Hills 8 Reales struck, possibly in the 1960's. This was never a coin issued by early Ecuador but an imaginary issue to fill a need for an Ecuadorian crown of this type. It is usually classed as a counterfeit. Once again a photo is needed.

The 2nd Standard series of Ecuadorian coin design was used on the 1/2R, 2R, 4R and 8R up until the 1850's. R= "reale".

It includes the 1st Ecuadorian crown, an exceptionally beautiful design and issued in only 1846. 1286 (? check) pieces were struck, most of which were apparently placed in circulation. These coins circulated very slightly before being saved and are almost always found in decent condition ranging from good VF to AU. They were 90% silver and as this was the "moneda feble" era gripping South America, circulated as well as a 90% silver quarter would in change in 2012. This coin is frequently available in grades up to & including AU but true UNCs are uncommon (but exist).

It basically looks just like a US Capped Bust dollar so for those of you who wanted a Capped bust dollar this is the piece to buy.

I'm looking for one of these 1846 8R's to buy so if you know of one I'd appreciate it.

Ecuador, 5 francs, 1858
uncirculated (NGC-65)
(called 5 francos in recent literature)
(M.L. Teller, , 2002)

A brief history about the 1858 5 Francs.
-- update coming soon

At the time between 1833 and 1858 the Ecuadorian silver coinage was debased. Now (after the liberation from Spain) it was time to be a part of a world market of industrialized nations in exchange for finished goods and raw material including silver coinage. The Ecuadorian government could not even begin the process of modernization without a quantity of coins of sufficiently high fineness to finance foreign exchange. As a result the debased silver would have to be withdrawn from circulation and replaced with a silver crown of 0.900 fineness. So the 5 Francs 1858 crown materialized but could never be sustained for circulation. The great mass of the poor could not make transactions without being defrauded by merchants in the market place.

  Counterfeiting existed (0.666 silver) and the import of coining machinery from the United States could not take place to replace the discredited "moneda feble", of 0.666 silver). Then disaster struck at the Quito Mint and there was not even the old machinery left to produce coinage. The 5 Francs were quickly withdrawn from circulation and counterfeit coins increased due to the lack of government issued coinage in circulation.

Do you really want to learn more about the history of Ecuadorian coinage in English? Get a copy of Michael Anderson's book "A Numismatic History of Ecuador". Excellent!!!

"" from Chuck Helfand.
Note link no longer valid.

Un Sucre, 1890 UNC
I think I have 2 of these. Need to look for the other one...

Jose de Sucre, One of Bolivar's generals, liberated the city of Guayaquil in 1820; he is featured on these 1 sucre coins as well as many other types.

5 Sucres, 1944, EXF

Albigini's Coin Shop, Upper Darby, PA

These were minted in 1943 and 44.

Very similar to the 1 Sucres of the 1880's and 90's but larger in size and .720 fine.

Latin America Map
Back to Home