The city of Quito was the capital of a kingdom within the
Inca Empire.  The Inca economy didn't use money, relying
instead on barter for petty commerce and religious
obligation for major transactions.  The thin copper "axes"
often claimed as Inca "money" are definitely Inca, but their
use as trade tokens has not been established.
After the Spanish conquest the territory was organized as
an audiencia (administrative subdivision) of the viceroyalty
of Peru.  In the 18th century the region was transferred to
the viceroyalty of Nueva Granada (Bogota), then back to Peru
for a bit, then back again to Bogota, which is how things
remained until the Independence struggles of the 19th
century.  During the entirety of the Spanish tenure there
were no coins struck in the audiencia of Quito.  The economy
functioned at the top with the silver and gold of Lima,
Potosi, and Bogota, and on the bottom with barter and forced
The first attempt at independence was made in 1809, and
was crushed.  A second attempt the following year lasted
until 1812.  It was not until the 1820s that Antonio Jose de
Sucre, Bolivar's commander in Ecuador, decisively routed the
Spanish forces.  Any chance of unity in Spanish South
America was ruined by the rivalry between Bolivar in
Colombia and Jose de San Martin in Peru.  The two met
privately in Ecuador, and whatever was said or done, the
upshot was that San Martin retired from politics and Bolivar
added Ecuador to his Gran Colombia.
One of the revolutionary activities was the
countermarking of coins.  The "Moneda de Quito" marks on
Cundinamarca and Nueva Granada 8 reales show up from time to
time in specialist offerings.  2 reales are much rarer, and
reales and ½ reales are never offered.  A substantial number
of pieces that have been on the market in recent decades
were considered dubious.  What I don't understand is why
only Gran Colombia coins were countermarked, as the bulk of
circulation must have been colonial silver from Lima and
Potosi.  Maybe they were made as political propaganda pieces
promoting the idea of the union of Ecuador with Colombia.
Ecuador withdrew from Gran Colombia on the death of
Bolivar in 1830.  National coinage began in 1833 with silver
½, 1, and 2 reales and gold single and double escudos.  The
types were continued sporadically into the 1840s, with a
change of legend in 1836 when the nation decided it would
call itself a republic.  The silver coins are not rare
types, but usually come in lousy condition.  Even in high
grade the sunface is usually weak.  2 reales are commonest,
then singles, then halves.  The gold is rare.  Silver
quartos, first made in 1842, are all scarce.  The early
"fortress" type is almost always miserably struck, viz. the
photo in SCWC.  That's a good one.  Sunface type 4 reales
were added in 1841.  They are around in the normal depressed
grade ranges.  A nice VF of any of these coins is scarce or
The initial issue of gold sunface escudos and doubles was
suspended in 1835.  4 escudos were struck beginning the next
year, with 8 escudo doubloons following in 1838.  All of
these coins are rare.  Call any gold dealer.  They won't
have any.
Starting in the 1840s new types were adopted employing a
bust of "Libertad" closely resembling that in use on
contemporary coins of the USA.  At that point the working
denominations were the quartos and the 2 reales, issues of
reales having ceased in 1840, with only a few halves struck
late in the decade and rare Bolivar memorial 4 reales and
even rarer gold.  2 reales coins of the '40s and early '50s
are moderately common in low grades, distinctly scarce in
anything better than fine.  The quartos are somewhat scarce.
An 8 reales crown of 1846 is a rare power coin.
Libertad 4 reales were struck in the mid-1850s, and these
can be found.  Gold 8 escudos depicting Bolivar as a person
instead of a god were struck beginning in 1847.  They
actually get offered from time to time.  2 reales of the
late 1850s and '60s and both types of 4 reales of 1862 are
at least hard to find if not rare.  The 1858 5 francos
crown, though not rare, is a power coin which any serious
Latin collector must possess, and therefore goes fast.
The latter half of the 19th century was a time of general
instability in Ecuador, with one ephemeral government
quickly following another through three decades.  In the
midst of the turmoil a decimal coinage was inaugurated with
the Heaton 1 and 2 centavos of 1872.  These coppers are hard
to find in the market.  The only ones I've had came direct
from Ecuador in abominable condition.
Copper-nickel and silver coins, also from Heaton, were
introduced in 1884.  The copper-nickels of 1884 and '86 are
scarce, but the silvers are fairly easy to come by.
Earliest dates of these "Sucre" silvers are a little tough,
and the half sucre is rarely found better than VG, but
almost all dates are available, and minors of the later
years can be obtained in uncirculated.  The proofs of 1884
are never offered.  Gold 10 sucres of similar type were made
at the turn of the century.  These are difficult coins to
find, but the market is soft on Ecuador, and they're hard to
sell too.
Heaton struck more coppers in 1890, and copper-nickels in
1909.  The former are difficult, the latter only a bit less
so.  Other copper-nickel coins struck in the first two
decades of the 20th century are findable, but are elusive in
high grade.
Base metal coins of the '20s are generally available in
decent condition, though Uncs remain elusive.  Of the silver
coins of 1928-34, there used to be a steep differential in
date availability, with 1930 being tough, but this is no
longer the case and the premium charged for that date has
eroded.  The other years are available in uncirculated, but
1930 is still hard to find so.  The gold condor of 1928 is
somewhat difficult.
1937 dated 5, 10, and 20 centavos are common in Unc, with
wholesale quantities of the 5c still sitting in dealer
inventories.  The 1937 sucre is available too, except in
Unc.  The brass war coins are also common, but there are no
wholesale stocks.  Wartime silvers from Mexico mint are
common.  1946 coins are even more common than '37s.  Of the
miscellaneous coins struck between 1959 and 1986, all can be
obtained in AU or better, though only a few, like the 1964
sucre, were wholesaled.
Something funny started happening to the Ecuador coinage
during the '70s.  Inflation of course had something to do
with it, of course, and there's no denying that the nation
has had a paper economy for the last twenty years.  What
happened is that they started making coins and never issuing
them.  Instead they let them gather dust at the Central Bank
and then supposedly melted them.  This happened with the
1973 2 and 5  sucres coins, and with the entire 1988 set.
The '73 2s has been offered in the past.  About 10 years ago
a friend told me he saw one in Germany and passed it up at
$85.00.  Then I heard of another sighting in Europe just a
few years ago, offered (and not selling) at $400.00 or so.
The 5s coins have never appeared.
I corresponded with a Mormon missionary in Quito about 5
years ago: can you get me the '73 2s?  Supposedly at that
time there were bags of them at the bank.  He told me his
bank contact had to go to the legislature for a special law
to allow him access, but he knew the vice-president or some
such.  At any rate, supposedly all this was done, the
appointment was made, my missionary's contact was called
away to a meeting on the appointed day, the missionary had
to catch a plane, and another one got away.
The 1986 soccer crown is another mystery.  There in the
SCWC is one picture of a coin which no one I know has ever
seen, and not one but two listings for crown size soccer
coins.  The price quotes must be apocryphal, because the
coins are not there to be sold.  Similarly, though the 1988
coins are supposed to exist in quantities of 100,000 or so,
none have shown up in the market.
There are a few 19th century tokens, proclamation pieces,
medals, etc., all fairly scarce, much scarcer for instance
than similar items of Bolivia or Peru.  The Galapagos
countermarks seen are all sucres, no minors, and are usually
fakes.  I have seen an amusement token in copper-nickel from
Guayaquil, I assume from the '60s or '70s, an imitation
Edwardian sovereign in brass, also from Guayaquil, and a
little 12mm piece inscribed "Moneda de Quito."  Overall
there is not a lot of exonumia from Ecuador.