The Silver 5 Sucres is a two year type coin from Ecuador. The denomination would later be used in 1973 and again in 1988 and 1991, but these coins were of base metals, much smaller in diameter and weight.
The obverse features the bust of Antonio José de Sucre. On the outer periphery are the words “REPUBLICA DEL ECUADOR” and below the bust design is the date.
The reverse design features Ecuador’s national “Coat of Arms”. The “Coat of Arms” is comprised of four national furled flags act as supporters. Between them are palm and laurel branches symbolizing victory. A condor perched at the top serves as a crest and offers the country shelter and protection under its outstretched wings and stands ready to strike out against any enemy. At the base is a lictoral fasces representing dignity. In the background is the majestic Chimborazo mountain rising against the sky. In the foreground, the steamboat "Guayas" is seen crossing the wide river. This boat, which began service on October 9, 1841, was constructed by Vicente Rocafuerte and was the first of its kind in Ecuador and South America. On a band across the sky are the zodiacal signs for Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer corresponding to March, April, May, and June, months which are historically significant to Ecuadorians. Centered among these is the sun, an ancient Inca symbol.
The reverse also carries the mint mark "M" and just below it the word "MEXICO" to designate the actual minting facility.
Antonio José de Sucre y Alcalá was born on February 3, 1795 and would become both a close friend and key military leader for Simón Bolívar in the fight for independence from Colonial Spanish rule in the Americas.
Though not from Ecuador, Sucre played a key role for ensuring independence from Spain. Ecuador's criollo population tried several times to take control of the Quito Audencia in the decade that followed Napoleon's invasion of Spain, but it was not until 1820 that the criollos had enough force to realize emancipation from Spanish colonial rule. In October of 1820, under the leadership of José Joaquín Olmedo, Ecuador declared independence from its colonial master.
Unlike the previous attempts, Olmedo appealed to Argentina and Venezuela for support. Ecuador's identification with the wider South American independence movement - led principally by Venezuelan Simón Bolívar Palacios and the Argentinean José de San Martín - was ultimately what permitted it to throw off the shackles of Spanish domination as early as it did.
Bolívar and San Martín heeded Olmedo's call for help, sending him significant contingents of troops and a number of skilled offers. Antonio José de Sucre Alcalá led the combined Ecuadorian and foreign forces to a number of successive victories before finally being stopped at the city of Ambato in the highlands south of Quito. After the brief setback, the brilliant young lieutenant went on the offensive again. After another series of triumphs and a decisive victory at the Battle of Pichincha on May 24, 1822, Ecuador achieved its independence. Within hours of his victory on the slopes the volcano outside of Quito, Sucre received the formal surrender of the Quito Audiencia.
Less than two months after independence forces defeated the Spanish royalist army, Ecuador joined Simon Bolivar's Republic of Gran Colombia, which also included present-day Venezuela and Colombia. Ecuador remained part of Gran Colombia for eight years. After Venezuela withdrew from Gran Colombia, Ecuador followed suit, drafted the first of its many constitutions to come, and formally dissolved its association with Gran Colombia.
General Market Notes
Like many South American coins, the silver 5 Sucres is not a popular coin amongst collectors. This small demand has kept prices fairly affordable to most collectors of world coins.