The middle-income sovereign state of the Republic of Ecuador is situated in northwestern South America. The country also includes the Galapagos Islands that sprawls in the Pacific. During the 15th-century, the country was home to a group of Amerindians which later on became the Inca Empire. In the 16th-century, Ecuador was colonized by Spain. It gained its independence in 1820 and became part of Gran Colombia.
Between 1884 and 2000, the Ecuadorian sucre was used for its internal commercial transactions, which was then pegged to the silver standard. Sucre was derived from the name of Antonio Jose de Sucre who was a Latin American politician. When the global price of silver dropped during the 1890s, Ecuador linked the currency to the gold standard.
The first sucre banknotes were released by private banks. The Banco del Ecuador released provisional issues between 1885 and 1887 with 80 centavos and 4 sucres denominations. More denominations were issued by the Banco de la Union between 1887 and 1895. Other issuing banks were the Banco Anglo-Ecuatoriano, the Banco de Quito, Banco Comercial y Agricola, Banco del Pichincha, Banco del Azuay, Campania de Credito Agricola e Industrial, and Banco de Decuento.
Following the establishment of the Central Bank, provisional banknotes were issued between 1926 and 1927. It was in 1928 that the central bank issued its first notes, bearing a gold redemption clause.
In 1949-1950, a new set of notes printed by the American Banknote Company were introduced without the gold redemption clause. In 1975, other issues were released bearing new designs highlighting the country’s new emblem.
The value of sucre depreciated after World War I and despite extensive efforts, it continued to crash. On January 9, 2000, Ecuador President Jamil Mahuad declared that the country would use the US dollar as its legal tender.